How to Self-Publish #5 - Amazon Author Central

Often, a book's author is as important as its content. Whenever I'm recommended something new to read most people will either say "this is a great book, you should read it" or "this book was a written by a great author, I think you'd like him/her." As such, it's time to talk about you. PRODUCT INFORMATION

As with just about every service Amazon provides, the Author Central is tied into your same Amazon login. Once you have a book published on their site, you can claim it on your Author Central by clicking the "Add more books" button at the top of the page. Once your book is linked to your account you will get this view:

Here, all of your books will be listed with their various version, sales rank, and reviews but clicking into them reveals the real power of Amazon Author Central. Once a book is selected you have the option to edit:

  • Reviews - highlight segments of your favorite reviews for promotional purposes
  • Production Description - this is the main description an interested reader will see as it is at the top of your book's page so keep it short and catchy. Don't tell your story, sell your story. There are millions of books on Amazon... what makes this one special?
  • From The Author - this is a short segment from you, the author, where you can talk about your book. I used the space available to write about the tone and theme of my book.
  • From the Back Cover - This is much like the Product Description and likely not necessary, especially for Kindle versions. However, I decided to write an alternate Product Description here in the voice of the book itself.
  • About the Author - though this section is at the bottom, it is one of the most important. This is your chance to tell your readers a little bit about yourself. It doesn't need to be a lengthy biography, but where you're from, how you got started, what your influences are and where you're heading are potential topics. Readers truly do want to know about you so make these words count.

AUTHOR PROFILE

Now that all your product information is up to date, it's time to focus on you. Under the "Profile" tab Amazon allows you to connect your page to various medias to help inform fans about you. The more places you're seen, the more likely someone will click on your page, the more likely someone will buy your book. This is your hub. It only takes a few minutes to set up but when active is quite self reliant.

Your profile page allows you to share your author page via a link: amazon.com/author/yourname so you can embed it wherever you like. You can also add photos of yourself or videos (perhaps of you doing a reading, interview, panel, etc) and make announcements about upcoming events (book signings, readings, new book releases). The automation of this page is perhaps its greatest asset: you can link your Twitter account and blogger/wordpress/website RSS to your Amazon Author Profile so that tweets/blog posts are automatically fed to your page once you publish them. You can focus more time on writing and less time on hopping from twitter -> tumblr -> facebook -> your blog -> amazon to continuously publish updates. Let Amazon take care of it for you.

SALES INFO

You are also able to view your Weekly Sales and Sales by Geography for any bookscans that happen throughout the country. As my book is new, mostly sold online and only available at one independent book store in Los Angeles, there is no data for me but it a very useful tool for tracking overall sales and from where they are coming.

REVIEWS

The last tool Amazon provides authors is a chronologically updated list of every review. Instead of going to each of your different book releases, you can come directly to your Author Central to see any new reviews from readers, comment on them, and jump directly to your book. There's not much else you can do here, but it's nice to have everything in one place especially if you're going to copy/paste them elsewhere for promotional purposes.

The Amazon Author Central is a great hub for you and for your readers where you can edit, update, and track every detail of your book which, coupled with Kindle Direct Publishing, gives you a complete picture of how your book is selling. Since there are so many different ways to spread the word about your books these days, why not link them all together?