Amazon Author Central: The Underrated Book Discovery Strategy

by | Mar 27, 2019 | Amazon Updates & Marketing Tips, Bestseller Essentials

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We always talk about Amazon Optimization – keywords, and categories, and while all of this is important one of the biggest overlooked area on Amazon is your Amazon Author Central Page.

And now it’s Spring and as we begin to shake off the winter doldrums, it’s a good time to have another look at your Amazon Author Central page to see if you’re maximizing it.

Your Author Central account on Amazon is a place often forgotten by authors. We tend to focus on the book-page items and overlook everything else. But Amazon provides this page to authors which incorporates a number of strategic ways to not only promote your current book (and any backlist titles you have) but also gives you another place to incorporate your Amazon keywords.

Think of your Author Central account as your second website, or if you don’t have a website yet, your saving grace!

Let’s dig in, by starting with some Amazon Author Central basics:

Here’s a detailed checklist of ways you can easily stay on top of your book discovery game with Author Central.

Your author blog

Amazon allows authors to sync their blog with their Amazon Author Central page, meaning every time you update your blog, it will show up on your Author Central page. Even if you only update it monthly, or weekly, it’s a good piece to add to your page. But fair warning: if you aren’t consistent about updating your blog, don’t add it. The worse thing you can do is have a blog linked to your Amazon page that’s outdated or rarely touched. To add your blog, just go into the backend, click on Author Page and add the feed URL to the “Blogs” – and heads up, if you write for multiple sites, you can add in a few different blog links. We work with some authors who blog for places like Thrive, Huffington Post and the like. They link each of these feeds via the blog link on Author Central and each of these updates will populate onto your Amazon Author Central page.

Adding speaking events, book signings and online webinars

If you have upcoming book signing, talks, or online events be sure to add those to the events section under Author Page, too. The events all require an address, so for online events I always use the public address of the organization I am working with. For example, I have an IBPA event coming up and you’ll see they’re listed, but in the event details it says it’s online, the address listed is IBPA’s office address. So you can definitely get creative with this, too.

Here’s a look at my events coming up:

Author videos, book trailers, event videos, and more

Videos is another great element to this, and given how hot video is right now – I suggest that if you have any kind of a video, you should add it. Whether it’s an event video you did (short excerpts and snippets are better), a book trailer, or some other kind of book-related video, be sure to add it on the backend, too.

If you have a video or videos you’ll need the original file, not a link to YouTube or other URL.

Some authors can use the video options to upload short tips or opinions on their topic, these are wonderful additions, as are short “get to know you” videos to make the reader experience more personal.

Your author interview

One cool and creative way to engage your readers more and build in more of your keywords is via the author interview: meaning you will interview yourself. First off, it’s a cool way for readers to get to you know you more, but for fiction authors Amazon keywords often gets tricky. For example, it’s hard to incorporate “science fiction thriller” into your book description. But it’s fairly easy to do it in an interview. You’ll see from the screenshot below, one of our authors who writes contemporary romance was limited with those keywords. They didn’t flow with her book description, but she could easily incorporate them into her interview. Have a look:

The other thing you’ll notice is that she’s got some creative questions. So if you’re going to do this, be sure to get more creative with these and keep them interesting.

Finally, this author interview doesn’t have to be static. You can change it up as new projects develop or you can create different versions of this interview to accompany different books you’ve written.

The other thing you’ll notice is that she’s got some creative questions. So if you’re going to do this, be sure to get more creative with these and keep them interesting.

Finally, this author interview doesn’t have to be static. You can change it up as new projects develop or you can create different versions of this interview to accompany different books you’ve written.

Showcase your book reviews

In prior blog posts, I’ve written about watching for reviews that have been removed by Amazon, and adding them onto your book page via Amazon Author Central. So that’s point number one. Because, while reviews being removed doesn’t happen a lot – it can happen, so it’s good to have Author Central as a backup.

But in terms keeping your page up to date, maybe you have a few reviews that didn’t get onto your Amazon book page. For a variety of reasons, bloggers who do reviews may not cross-post their review to Amazon. By the same token, interviews or reviews in magazines may not make it onto your Amazon page. Author Central is a great way to add them. On the backend you can access places to add additional content by books. So if you click on the individual book, you can incorporate things like Reviews, About the Author, Inside Flap, and so on. You could also grab some of the best reviews (and these might already be on your Amazon book page) but choose to highlight them in your Author Central page, so you can call attention to them.

