Ideas for Independent Publishers:
Amazon Author Central
by Rick Lakin, SDW/EG member and Publisher at iCrewDigitalPublishing.com
Establishing an author page at Amazon Author Central is critical to the success of authors who have self-published multiple titles on Amazon and Createspace. Author Central provides one-stop shopping for your books along with your picture, your bio, blog entries from your website, social media opportunities, and a calendar of events for upcoming book signings.
In addition, Author Central provides a tailored link at amazon.com/author/yourname. The most important hyperlink on the Amazon Sales page of your book is your author name under the title. If you have written a book that your readers like, that will be the first link that they click on when they return to that page. Without Author Central, Amazon chooses which books they think the reader might find interesting, and it is only by chance that some of those are your books. With Author Central, you control the Point-of-Sale for your books, critical to your success as an author.
Creating your Author Central Page
For my iCrew Authors, I begin by creating a gmail address for use in setting up the webpage, Twitter account, and Amazon Account for the author page. If you already have an Amazon Account, go to http:authorcentral.amazon.com, sign in, and click Join Now, and you will be directed to your setup page.
Type in your bio, your blog information, add photos, event dates, and information and even videos like book trailers and interviews. Generally, the first photo is your profile photo but you can manage which photo appears there. The blog entry is your RSS address from your website. For WordPress blogs this is http://yourblog.com/feed/. It will verify your feed, and your most recent blog posts will now show on your Author Central page. You will be able to select the unique author name for your URL (Universal Resource Locator – your link).
The next very important step is to add your books. If they are listed on Amazon or CreateSpace, they should show up automatically. Just click the add button, if necessary. There is a search link for any books that don’t show up. You may search by title, author, or ISBN. At this point, I remind authors that it is critical that they use the same byline for all of their books. A nickname or a different initial creates confusion in the market place.
Other Information Available
After your Author Central page is set up, go back and visit frequently using the authorcentral.amazon.com sign in. Here, you will be able to update information and add new books. It is also a central database for your book sales and reviews. The Sales Info offers Nielsen BookScan, Sales Rank by books, and your Author Rank. It also lists Customer Reviews for all of your books.
Author Central, an Essential Tool
An author who is an independent publisher (avoid the term self-published to avoid grouping yourself with all of those other self-published authors) faces many challenges including good editing, wide distribution, social media, but most important marketing. Amazon provides a point-of-sale to millions of authors for tens of millions of books. Readers judge a book by its cover but also by the marketing presence of the author. Amazon’s Author Central allows you to control your point-of-sale and hence, your marketing presence on the biggest marketplace in the publishing world.
Rick Lakin is the publisher at iCrewDigitalPublishing.com, Bringing New Authors to a Digital World. iCrew has published over 20 books by 8 authors. Rick is the host of The Rick Lakin Podcast at http://ricklakin.podbean.com. He is the founder of iCrew Digital Productions, A Community of Young Media Professionals. He is a member of the 1000 Club of the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers. Rick is an Advanced Communicator Silver in Toastmasters International and is a member of American Mensa, the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, and Publishers and Writers of San Diego. Rick is a Sports Statistician for broadcast television and a retired math teacher.