This week our guest is the lovely Melissa Storm, who runs several author businesses, and is also a very successful indie author in her own right. Along with her training courses through the Author Engine, and editing, marketing and formatting services through Novel Publicity, Melissa also runs LitRing, an author promotions company that helps authors connect with readers.
This year, through LitRing, she created a survey that asked readers what kind of books they were reading, what they wanted to see from authors, and whether they read mostly free or paid books, among other questions. With an extensive background in research, and in particular survey creation, Melissa was able to design, implement and analyse the data from over 10,000 readers, making it quite possibly the largest survey conducted by an independent author. She talks to us, among other things, about the insights we can take away from this amazing survey, and how we can use it in our own author careers.
Learn more at:
Publishing your book to Amazon KDP is the first step … then the second step is setting up your Amazon Author Central account and optimizing your Amazon Author Page. Too many new self-publishers miss the second step and it’s costing them sales! It’s easy and it’s free, so listen up and we’ll share how to ZHUSH up your Amazon Author Page to make it sparkle!
Amazon Author Central Account
Amazon’s author central instructions: click here
First publish your book through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account. Many authors stop there. DON’T! Next, set up your account on Amazon Author Central. (NB: Your book must be available for purchase on Amazon in order to setup an Author Central Amazon Account.)
Author Central is the platform that allows you to setup your Author Page on Amazon, as well as:
• Add the Editorial Reviews section for your book
• Track your Book Sales
• See Reviews
• Fix Issues with Your Book Listings (can also be done through KDP)
• Have all your books listed on your author page (“claimed”)
• Follow button for readers
• Feed to your blog posts
• Book Trailers and other promo videos
• Social Media links
• Same “voice” as you write – third person or first person? Show humor, authenticity
• Author pic – fits your brand; professional or if want to stay incognito, get square grapic with logo – keep consistent across all social media
Each Author Central account can have up to THREE pennames (select “Do you have a pen name” heading. Amazon asks what your pen name is, then they contact the book publisher to verify you as author.) You can have as many Author Central Accounts as you like (using different emails) BUT only one KDP account.
Once you’re verified, you can access your pen name through the link in the upper right corner of Author Central. You can have up to three Author Pages with different pen names, and they will not be associated with one another on Amazon in any way.
We’ll be facing this ourselves soon (our Author Overwhelm book is with our editors now!) Each person CLAIMS the book and it’s listed on their individual author central page.
How to Customize Your Author Page URL
On the Profile tab, click add link next to “Author Page URL.”
A recommended URL will appear, but you can choose your own
If the URL you typed is available, click Save.
Editorial Review Section
- You can list up to five reviews, comments, or testimonials that others have said about you, your book, or your previous books. This is a great marketing tool and easily overlooked (by all of us!)
- Can be added later once you’ve garnered some reviews (eg blogged review quotes)
- Can also add your top 5 Amazon reviews
HTML for book description and Editorial Review section:
Amazon allows some limited HTML in your book description & editorial review section (here’s their explanation). Don’t be overwhelmed by having to write the HTML coding yourself – there’s a nifty tool to help here: http://authortools.kasmit.com/home/book-blurb
Create International Amazon Author Pages/Author Central Accounts
Don’t forget to setup and optimize your page for international markets. There are 13 Amazon markets worldwide currently: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom
Not all of them have Author Central yet, but there are at least four, in addition to the U.S. Amazon site. Helps to use Chrome and translate option when you’re filling them in. Some authors have their bios translated; others post in English.
UK – https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk
German – https://authorcentral.amazon.de/
France – https://authorcentral.amazon.fr/
Japan – https://authorcentral.amazon.co.jp/