Great marketing often relies on two important resources: time and money. But it doesn’t always have rely on both equally. I’m a huge fan of free book promotion strategies, and I especially like free AND easy, which is why today we’re going to talk about how to finesse your Amazon Author Central Page. With a few tweaks and uploads, you’ll be sitting pretty for the holiday book selling season.
When was the last time you gave your Amazon Author Central profile 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 it today. Your Author Central page is possibly Amazon’s best book marketing tool for indie authors. It’s your very own landing page; it represents you as an author, which is really critical, and you should treat it as the important platform it is.
So if you’ve been tossing around ideas for how to market your book but haven’t pulled the trigger due to time, money, or just plain lack of interest, here are five quick fixes that will get your Amazon Author Central page on track.
What is Author Central?
The first thing every author should know is that you already have an Author Central page. It doesn’t matter when or what you published – if your book is listed for sale on Amazon, you have a page. Once you claim it, your page will appear with a list of your books when someone searches your name on Amazon. So go ahead and stake your claim!
Keep in mind that even those who are traditionally published have an Amazon author page; your publisher may have claimed it, but you 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 the enhancements they’ve made. It’s also a good opportunity to see what they may have missed.
Once you have claimed your page, it’s time to add your books. To do this, sign in and search for your books then add them. After Amazon checks your entries for accuracy, you’ll find a library of your books – including print, Kindle, and audiobook titles – on your Author Central page.
Claim Your Custom Author Central URL
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 your books. Does this seem superficial? It’s not. With marketing, you always need to consider what you can do to make it easy for potential buyers to click that Buy Now button. A clean, direct URL on your website, social media, business cards, etc. can play a huge role in making that happen.
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, and I always include it if I’m asking them to review the book.
Author Bio: Short and Sweetened with Contact Details
One of the first things you should add, after your books, is a bio note. Keep it short! 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 the time to read through to the end – as interesting as the content might be. Save the longer bio for your website and use something short and catchy on your Amazon Author Central Page.
The best bios include a little bit about the author and leave room for your website, social media accounts, even your newsletter sign-up. You can also list upcoming releases, which is a brilliant book marketing technique that proves this is NOT a stagnant promotional strategy. What you really want is to begin your bio with compelling details that leave a browser wanting more, then provide links where they can get it!
Add Your Blog Posts
If you have a blog, be sure to add this feed to your Author Central page. The caveat to this is that 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 how to market your book with your blog, the AME blog publishes a list of monthly observances you can use as content ideas. It’s a great resource that can make this so much simpler.
Add Your Images and Video
If a picture is worth 1000 words, a video must be worth even more. Adding images and video to your Author Central page is a must. You have lots of options for images: pictures of you at past events (don’t we miss those?!), professional images, content from inside your book like diagrams or other images – you get the picture (pun intended). Or if you have a likeness of one of your characters, use that, too! In addition to images, upload video: book trailers, footage o you at a book signing, or a video message to your readers. Short tips are also great here as another way to sell your book. This type of content is especially powerful if you don’t have an active blog, and for some authors, it’s a lot quicker to create.
Incorporate Your Events and Promotions
Amazon is doing away with a dedicated section for events, but this doesn’t mean your profile isn’t a good place to promote events or other special promotions. When thinking about how to market your book in a way that makes you stand out from the competition, you can’t always color inside the lines. If you’re running a limited time promotion or have an event planned (in person or online), add it to the top of your bio. Not only are you promoting something unique about your brand, you’re also setting a precedent that you keep your Author Central page current, which tells shoppers they should check back with you regularly to see what’s coming next.
If you really want to know how to market your book, figure out how to keep readers coming back for more between releases – you’ll see your following and your sales skyrocket.
The Bottom Line
Sprucing up that Author Central page should be a top priority, whether you’re an indie author or working with a traditional publisher. Think of it as the catwalk of the book marketing world. You want to put your most compelling face forward so that readers don’t want to look anywhere else. As the landing page to your books, it tells readers who you are, what you’re about, and what else you have to offer. So don’t just use it – use it to strut your stuff!
Penny Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME) and Adjunct Professor at NYU, is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. To learn more about Penny and AME, visit www.amarketingexpert.com.