One of the tools that authors easily overlook is the Amazon Author Central page. We often hear about the importance of establishing our brand, blogging, social media, and personal web presence and when we get to Author Central it’s easy to look at it and go, “meh, I’ve already got pages that do all that stuff.”
However, there are lots of critical reasons to engage with Author Central, and if you haven’t done anything at all with it, or have just used it to go through the motions (by adding your books and bio so readers can see the bare minimum about you) then you are missing out on some powerful features and leaving a lot on the table.
First, you’re going to make sure you’ve claimed your books to your author profile (if you don’t have it yet, get it at http://authorcentral.amazon.com/ ). Also fill out your biography. You will want to do this whether published independently or traditionally.
If you have a blog, you can also set it to automatically push to this link where people can find it. You will not need to republish it or copy/paste it to anything new. You can sync your AAC blog to a feed you keep elsewhere (like wordpress, etc.) My articles automatically pushes from my wordpress blog to my Goodreads profile, Amazon Author Central, and both Twitter and Facebook using RSS feeds and wordpress tools. There are many articles out there on how to sync these depending on your platform.
If you have a book trailer, you can add that as well under the videos section. If you’ve overlooked trailers in the past (like I also did) you can get a high-quality one made for very little money on sites like fiverr. I think the key is, make sure that you get something that is well done. Something that is cheesy, tacky, or unprofessional will reflect negatively on your book. My video ad has been my lowest cost, most effective advert.
Use the Editorial Reviews section to highlight reviews for your book. This doesn’t have to be from the NYT… it could be from a local newspaper or blog tour, or any other source of good reviews that have not made it into your reviews section on behalf of a reviewer (or that has and you want to draw attention to it.) It can be a snippet from your favorite review left by a reader, even.
If you do lots of events and have a local following, you can use it to track your travel calendar as well.
If you have written your book’s description within KDP and then published you may have noticed that every time you press enter for a clean line break, it didn’t show up on your amazon page and you just got a big block of text. You can add text formatting elements (even bold and italics or change the size) by accessing your book details via AAC. You can change your description here for all versions (except audible) without having to re-save the book in the KDP system.
Also in the book details tab you can include additional information about each book in From the Author… which is a good place to put series information.
Additionally, the help feature can put you in touch with a live Amazon agent. This is the only method of reaching a human at the Zon which I am aware of. Yes, you can actually talk on the phone and get transferred to the appropriate department for your amazon account.
The AAC profile also has other uses if you know what to look for, such as targeting advertisements based on your “also boughts” which will appear on the user side of the account (helpful to target authors and titles readers like and cross-pollinate your advertising targets with authors that have been proofed by readers as relevant.)
Your AAC page does not span across the world, however, and you will want to consider claiming a profile in each of the areas where you will have a presence. Amazon is constantly expanding, but here are some of the major areas you will want to mirror your AAC profile to.
- France: https://authorcentral.amazon.fr/
- Germany: https://authorcentral.amazon.de/gp/home
- Japan: https://authorcentral.amazon.co.jp/gp/home
- UK: https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/home
- US: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/