In the era of self-publishing, there should be one thing on your mind at all times: You are responsible for everything that happens to your career!
If you fail, it’s your fault; if you succeed, it is your glory! Indie authors don’t have it easy given that they don’t have someone watching their back, but this is also the reason why they HAVE to be up-to-date and shouldn’t miss out on any available chances for self-promotion. If you want to grow into a professional and highly reputable author, or if you already are one, be aware that your presence on Amazon is crucial. This could be your billboard to the world! There is one very powerful way to get the most from Amazon, and that is to create an Amazon Author Central Page of your own.
Amazon is probably the only platform which is treating the indie author the same way mainstream – published authors are treated when it comes to marketing and promotion. By taking advantage of the Author Central Amazon, Amazon allows potential clients to find out more about you and your life. Apart from your photo, they will be able to learn about other books you have written over the years. The main goal of the page is to allow visitors to see your whole working opus where you will be able to demonstrate your expertise. If you present yourself as an expert in your field, the customer will be more confident that the book they are about to purchase meets their criteria and specific needs.
What does an Amazon Author Central Page include
The Author Central Amazon Page is very easy to set up and enables a lot of the marketing and promotional space that every author, indie or otherwise, needs. Your author page will include the following:
– Your photo
– A brief biography of yourself
– Your blog posts (if you own a blog, and as a professional author, you should have on)
– Your bibliography (with contents for sale on Amazon)
– A discussion board
– Facebook, Twitter, and Email integration
– Highlighted reviews of your book
If you want to appear to be a serious writer and you want to have a flawless reputation on this very powerful promotional page, make sure that your biography and bibliography is up to date and that your basic information is correct. Be very detail-oriented and be committed to excellence in everything that you do. Your biography has to be very descriptive and strong. Provide some interesting information about yourself, but don’t be too detailed! Use plain text only, with no formatting such as bold or italics.
Don’t include links. Be sure to say as much as possible in only a few sentences. You don’t want to bore your potential customer, you want to encourage him or her to read the entire page and see a lot of interesting material.
Choose a thoughtful photo of yourself, giving a sense of your personality. Don’t use silly headshots, only professional photos with a slight personal touch. A lot of people use photos of their children or pets, but please make sure not to do so here.
How to set up your Amazon Author Central Page
Setting up your central page is very easy, so don’t worry about this being a difficult process. First of all, you do need to have an Amazon account. It also doesn’t matter if you have one as a consumer or a self-publisher as because both types are fine for signing up. However, you will have to confirm your identity, so be sure to sign in with the same name you have next to your published books. Visit the Author Central Amazon and log in while providing the necessary information to create a page.
After you have done that, you can go to the “Books” tab and add all of your published material on Amazon. After a confirmation, they will show up in the Bibliography section on your Author page.
To add your profile photo and a brief biography, go to the “Profile” tab; the photo and biography will appear on each of your book’s Amazon product pages, just like on your author page. The “About the Author” section will include a link to your Author Central Amazon Page.
The “Sales” info tab provides information about how and where your books are selling. You can view BookScan sales data and graphs of your books, but only if you have added them to your Bibliography. The results will usually take a day or two to appear. BookScan provides mostly sales from outlets that choose to report to BookScan, which includes Amazon and larger bookseller retail chains, so it can provide a good idea of how things are going.
The “Customer Review” tab is here for you to see all Amazon reviews of your books in one place. This applies for listed books only.
On the home page, you can link to your blog. Once you have done that, the three most visited posts will be listed and linked in the “Most Recent Blog Posts” section of your Author Central Amazon Page. By doing this, more traffic will arrive to your blog, so please make sure that your blog contains topics that could be interesting to your target audience. If your topic selection isn’t similar to what you are offering in your books on Amazon, it might be better not to link it and instead considering opening an alternative blog. After you have decided to link your blog, you will have to provide the URL to your blog’s RSS feed.
(Here is a short “How-to” to establish that. Find an RSS Feed icon on your blog. It is a square, orange icon. Click on it to enter your blog’s RSS feed page. Copy the URL of the page and paste it into the RSS Feed area on your Author Central Amazon Page. If you can’t find the icon, then your RSS hasn’t been enabled. Enter your blog’s dashboard to enable it, and the icon should appear after that. Now continue as described previously.)
If you want to integrate your Facebook, Twitter, or email, you don’t need to do anything. It is automatically enabled.
After following these steps, you will have successfully created your own Amazon Author Central Page. This is a great starting point for every author who has started his or her career as a writer, but is also a valuable addition to all those who have already established their reputation. There really isn’t a way to describe how important it is to own such a powerful promotional profile. Not only will you be able to provide a lot of information about yourself and your work in one place, but you will be able to give a certain message to your target audience. Anyone who cares a great deal about his or her work should create a profile because, just like that, you can expect people to see you as a professional author. A very intelligent friend of mine, Rico Marciano, said a great thing after discussing the wonderful promotional possibilities every author has. He said: “In reality, it’s the Author that’s being promoted – the book can’t speak for itself. Most authors lack the ability to speak and are too lazy to learn. Be Prepared! Plan! Promote! Profit! The ability to write a book is a gift from God! It requires discipline, tenacity, creativity, teamwork, and RESPECT for the trade – it is not meant to be quick and easy”.