I don't hear much about Amazon's Author Central anymore, but you should still use it!
It is definitely possible I just haven't been paying attention, but I haven't heard anyone talking about Amazon's Author Central for a few years. Maybe it's being neglected because it isn't doing anything new. CreateSpace has been swept up under KDP Print, and Amazon ads are becoming available in Germany, etc.
But little ole Author Central is just sitting there minding its own business...
If you have books available in the Kindle Store, you 100% should have an Author Central account, no excuses! Keep reading for why and how.
The Why of Author Central
Author Central is the only place you can create and customize your author page on Amazon. This author page serves as the hub for all of your products on Amazon. If a reader wants to see a quick list of all your titles, this page is where they go!
Now, more than ever, your author brand is important. Readers don't just want to buy a single book and then have to find a new author. Readers want to know 1) have you created multiple books they might be interested in reading? 2) are you actively creating content? 3) are you an interesting person?
Even if you only have one book published currently, you can still demonstrate you are active and interesting by setting up your Amazon Author Page! (I believe you're interesting, so you know it's true!)
Author Central also provides the ability for you to track your author rank, book ranks, and BookScan data.
Don't get too overly excited about these metrics. While they are helpful to an extent, they aren't the best numbers. If you have access to your KDP dashboard, the data there will be much better. But if you are using a publisher, this Author Central data is probably the only "close-to-real-time" data you can get. And it will give you a heads up on which titles are selling, and/or if a promotion is moving the needle. BookScan tracks only print sales, and only those print book sales that involve the scanning of an ISBN, but it compiles these sales from all over the place, so that's nice.
Lastly, Author Central compiles all of your Amazon reviews. So if you have several titles, this is a great way to track if people are responding to a potential call to action for reviews, etc.
The How of Author Central
If you already have an Amazon account, use that email and password to login to Author Central at: https://authorcentral.
Once you've created your account, you'll land on a pretty boring-looking page that explains a bunch of stuff. It's likely you might have to verify your author status. If your titles have been published into the KDP ecosystem by a publisher, Author Central will send an email to your publisher asking them to verify your status. I definitely recommend pinging your publisher to let them know to look for the email. It might be sent immediately, or after several days...or not at all. But if your publisher gets the email, it is a simple two clicks to verify you!
Amazon will do an initial scan to see if it can locate your books. After you are verified, you can search for any titles Amazon missed in their scan and tell them that you are the author. If you used a pen name for one or more of the books, Amazon will let you set up additional pen name tabs to control from the same Author Central account.
After you've claimed all your books, you'll want to load your headshot. Make this a professional picture people! By all means do something fun with it. Show your personality. But don't load some crummy picture from your Yellowstone vacation with the rest of your family cropped out. It continues to crack me up how many authors choose to load headshots that make them look not self-aware...or just plain creepy, or totally unprofessional. This picture needs to inspire confidence in your creativity and judgement.
Load in your short biography. And you can even connect your blog, if you have an active one.
That's it! Now you've got an Amazon author page you can be proud of! Good work!
In other news, we've got more genre-based group promos!
For the month of December, we are running 3 more group promos on StoryOrigin. If you missed all the hubbub about StoryOrigin just click here. The November ones have gone pretty well so far. (I'll report on those once they are all finished.)
December group promos:
If you have a book that fits one of these genres, you should sign up for StoryOrigin (free) and join in!