Amazon Author Pages: Should you have one? Yes, if you are a published author, whether published through an established publishing house or self-published, and your book is available for sale on Amazon. This blog post will tell you how to do it and why it is beneficial.
What is an Amazon Author Page?
An Amazon Author Page is like a mini-website within Amazon.com. It includes not only the titles of all the books you have for sale on Amazon, but also your photograph, your biography, a link to your blog (if you have one), and a place to list any events you are planning (such as book signings or author appearances). There is also a place where your readers can start a discussion of one of your books. If there are reviews of your book posted on Amazon, there are links to the reviews.
An Author Page is especially helpful if you do not have a personal website for your books. You will be assigned a URL specifically targetting your Author Page (http://amazon.com/author/yourname) that you can share on social media or put on your business cards and use in place of a website to promote your books and help market them. Keep in mind that your Amazon Author Page will only include the books that are available for sale on Amazon. If you have other books you have self-published but that are not for sale on Amazon, you will not be able to include them on your Author Page.
Will my publisher set up an Author Page for me?
No. Author pages must be set up by authors, using their personal Amazon accounts, although Amazon may communicate with your publisher to verify your identity.
I contributed work to an anthology available for sale on Amazon. Can I create an Author Page?
Yes, if you are listed as an author of the book. For example, each of the contributors to White Lightning and Other Stories from The Writers in Group, published by Selkirk Stories, is listed as an author. That means that each of those individuals could create an Amazon Author Page.
How do I create my Author Page?
The first step in creating an Amazon author page is to go to Author Central at Amazon.com. You will see a screen like this one:
If you already have an Amazon account, sign in to it. If you do not have an account, you will have to create one before proceeding any further. (See my previous blog post for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.) Click on “Join Now.” The only personal information you need divulge to create an Amazon account is your name and your e-mail address (or phone number if you are using the mobile version of the website). No purchase is required to have an account.
The next step is to begin to populate your Author Page with the information you want readers to know about you. It is probably useful to have these assembled in a file on your computer before you begin. These include:
- A good photograph of professional quality is very helpful, but if you do not have one, see if you can get a photographer friend to take a good head shot and edit it a bit in Photo Shop or another editing program to make it look as glamorous as possible.
- A short professional biography listing your education, experience, publications and accomplishments. This is not the place to be modest—but also not the place to be too long-winded. Remember that people’s attention spans are short, especially on the Internet, so you want to catch their attention and communicate interesting facts about you and your achievements.
- If you have a blog, include the RSS feed to the blog. Readers can follow your Author Page, which is another avenue for them to get regular updates when you post something on your blog. This is another advantage of having an author page.
- The dates, times and places of an upcoming appearances, book signings, and other public activities you are engaged in. Readers who follow your page will also learn about these events, helping you publicize them.
You will have to add each of the books you have available on Amazon by adding them to your bibliography. Amazon will quiz you about the book and ask if you are the author. (The answer, of course, is “yes.”) Your selections will be reviewed by Amazon to ensure that you are in fact the author of the book, then an image of the book cover, with a link to its sale page on Amazon and links to reviews, will appear on your Author Page.
Now that I have an Author Page, what should I do?
Publicize the fact that you have an author page by sharing the news on social media. Ask your friends to go to Amazon.com and “follow” your author page. Use the URL of your author page in all your communications (such as in your e-mail signature) to encourage people to look at it, especially if you do not have a website. There are also plenty of additional marketing suggestions available at Author Central on Amazon.