What is another way to get reader recognition for your books — and your name? Update your Amazon Author Central profile. We’ve shed some light on the perks of self-publishing with Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Digital Publishing programs and helped highlight which is the right platform for you to use. Today we are taking a look at another underutilized tool that Amazon offers authors — their Author Central pages.
Amazon Author Central in one sentence … is a free author profile page (similar to a Facebook page) that helps authors connect with readers!
What is an Amazon Author Central page? This is a page on the Amazon website that is automatically created for any author whose books are sold on the Amazon.com website. Authors can fill in this page with more information including a biography, booklist and more.
Why should you use it? Because these author pages can be found by the people browsing the Internet — both on and off Amazon’s site, the information included can help authors get readers' attention. Since Amazon Author Central pages come up on Google and other search engines, it is a great addition to the author's website, Facebook page and other social networking accounts.
What does it cost? It’s absolutely free to use and update!
So how do you fill in your Author Central profile? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
1) Visit https://authorcentral.amazon.com and click Join now.*
* If you are already registered with an Amazon account, sign in with the e-mail address that you use to make purchases on Amazon. If not, select “No, I am a new customer” and follow those steps.
2) Read and click “agree” to Author Central’s Terms and Conditions
3) Enter the name that you use to write books. When the list of possible book matches appear, choose any one of your books. This automatically creates the account and sends you a confirmation e-mail.
How can you personalize your Author Central profile? You can add, edit (or delete) your own biography and photos. You can also post videos and alert readers to upcoming events. Amazon has also provided easy-to-use instructions about how to add your blog feed and Twitter feed to your Author Central profile. You can also create an Author Page URL so that you can easily send readers to your Author Central page. Learn more about setting up a profile >>
What if you’ve got a pen name? You can add it to your author profile by filling out the “Do you have a pen name?” heading. After Amazon verifies this pen name with the book’s publisher, you can also control the books that appear as written by that pen name. However, these two pen names will not be associated on Amazon.com.
If you get lost along the way: You can visit the Amazon Author Central help page, select the type of question you have and issue will be answered via an email or phone call from Amazon’s experts!
However updating your author profile on Author Central isn’t the only thing you can do! You can also update your bibliography and fix book profile pages by correcting product details, updating a book cover image or adding Book Extras — such as more details about your characters and settings or favorite quotations.
Additionally, Author Central gives you access to your U.S. sales information for the previous four weeks as recorded by Nielsen BookScan. This tool does not replace the reports that you receive from your publisher as it only records approximately 75% of US sales, however, it can help you identify sales trends, see a rough estimate of sales for your entire virtual bookshelf and provide at-a-glance reports on your weekly sales and where in the country your books are selling best. Learn more about your sales information >>
An additional Author Central perk: If you use Amazon’s Author Central (or publish with Amazon's self-publishing platforms CreateSpace or Kindle Direct Publishing) you can opt to enroll your books in Search Inside the Book. This program allows readers to browse millions of books sold through Amazon.com. Books enrolled in this program appear more accurately in Amazon search results because rather than just searching for title and author names, this search allows the text inside of a book to be read.
How does this work? If a reader puts "James Franco" into the Amazon search bar, the results will not just include any books with James Franco in the title (or books that are authored by James Franco) but any book enrolled in Search Inside that mentions the actor’s name.
Thus, if you enroll your books in Search Inside they will appear on more search results pages, and be more easy to find by readers who are interested in the subject matter, and ultimately are more likely to get purchased more frequently.
At BEA 2012 Amazon’s Community Outreach Product Manager Thom Kephart also pointed out that Search Inside provides readers and authors with a special perk that is similar to browsing in a brick and mortar bookstore. For any book registered with Search Inside, a reader can browse the book and get hooked by an author’s plot or writing style. However, unlike at a bookstore, with Search Inside although a reader can get a taste for a book, but he or she can’t sit down and read the entire product for free!
Want more? Explore Amazon’s Author Central and start filling out your author profile today!