If you are selling a book or eBook through Amazon, you should absolutely be taking advantage of author central on Amazon.
I know, I know that you are thinking “GROAN!! Yet another social media site to keep up with.”
But actually it’s not all that much work at all, and once it is up and running (i.e. you have filled out your basic info, added a photo, imported your blog) you will rarely have to touch it again.
For most books and genres (there are exceptions), it is in the author’s best interests to be the ‘face’ or ‘brand’ behind the book. The more that your potential reader can identify with you, the more invested they will feel in your book, and the more likely they are to buy it.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and of course you must be somewhat likable in order for them to relate to, but in general it’s true! So get some pictures up, add some personable facts about yourself, and if you are already writing a blog whip that up there too.
Things to Do on Author Central:
Add your photo & biography. Be the ‘face’ of your book.
Link your blog – Import your blog using the RSS feed. You can also add your twitter feed if you wish and upload a book trailer if you have one. People who stumble upon your book on Amazon through a recommendation or through the ‘commonly bought with’ listing won’t see your personal blog or other online PR efforts. So use author central to put your best foot forward without redirecting them away from Amazon and their browsing/ shopping space.
View and edit the list of books you have written/ edited – because the Amazon system doesn’t always get it right. If you have written one or more books this is great because it will link your titles together, and allow your readers to find all of your work.
Edit your product description and about the author section, add any professional reviews you have had. I can’t emphasize how important – and often under looked – a good product description is. It’s essentially sales copy, so it should focus on benefits to the customer (not the features), and should be as compelling as possible. It’s the best advertising for the book you will get! See this fantastic article on how to write a good product description from Digitalbookworld.com. Here is an excerpt:
“You want to get your most glowing, punchy, exciting quotes out front. Don’t hold back. This is a MAJOR section where buyers abort the purchase funnel. Therefore this is where you need to really grab their attention. If you don’t excite the reader here, you will quite possibly lose a sale.
After these initial 3 quotes, put a brief style description of your book. Do NOT go into specifics about the book. You will lose the excitement you just built. Keep your energy up and driving towards a sale. Remember this is ad copy not a by-the-numbers description or even your typical back cover copy. This is a sales pitch.”
Track Your Sales – Find out where your sales are happening using the geographic location function and find out what your Amazon ranking.
Cover image – If you have an Amazon page then you probably already have a cover image on your book’s page (if not, what are you doing here? Run over there NOW). However, don’t feel that you must use the exact image of your book – as long as it has a strong resemblance you are golden.
In my case I used a bolder version of the book cover by enhancing the color and cutting off the bottom part of the cover to make the title more visible. Remember that it’s important to utilize the thumbnail size as efficiently as possible.
In sum… if you already have a blog, twitter, book trailer and so on, then there is no extra work involved other than syncing it all together in one place on your Author Central page. Put in a couple of hours work doing so, get your product description up to scratch and you’ll have another great tool in your book marketing arsenal!
For more Amazon help, see our Amazon Optimization package, here.
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.