For some time now, I have noticed quite a few authors talking about Author Central at Amazon.com. This information pretty much went right over my head. Author Central? I figured it was an “author page” at the site that listed all my books and that authors automatically had one set up. I really didn’t think we authors needed to do anything to set this up. Turns out I was wrong.
It took my publisher at Gypsy Shadow Publishing sending a note out to her authors along the lines of “Just do it!” that snapped me to attention. After reading some of the emails from fellow GSP authors about Author Central, I decided to mosey on over to Amazon.com myself to see what all the fuss was about. Surely, I had such a page up already, right? (I hope you’ll forgive me for calling you “Shirley.”) So I logged in at Amazon and did a search on my books. One thing I noticed is that my name was a link for some books but not all. Hmm. What was that about? I clicked on one linked name and it just took me to a page where it showed my books. Okay. So I clicked on the link for my co-author of the haunted houses book, Martha Jette.
It’s a good thing I have co-authored a book, because THIS is what helped me to “get” this whole Author Central thing!
After I clicked on Martha’s name, it took me to a whole ‘nother page that was – fanfare, please – her “Author Central page.” One look at Martha’s Author Central page, and I was going, “Ooooh! Nice!” Wow, there was quite a bit of stuff there. It even showed her tweets! And her blog posts! Very cool.
Ah-ha. So THIS was Author Central. (Good grief, I have been an author all these years and didn’t realize this was available on Amazon??)
I found a link that invited visitors to sign up at Author Central so I clicked on that and it had me sign in again then I had to pick from one of a few of my titles listed and identify it as my book. I chose the haunted houses book because it came up first. Next, I had to fill in information about myself, such as a bio and my links. I also had to add my picture. For the bio, I debated noting that I am a burn survivor, because people might see the pic of my face and wonder about the scars. Then I decided to leave that out. The pic is what it is. I don’t want people to take interest in me because of being a burn survivor; I want them to take interest in what kind of books I have written and what kind of writing I do. (And, hm, I note that I write for a newspaper for the deaf, so people will assume I am deaf? It’s ok to note I am deaf but not a burn survivor? Hm.) So I left that out. After that was set up, I added more of my books to the page.
When the page was set up, I did a search on my books again and the same thing happened. My name was a link on some books but not others. This time, though, it was a link on the haunted houses book. I clicked on there and, ta-da, it went to my Author Central page. Yay!
I even tried this when I was logged out of Amazon and the same thing happened. And this time, there was a direct link to my Author Central page among the listing of books. Yay! (For you authors out there not yet on Author Central, scroll down and you will see a link that says "Are you an author? Visit Author Central to change your photo, edit your biography, and more." Click on it to get started in setting up your own page.)
I still have some areas of my Author Central page to tweak, but it is a good starting point. When I have the chance, I will browse around the page some more to see what that other stuff is all about and spiffy it up. But for now, this is what I have.
I’m glad my publisher gave us all the virtual kick in the pants to work on our Author Central pages. (See, we authors are too busy writing our next books to even think about things like Author Central pages! We need a nudge every once in a while on what all is out there for us to do in order to promote ourselves and our books). I think the Author Central page is a great way for visitors and readers to get to know authors better, and the more readers get to know about authors and everything else they have going on, the better the chances they will take interest in the author’s books.
Labels: Amazon, authors, Internet, promotion