How Amazon’s Author Central Can Improve Your SEO

A.S. Chung B&WPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

HOW AMAZON’S AUTHOR CENTRAL CAN IMPROVE YOUR SEO
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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A.S. Chung Amazon Author PageWell done! You have managed to list your book on Amazon and it is now available for sale. It would seem that for most self-published authors, this is the first port of call and it always brings about such a great sense of achievement when you finally see your book listed and is available all around the world.

Now, have you set up your author page?

It is quite amazing how many indie authors don’t utilise this free function or aren’t even aware of its existence. I was certainly guilty of it until a fellow author pointed out to me that I hadn’t uploaded mine. It is perhaps one of the most under-utilised marketing tools and one shouldn’t under-estimate its value. Some of the benefits of having an Amazon author page include:

Let Your Readers Get To Know You
The Amazon Author Central page enables readers to get to know you as an author. This small engagement brings some life to the book and can often encourage the reader to buy your book if they identify with you and your story.

Controlling You Profile
Amazon is a jungle. With more and more books being self-published on a daily basis, it is imperative to take advantage of any medium which may assist with increasing exposure. Taking full control of your Amazon profile helps to define you and your books in exactly the manner you wish to. You are also able to add more books to the list as you continue to launch new titles.

Keyword Searches on Amazon
Having a well-managed author profile will aid in keyword searches on the website and improve your Amazon and Google SEO.

Tracking Sales
Amazon Author Central provides free book tracking in terms of weekly sales, sales rank and author rank. This could certainly help you with your Amazon book marketing strategies if you understand when and where your books are being sold.

Getting More Followers
You are able to interface your blog postings and Twitter feeds onto the profile page so it is always showcasing your most up to date postings. Readers do enjoy seeing that the author is active in the social media world and any subsequent follows increases the author’s presence. This in turn leads to greater web presence and assists with search engine tools.

Reader Interaction
Author forums and discussions are also another free function of the program. This allows the author to interact with readers personally and is an invaluable capability.

Customer Reviews
All Amazon customer reviews for all your books may be found in one place and thus easily accessible.

The setup of the author page is a highly user-friendly process. Follow these steps for how to set up your profile page.

Author Page Tab

  1. Sign up for Amazon Author Central.
  2. Click on “edit biography” to add a biography of no more than 100 words. Amazon provides you with an example of a good biography.
  3. Click on “add a blog” if you have one so that the reader can see your real time updates.
  4. Click on “add event” to share your upcoming speaking engagements, bookstore appearances, and other events.
  5. Add up to 8 photos that will help to enhance your author profile.
  6. Add any relevant videos of interviews, book trailers, or book signings.
  7. Add Twitter account so your feed is included in your profile.

Amazon Author Central Author Page

Books Tab

  1. Click on “add book” to create your bibliography.
  2. Search by title, author or ISBN.
  3. Add any editorial reviews.
    a. Reviews should be from reputable sources and the source should be credited after the quotation.
    b. Quotes from outside reviews should follow “fair use” copyright guidelines.
    c. Limit of 1-2 sentence.
    d. Up to 600 characters.
  4. Add product description.
    a. An objective summary of the book subject matter and genre.
    b. Up to 4000 characters.
    c. Don’t include spoilers!
  5. Add something from the author.
    a. A message from you about this book – what was your experience writing it, why did you write this book and how does it relate to other books you’ve written?
    b. Up to 8000 characters.
  6. Add something from the inside flap.
    a. Content inside your book’s flap should be transcribed without any changes.
    b. Up to 8000 characters.
  7. Add something from the back cover.
    a. Content inside your book’s flap should be transcribed without any changes.
    b. Up to 8000 characters.
  8. Write something about the author.
    a. This section should be the same or similar to your biography as it would appear in a book.
    b. Up to 2000 characters.
  9. Make sure this information is copied across all available editions i.e. eBook, paperback and/or hardcover.

