Author Promotion Through Amazon
Amazon is the World’s biggest bookshop and any author who ignores that fact is heading for disaster. Even the Big Five publishers are now insisting that author promotion is integral to a publishing contract and all new authors are required to submit a book marketing plan. For the independent author, or one signed to a small company, to ignore Amazon is career suicide.
It actually doesn’t take long to turn Amazon to one’s advantage so the economics of time dictates that the first task to which one should attend after signing a publishing contract is starting an author promotion campaign on one’s own corner of the world’s biggest bookshop. This all seems to make perfect sense but the number of authors who will happily spend several days trying to persuade a local bookshop to hold half a dozen copies of their book then do nothing to stimulate Amazon is staggering. Sheer economics of scale should dictate that the same amount of time can be spent either trying to stimulate six sales or six thousand.
Setting up your Author Page
Your first task with Amazon should be to set up your Author Page. Got to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and sign up using your ordinary Amazon I.D. Haven’t got one? Well, now’s the time to create one, it’s easy. Once you are in your Author Page control area, the first thing to do is to ‘Claim Your Book(s)’. Just follow the links to find your book and add it. Amazon may or may not add it immediately, sometimes it takes a few days. Now enter your biography. This is your shop window to the world so use it wisely. Creating an effective author promotion campaign depends very much on how you present yourself. You want to come over as a human being and to be approachable. Modern readers like to feel a connection with their authors, you might not like it, but that’s the way successful writers work now and it is critical to any author promotion campaign.
Think about how you present yourself very carefully. It’s advisable to stay away from anything controversial, at least until you have a sound following. It’s far easier to push away readers than it is to attract them. For example, if you say you are a Republican, you’ve just eliminated 50% of your potential readership.
Include a good portrait picture and if you don’t have a good one, please pay to get a professional one taken. It’s not uncommon to see author photos on Amazon where the author photo looks like a serial killer’s wanted poster. Not really the positive author promotion one would hope for. Add a video but again, make sure it’s a good advertisement for you. Now link your Facebook feed and your Twitter feed. These will update in real time as you Facebook and Twitter about your writing. This helps keep you Amazon Author Page alive and working for you. You will see now Reporting tabs which will give you detailed sales figures. Amazon has even helpfully included here data from Nielsen’s Book Scan, the industry standard sales figures from all over, not just Amazon. You also have here your Author Rank and your individual book’s ranking in each of the different formats. These figures are updated hourly so there is no reason for you to not know how well your book is doing or what effect your marketing activity and author promotion work is having. There is even a summary of all of your reviews.
One oddity about Amazon’s Author Page is that you have to set it up on both the American site and the British site. So once you’ve finished with Amazon.com you need to do exactly the same at https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/ or vice versa.
In terms of your author promotion, your Amazon Author Page provides access to the customer base of the largest book shop in the world and ignoring that opportunity can only damage your chances.