Amazon is full of book marketing tools for you as an indie author. And, although I often talk about book page optimization, your Amazon Author Central page probably needs some attention too. Because, when was the last time you gave it some love? For most indie authors, the answer is “not recently.” And, if you haven’t set it up yet, you aren’t alone, but you’ll want to take the time to do so now.
There’s no time like the present.
Because your Amazon Author Central page is possibly Amazon’s best book marketing tool for indie authors. It’s your very own landing page (or website), and you should treat it that way.
After all this page is one of the first places readers go to learn more about you and your other books. You may know that already. But, you might not know everything that you can do to optimize your Amazon Author Central page. Let’s have a look.
Intro to Amazon Author Central
The first thing every indie author must know is that you already have an Amazon Author Central. It doesn’t matter when or what you published. Once you claim your page, it will appear with a list of your books when someone searches your name on Amazon.
If you haven’t claimed your page, or aren’t sure how, it’s pretty easy to do, so take a few minutes to do it now.
First, go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and log in using your Amazon sign-in. Keep in mind that even if you are traditionally published, you can still have an Amazon author page- even if your publisher has claimed it. You’ll still have access via your Amazon log in details.
And if you’re traditionally published, and your publisher has been updating your page, now is a good time to see what enhancements they’ve made. It’s also a good opportunity to see what pieces you can add.
Once you have claimed the page, it’s time to add your books. To do this, sign in and search for your books. Adding them is really quick and easy. You can search books by ISBN or author name.
Amazon will double-check your entries for accuracy. Once they do, you’ll find a library of your books on your Author Central page.
Take a look at this standard Amazon author page:
As you can see, this author has added her bio, listed her books, and has book detail pages, which we’ll discuss shortly.
This works for both print and eBooks. Basically, any book you have on Amazon can be added to your Author Central page. It’s worth noting that you can program your author page to show your recent blog posts. I’ll go into more detail on this in a minute.
Your Custom Author Central URL
And before we get into the 5 quick ways you can ramp up your Amazon Author Central page, let’s discuss one more great feature.
Did you know that you can have a custom Author Central URL?
You can. And you should take a moment to set this up in your Author Central dashboard. That way you can start using the URL as you’re sending readers to Amazon to preview all of your books.
You can access this feature in the Author Central dashboard here:
You can use your Author Central URL in anything, even your email signature! I often use this URL in the back of my books. It makes it easy for readers to go to my Author Central Page to sign up for author updates (more on that in a bit) or if I’m asking them to review the book.
1. Your Indie Author Bio
Keep your bio short. That’s the first piece of advice I’ll give you.
Why? Because while a longer bio might look fine on your book page, it’s a lot harder to read on your Amazon Author Page. It’s tempting to go longer, but most consumers will not take that much time to reach through your bio – as interesting as it might be. Save the longer bio for your website instead and keep something short and catchy on your Amazon Author Central Page.
Take a look at bestselling author Catherine Bybee. Her bio is short, to the point and actually leaves the reader wanting to know more.
2. Your Contact Details and Social Media
Whoever said you can only put “about the author” information in your bio section, didn’t get creative enough. The best bios include a little bit about the author, and leave room for things like your website, social media accounts (need tips for social media in 2018? click here), even your newsletter sign-up. These authors are really creative with their bio sections.
I love Jill Shalvis and her books (she’s also really lovely in person). She’s able to include a lot in her bio, but she has room for her website URL, her social media, and her contact email!
I love how this author (also named Penny) starts her bio with her newsletter sign up. (Click here to learn why your newsletter is super important!) I mean that’s brilliant, right? And check out all the links she offers. This author leaves no stone unturned with her profile and still adds all of her links. She also lists upcoming releases, which is a brilliant book marketing technique.
3. Your Blog Posts
If you have a blog, and you’re blogging regularly – be sure to add this feed to your Author Central Page. The caveat to this is you must be updating it regularly. If you’re not, don’t include it. Why? Because it’ll look like you’ve abandoned your own party. A blog showing posts older than a month (or more) is not a good representation of you or your indie author brand. And if you ever need ideas for your blog, I publish a list of monthly observances you can use as content ideas. Amazon used to let you link your Twitter feed, but they’ve since gotten rid of that feature. So a regularly updated blog is a powerful tool on your Amazon Author Central page. Here’s what it looks like:
4. Your Images and Video
They say a picture is worth 1000 words. So video must be worth even more. This means that further enhancing your Amazon Author Central page with images and video is another must. You can use anything for images. Pictures of you at your book marketing events. Or your own professional images. You can also use content from inside your book like diagrams or other images. Or if you have a likeness of one of your characters, use that, too!
In addition to images, upload video! This can be a book trailer, you at a book signing, or maybe a video message to your readers!
You can see in the prior image, I’ve included both video and images. This type of content is especially powerful if you don’t have an active blog.
5. Adding Events
It’s a great idea to add your author events here. However, you must update this content regularly. Because nothing says bad book marketing like a list of old, outdated events on your Author Central Page. However, the indie author events you list don’t have to be the in-person kind. You can include Facebook events you’re doing, webinars you’re teaching, even Twitter parties. Any kind of event is fair game!
The Bottom Line
Every author should make a “tricked out” Author Central Page a top priority, whether you’re an indie author or working with a traditional publisher. Think of it as the front lines of the book marketing world. You want to put your best face forward so that readers don’t want to look elsewhere. It’s the landing page to your books. It says who you are, what you’re about, and what else you have to offer. Use it! Because your successful competitors already are! And if you’re ready to start selling more books on Amazon, check out my Master Amazon video series!
I’d love to hear your Author Central page success stories! Comment below to let us know what’s working well for you. And, if you’ve seen some really creative ideas, we’d love to know more!