Amazon Author Central

 
 
Part 23: use Amazon Author Central to enhance the appearance and functionality of your ebook’s webpage.
 
Amazon Author Central is an optional service allowing authors to add content to their book’s webpage. When I say ‘optional’, I mean (like keywords) the mandatory kind of optional. You’re mad if you don’t take the opportunity to fill out your profile.

Writing desk
Author Central 1.0     (source)

Advantages of Author Central

1. You can edit your book’s details and description without having to resubmit it for approval by Amazon. Otherwise, you’ll have to republish your book with the new details, which means the old version will be what is seen for between 12-24 hours (or longer). However, see Lee’s comment below for a warning about doing this repeatedly.

2. You can include basic markup code like italics and bold text in the description.

3. Your pages can now include photographs, feeds and links to your social media sites, and videos, allowing a more interactive experience for people browsing your books.

4. Making this section as attractive as possible will offset the crowded nature of Amazon’s web page. For example, in the top inch of the screen right now, there are 17 links, 6 dropdown menus, a search bar, a logo and an advertisement. It’s an overwhelming amount of information to process, and I find my eye drawn down to the comparatively cleaner book description and editorial reviews (the only place on the screen free from links).

5. If you can source reviews from professional outlets or popular authors, they can now be included in their own section.

The cold war of ebook marketing

There is a bit of a publicity arms race among authors. People find out the approaches that sell books, they blog about it, other people use their information and then everyone moves up a level to a new playing field. Then the early adopters find new marketing strategies. The point is, if you refuse to market, or rest on your laurels for too long, what you are doing is going to look unprofessional in the eyes of the public.
 
Carolyn McCray has penned a brilliant article on doing Author Central the right way, including a detailed section of how to write your book’s description. It’s well worth reading through the comments, as well, where Carolyn reviews commenter’s author pages, covers and other marketing materials, and offers insights into how these can be improved. It’s an excellent opportunity to see what other authors are doing, both right and wrong.

Proceed to Part 24: ‘Royalties, US taxation and the EIN’, or return to the article index.
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While I’ve endeavoured to provide you with accurate information, what is considered ‘accurate’ will change over time. If I’m wrong, or you’d like to ask a question or share your thoughts, I’d love to hear your take on things.

Rhys About Rhys

Teacher, writer, editor, cook: a bit like that nursery rhyme, really.
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Comments

  1. Some comments about yoru points:

    #1 – Republishing via KDP does NOT remove your book from sale. The previous version is always there.
    #2 – Yes you can do that in the Product Description portion of AC, but once you add any materila to any part of AC you will be blocked from using KDP to publish a new description. It will never again update via KDP.
    #3 – You can publish HTML with images and description ONLY through the KDP process. Image URLs and linksare munged in the Author Central description.

    I found this explained in a recent book on Kindle Publishing, which includes warnings on using Author Central among other useful tips. http://amzn.com/B00CGPDHOS

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