August 27, 2018

Amazon 101: AuthorCentral

By Madeleine Dodge

Are you an Amazon author looking for a way to track your sales, connect with readers, and ultimately sell more books? You may think that once your book is posted, your work is finished. But think again! There is more you can do to manage and market your book. In our ongoing series, Amazon 101, we offer tips about how to use Amazon most effectively.

Here, we discuss the AuthorCentral Page.

This handy tool is available to all Amazon authors automatically. All you have to do is log into your account and get started.

Building Your Profile

Click the Author Page tab at the top to view and manage the content on your page. This is the page you will see:

If you haven’t used your AuthorCentral account before, it will look pretty sparse. It’s your job to add information that will attract readers.

Below we break down each section so that your AuthorCentral can be up and running in no-time:

1. Biography

Hopefully you already have a well-written author bio that you can include in this section. If you have one inside your book or on your website that’s somewhat long, you may need to edit it down to make it more online friendly. It will be hard to read a long bio on your AuthorCentral page, so stick to the most important and interesting things about you.

2. Blogs

Your AuthorCentral page will automatically display new posts and allow readers to click on a link to your blog. If you post updates regularly on a blog, include a link to your RSS feed on your page. (For a tutorial of how to do that, click here.) If you don’t post regularly or abandoned your blog long ago, leave this section empty. Readers won’t be interested in infrequent or outdated posts.

3. Events

This is where you can list any upcoming book launches, signings, or appearances where your readers can see you in person. Once the event passes, Amazon will automatically remove it from your page.

4. Author Page URL

Amazon gives you the ability to customize your author page URL. The URL you’re assigned will likely include random letters and numbers, so for the sake of simplicity, change it to your name. It’s much easier to tell readers to use the URL amazon.com/author/johnsmith than to use amazon.com/author/Gq8zk45.

5. Photos & Videos

At this point, you should already have an author photo to include on your page. If not, it’s best to choose something that looks professional. You can also include pictures from events and promotional videos to boost your profile. Just make sure you have full rights to whatever photos you choose.

Using Your Profile

Your AuthorCentral profile allows you to give information about yourself to your customers, but it also allows you to get information about your customers and sales. Under the Sales Info tab there are three options: NPD Book Scan, Sales Rank, and Author Rank. You can use these pages to learn more about your sales and better market your book. Here’s how to decode each section:

1. NPD BookScan  

This section gives you the sales data for each format of your book (hardcover, ebook, etc.) in a convenient line graph. You can view the sales over different lengths of time and even view “all time” to see your total sales since the release date. On the left sidebar, you will see the words “sales by geography.” If you click this, it will take you to a map that shows you where your books have been sold. This is a great tool to see where your marketing strategies may be succeeding and where you may need to add extra focus in the upcoming season.

2. Sales Rank

This page will display your Amazon Bestseller Rank over time in a graph. Your Amazon Bestseller Rank is your book’s overall sales rank compared to every other book on Amazon. (For more about your ABR and how you can use it to sell more books, see our blog on the Amazon Algorithm*.)

3. Author Rank

Last but not least, you can also view your overall author rank. If you are selling multiple books on Amazon, this ranking will be a composite of all those sales. It may be a bit daunting to see how you stand next to the hundreds of thousands of authors on Amazon, but it may inspire you to set a goal and meet it.

Madeleine Dodge, a BlueInk Review Summer 2018 intern, is a Rhetoric and Media Studies Major at Lewis & Clark College and author of the children’s book Does A Giraffe Ever Feel Small?

BlueInk Review is a fee-based book review service devoted to self-published titles exclusively. For more news and writing and marketing tips, sign up for our mailing list. And be sure and visit us at https://www.blueinkreview.com./

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