Using Amazon Author Central

In the next few weeks, I will be writing about some of the basic tips and tricks to trying to promote your self-published book or script. I'm starting with the obvious tricks that everybody seems to know right away, which of course, took me weeks to months to figure out on my own. I hope that by pointing these out for you, you will be able to save some of the hair-pulling that I had to go through during my first few books. Today, I will be talking about using Amazon Author Central.

First and foremost, you must fill out an author biography, profile, etc. Click on the link called "Author Central Profile" and start with your biography. You want this to come off professionally like you hired someone to write it for you, so write it in the 3rd person and use the space to detail your achievements. An author like John Locke who has sold millions of copies of his book uses this space to say that "every 7 seconds, a John Locke book is downloaded somewhere from the Internet" or something like that. If you don't have any similar accomplishments, talk about where you're from, the books you've written, where you graduated from school and where you currently live. Add any bits of relevant expertise you happen to possess such as an MD or a degree from Clown College.

Add a professional looking photo and if you don't have one, get one taken by a friend or loved one with a digital camera. I swear to you that about two hours after I posted a simple biography and photo to the Amazon German Language site someone bought one of my books. Just a simple "who you are" and "what you look like" can work wonders. Also, add a Twitter feed and a blog RSS feed if you have them as additional ways for readers to connect with you.

To add your books to your Author Central profile, click on "Books" and then "Add More Books." Search for your title and click on them to add them to your list of books. Make sure to add all possible editions like a print version you published through CreateSpace and a Kindle edition. If you have just published your book within the last couple of days, there is a chance it will not show up right away. Also, keep in mind that Amazon may take a few days to officially add the books to your account.

Once your books are added to Amazon Author Central you can click on them to add and edit your book's information. Here you can and should add excerpts from reviews that aren't posted on Amazon already, a product description, a "from the author" note, anything you'd like to add from the virtual "inside flap" or "back cover" and an enhanced About the Author. If you link up a Shelfari account with your Amazon author account, you can also add information like Series Info, Characters, Synopsis, Quotations, Settings and Locations, Themes & Symbolism and more.

Here is my partially filled out page for Covenant Coffee and my filled out page for Chekhov Kegstand.

While filling out this information does not guarantee that your books and scripts will be found by a larger audience, it does ensure that when people stumble upon your books they know as much as they possibly can about them. This will make them more inclined to buy if they like the sound of the book and its characters. While filling out all this information on Amazon Author Central and Shelfari can be tedious, the more that is out there about your book, the better chances you have at making some sales. 

Done with Amazon Author Central? Go back to the Home Page.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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