The purpose of this lesson is to take a close look at Author Central (AC), where you can create and build author profiles to go with the books you upload via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
When selling books on Amazon, you use your KDP account to upload the book to the Kindle Store. Chances are that when you do so, you are selling to different markets and so you likely have a different author for each market. Some may be female, others male, all of them hopefully related to the specific market you’re using them in.
Whether you have multiple authors or just one (yourself), you need to create an AC account for each author whose profile you want to create and build out. All that is required to set up an AC account is an email address. You can use any email address you want, including free ones like Gmail.
Note: your AC account is distinct from both your KDP account and your Seller Central account.
To create these accounts, visit authorcentral.amazon.com. If you are adding a new author profile, click the “Join Now” button. If editing a profile, enter your credentials and click “Sign In”.
The value of AC is that you’re able to add editorial reviews and more information to your product description that can’t be added through your book description when you upload your book via your KDP account.
Another value of AC is its ability to help you market yourself. For each book on Amazon there is an author, and the name of the author, which appears just below the title of the book on the book’s product listing, is hyperlinked so as to provide you with a way to view the author’s profile. The profile is similar to an “About Us” page on a website. Here, you are able to read whatever information has been made available about this author.
Note: if an author has no profile, clicking on the hyperlink on the author’s name produces a list of books Amazon thinks is relevant. If there is a profile for the author, it is the profile that is shown.
One example you can look at is for the author David Wolman (profile link). On his author page, Mr. Wolman lists his “credibility” information (such as “contributing editor at Wired and the author of four books. He has written for publications including Outside, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Discover, Forbes, and Salon”) and other credentials that hopefully justifies in the mind of the buyer that he is qualified to write a book on the topic the buyer is looking to purchase a book on. You’ll notice also a hyperlink for showing the Wikipedia page info, a list of other books he’s written, etc.
This is a good example of illustrating what can be contained in your author profile. You’re basically selling yourself, so if a buyer is on the fence as to whether or not you are qualified to write on the topic the buyer is interested in, you’ll be able to tip the scales in your favor by what you place here, hopefully resulting in a sale.
Of course, the information you provide should be truthful. And you can put just about anything in there (e.g. “#1 Amazon best seller for nutritional books”) and do so fairly quickly. Someone will find your profile page and hopefully buy your book as a result. And as mentioned, if they like the one book they purchased from you, they can come to your profile to find a list of other books you have written.
Another great example is the profile of John Locke (profile link). If you don’t know John Locke, he is the author who did $1 million in Amazon book sales in 5 months. As with the previous example, this profile has credibility statements, etc.
However, this profile is built out a little more than the previous example. There is a Q and A section added to the profile where people can send him questions and he has opportunity to answer them. He’s also integrated it with his blog, which feeds snippets of blog posts and hyperlinks to the blog directly from within his profile. He’s also included a trailer video for one of his books.
Note: Adding video is a nice touch and it doesn’t have to be a trailer. It could be you simply introducing yourself or your products.
One last example we’ll look at is the profile of Jennifer Jolan, author of a number of weight loss books including the top seller “Running SUCKS! How to Run for Fast Weight Loss – For Busy Women Who Hate Running” (profile link).
This is a good approach. People who read her profile will feel in touch with her. She could probably do well by adding a video or something, but even as it is her profile can inspire people to buy her books.
As you can see, an AC account has a few advantages. It helps you r readers get in touch with you as a person. By adding credibility information, social interaction features (e.g. Q&A, blog interaction), video, etc. you can really boost yourself and your books in the market, resulting in even more sales.
Another advantage is that the URL for your AC profile contains your name. As you will learn in the Promotion module, you can take advantage of your name in the URL to help boost your ranking by driving links to it and benefiting from the SEO promotion.
Hopefully it is obvious by now that having a good, well-built AC page is obviously beneficial to marketing yourself and your books.
You can have multiple author pages if you need to but, if you’re really concentrating on branding yourself through authoring a series or multiple books under the same author name, you might go with just the one AC account (recommended).
Whatever your decision, Author Central is yet another great tool to help you promote and sell your Amazon Kindle books in high volume.