Amazon Author Central is an often-overlooked book marketing and book discovery strategy, but it really shouldn’t be in this day and age.
It’s free, it’s easy to use, and it’s effective..
Not optimizing it is like leaving money on the table. There’s really no excuse.
Speaking of free and easy Amazon strategies, I talked about how “busy” Amazon pages have become lately, and how that’s really affecting book discovery as well, so I encourage you to read this piece when you get a chance.
And here’s a quick checklist to get you inspired:
- You’ve lead with a seriously enticing opening sentence!
- You’ve used bolding and italics smartly
- You’ve used multiple paragraphs, no more than 3 sentences each
- You’ve used bullets if you write non-fiction
- You’ve included a stand out review excerpt if you have one
- You’ve mentioned any awards you have
- You’ve mentioned/listed your series if the book is a part of a series
- Your bio makes sense for your genre and topic
- You’ve added social media to your bio, with links
Now back to Amazon Author Central!
Your Author Central account provides a number of strategic ways to not only promote your current and ongoing marketing efforts; it’s also a great way to work in your Amazon keywords and genre-appropriate buzzwords, lingo and popular themes that may not be an ideal fit for your book description.
Think of your Author Central account as your second website, or if you don’t have a website yet, your saving grace!
The ultimate Author Central checklist
Here’s a detailed checklist of ways you can easily stay on top of your book discovery game with Author Central.
Some of these pieces may be old news to more seasoned authors, but I implore you to read through all of them, I’m sure there’s at least one or two even the most Amazon-savvy author is either forgetting, or maybe just not utilizing as creatively as they should be:
Add your blog if you have a good one
A good blog in most genres is updated at least weekly and contains information and content that really adds value to your readers’ lives.
This is one of those fantastic moments where multiple book discovery strategies start cross-promoting one another!
If you have any events planned that would be of interest to your readers you can add all the details.
This includes limited time discounts on your titles, any blogger features or interviews you’ve scheduled, giveaways on Goodreads, giveaways on your website or social media. Think outside the box and create events that turn your Author Central account into an active book discovery tool, not a static one.
If you have a video or videos you’ll need the original file, not a link to Youtube or other URL.
Some authors can use the video options to upload short tips or opinions on their topic, book trailers are also wonderful additions, as are short “get to know you” videos to make the reader experience more personal.
List your reviews
On your individual book details page be sure you have reviews listed in the Reviews section. These don’t have to be professional reviews; even excerpts from your most standout Amazon reviews will work.
Pick a sampling of the best of the best that really help sell your book.
Use special characters and formatting
On your individual book details page in the Book Description section be sure to use headings, bolding, italics and bullets to highlight the best features of your book.
For fiction, your book description should be as captivating as a movie preview, giving away just enough detail about the storyline to leave them wanting more. Don’t make it too long!
For non-fiction, think of it as selling a product, not just a book, so you must make your features and benefits stand out.
Why should they pick you over the next title? Using bullets helps with book discovery and makes the best features of your book stand out to shoppers who are merely scanning for something that piques their interest.
Here are your options for customizing your description!
Share your inspiration
On your individual book details page in the From the Author section include your inspiration for writing the particular title and who you wrote it for.
This is a great place to include your keywords and your genre-specific buzz words and themes as well – because it truly speaks to those who are going to be most interested in your book.
Here’s an example from my 5 Minute Book Marketing book:
Use the virtual inside flap for greater book discovery
On your individual book details page in the From the Inside Flap section you have a number of options.
Perhaps you want to include more in-depth information about your story or background that you couldn’t include in the Book Description section because it was too long.
Or use it as a chance to sell yourself and make a stronger personal connection with your readers.
Here’s an example from my account:
Put the virtual back cover to work in Author Central
On your individual book details page in the From the Back Cover section consider including a list of your other titles and Amazon short links. This is a great way to organically promote your other titles and improve book discovery across the board.
Short links can be easily obtained by going to your Amazon product page and clicking the envelope icon under the “share” section on the right hand side under the purchase box. Here’s an example from my account:
Grow your followers
Did you know that if readers go to your Author Central page it gives them the option to add you to their favorites, and they will automatically be alerted of any of your new releases?
This is an amazing way to improve discovery by putting the Amazon machine to work for you – they become a second mailing list.
Considering doing Amazon giveaways in exchange for a follow to really build up that network of potential buyers!
You should always be reading your reviews. Not only do they provide free market research, they’re also a great networking tool.
As reviews are posted thank readers for their feedback by posting a comment on the review. This personalized approach to connecting with readers leaves a lasting impression and helps build your return buyer potential.
You can also click on the “Was this review helpful?” button below a review to give it a virtual pat on the back!
Simple but easy-to-fix mistakes to avoid
Sometimes we see that an eBook product page has a different book description than the print edition. We highly recommend these be the same for the sake of consistency. You can easily update these by logging into your Author Central account.
We get a lot of authors that come to us with print editions and Kindle editions that are not linked.
This can be really dangerous and deter sales. For example, say your book discovery efforts are working and a potential buyer lands on your eBook edition, but really prefers print. If your editions aren’t linked you risk losing them due to frustration, lack of time, or simply because they’ve been distracted by the “busy” Amazon pages.
Contact Amazon ASAP to get this rectified and get your editions linked.
Another big problem is when your books are listed under different variations of your name. We recommend logging into your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account and editing your book details so they all match.
Not only can this be confusing to shoppers, your Author Central account only claims books by a single author, so if you’re not consistently publishing under the exact same author name, down to a middle initial as appropriate, you risk losing claim to some of your books.
My bestseller tip
Log in and update sections of your Amazon Author Central account once per month.
Download my free Quarterly Amazon Planner and set a calendar reminder.
Get creative, incorporate your keywords, add a new event that highlights something standout you’re doing for your book discovery, and use it as an opportunity to constantly find ways to network more effectively and communicate your unique selling points more creatively!
Please share with me creative strategies that have worked really well for your Amazon Author Central page!