Amazon Author Central Book Page

And that is it! Important to update your profile over time as you change and evolve. Reminder that if you have books on amazon.uk, it is not an automatic update on that site; you would have to login and create a profile specifically for that site. If you are able to get your profile translated, you should also update your author central page for other large international Amazon sites such as France, Germany and Japan.

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How To Use Amazon Giveaways

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

HOW TO USE AMAZON GIVEAWAYS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Amazon Warehouse

Amazon Warehouse by Scott Lewis

In February 2015, Amazon introduced Amazon Giveaway, giving indie authors yet another means of promoting their books.

WHAT IS AMAZON GIVEAWAY?
Amazon Giveaway is a self-service tool available via Amazon.com to host a giveaway of any product available on the website. Hence, it is a great opportunity to run a sweepstake on your self-published book that is available on Amazon. Currently, this tool is solely accessible for print editions of your book and is only applicable in the US.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The giveaway is at the retail cost of your book on Amazon, including postage and handling. The actual set up and running of the giveaway is free. You will have to pre-pay the cost of your giveaway. Any unused giveaways when the competition concludes, you will be given a refund.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
The process is actually quite simply and only takes a couple of minutes of your time.

Step One – Select Your Book

  • Go to your book on Amazon. Make sure it’s the print edition
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Set Up Giveaway”
Amazon Giveaway Set Up

Amazon Giveaway Set Up

Step Two – Select Your Giveaway Type

  • You have 2 options to select from
  • “Lucky Number” option. Example, every 100th person wins a book. This is perhaps the better option for authors as it enables the giveaway to last longer and also you are able to gain more followers. Don’t underestimate how many people will enter so stretch it out. I did every 75 entrants for 10 books and it only took a couple of days!
  • “First Come, First Served” option. This creates a greater sense of urgency but it would mean your giveaway would end extremely quickly!
  • Once you have decided which type, decide how many giveaways you are putting up for the sweepstake. So, if you select every 100th entrant for 10 books, you would attract 1000 entrants in total
Amazon Giveaway Type

Amazon Giveaway Type

Amazon Giveaway Rules

Amazon Giveaway Rules

Step Three – Grow Your Audience
This was the clincher for me when deciding if I should spend money on this giveaway. Every entrant must follow you on Twitter before they are permitted to enter the competition.  My Twitter account made excellent headway and I gained a few hundred followers in a couple of days.

Important to note however that followers DO NOT translate to an audience. It is merely a prerequisite for the entrants so expect at least a 25% drop off in the subsequent days. It did however increase my follower count and I don’t care what anyone says but it creates the perception of a valuable Twitter account. 1000 followers sure looks better than 56!

Make sure your Amazon account has your right Twitter handle.

Step Four – Design Your Giveaway Page

  • Here you get to design a simplistic giveaway page
  • Add a giveaway title
  • Add a welcome page when users are contemplating entry
  • Create a win message for the lucky winners
  • Create a lose message for unlucky entrants
Amazon Giveaway Welcome Page

Amazon Giveaway Welcome Page

Step Five – What Happens Next

  • Once the above is completed, proceed to checkout
  • You will receive an email stating that your giveaway is now live
  • You will receive a link to your giveaway
  • The email also contains pre-written share options on Twitter, Facebook and via email. Just click the large icon and it automatically goes to your social media
  • The email also gives you a suggestion of what exactly to write for marketing purposes
  • The email also comes with a “View Giveaway” button where you will be taken to the page to see how your giveaway is tracking
Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway is Now Live!

Step Six – Market Your Giveaway
#AmazonGiveaway is all you need on Twitter. Check it out for yourself and see how many competitions are running at one single time! As you only have a short period of time, make sure you marketing it consistently to capitalise on the competition.

Well, there you have it. This is a very simplistic look of what it is and how to use this tool. If you have entered an Amazon Giveaway, I would love to hear your experiences! I am sure it warrants further analysis and discussion but that’s a post for another time!