Customize your book description

When it comes to websites (and in particular book descriptions) readers/consumers don’t read, they scan. So now might be a great time to look at your book description. Is it too long? Is there enough white space, do you have headings and bullet points (for non-fiction)? If not, you can make all of these changes via your Amazon Author Central page. You can update this via Kindle Direct Publishing as well, but for those of you who don’t have access to your book details, Author Central is a great workaround.

If you’re making updates to your book description section, consider using headings, bolding, italics and bullets to highlight the best features of your book.

Fiction authors have another element to consider and that is that your book description should be captivating. Think: movie premier trailer. Give away just enough to whet the readers appetite for more.

Use special characters and formatting

On your individual book details page in the Book Description section be sure to use headings, bolding, italics and bullets to highlight the best features of your book.

For fiction, your book description should be as captivating as a movie preview, giving away just enough detail about the storyline to leave them wanting more. Don’t make it too long!

For non-fiction, think of it as selling a product, not just a book, so you must make your features and benefits stand out.

Why should they pick you over the next title? Using bullets helps with book discovery and makes the best features of your book stand out to shoppers who are merely scanning for something that piques their interest.

Here are your options for customizing your description!

Share your images

There’s a place in Author Central to add images, which I find so few authors do but it’s a great place to add more color to your Author Central page. Note: the images don’t wind up on your book page, per se but again, it does dress up your Amazon Author Central page. You can have up to eight images!

Share your inspiration

On your individual book details page in the From the Author section include your inspiration for writing the particular title and who you wrote it for.

This is a great place to include your keywords and your genre-specific buzz words and themes as well – because it truly speaks to those who are going to be most interested in your book.

Here’s an example from my 5 Minute Book Marketing book:

Amazon Author Central: The Underrated Book Discovery Strategy |

Use the virtual inside flap for greater book discovery

On your individual book details page in the From the Inside Flap section you have a number of options.

Perhaps you want to include more in-depth information about your story or background that you couldn’t include in the Book Description section because it was too long.

Or use it as a chance to sell yourself and make a stronger personal connection with your readers.

Here’s an example from my account:

Amazon Author Central: The Underrated Book Discovery Strategy |

Put the virtual back cover to work in Author Central

On your individual book details page in the From the Back Cover section consider including a list of your other titles and Amazon short links.  This is a great way to organically promote your other titles and improve book discovery across the board.

Short links can be easily obtained by going to your Amazon product page and clicking the envelope icon under the “share” section on the right hand side under the purchase box. Here’s an example from my account:

Amazon Author Central: The Underrated Book Discovery Strategy |

Grow your followers

Did you know that if readers go to your Author Central page it gives them the option to add you to their favorites, and they will automatically be alerted of any of your new releases?

This is an amazing way to improve discovery by putting the Amazon machine to work for you – they become a second mailing list.

Considering doing Amazon giveaways in exchange for a follow to really build up that network of potential buyers!

Thank reviewers

You should always be reading your reviews. Not only do they provide free market research, they’re also a great networking tool.

As reviews are posted thank readers for their feedback by posting a comment on the review. This personalized approach to connecting with readers leaves a lasting impression and helps build your return buyer potential.

You can also click on the “Was this review helpful?” button below a review to give it a virtual pat on the back!

Simple but easy-to-fix mistakes to avoid

Sometimes we see that an eBook product page has a different book description than the print edition. We highly recommend these be the same for the sake of consistency.  You can easily update these by logging into your Author Central account.

We get a lot of authors that come to us with print editions and Kindle editions that are not linked.

This can be really dangerous and deter sales. For example, say your book discovery efforts are working and a potential buyer lands on your eBook edition, but really prefers print. If your editions aren’t linked you risk losing them due to frustration, lack of time, or simply because they’ve been distracted by the “busy” Amazon pages.

Contact Amazon ASAP to get this rectified and get your editions linked.

Another big problem is when your books are listed under different variations of your name. We recommend logging into your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account and editing your book details so they all match.

Not only can this be confusing to shoppers, your Author Central account only claims books by a single author, so if you’re not consistently publishing under the exact same author name, down to a middle initial as appropriate, you risk losing claim to some of your books.

More free strategies to enhance your Amazon book page

Speaking of free and easy Amazon strategies, I talked about how “busy” Amazon pages have become lately, and how that’s really affecting book discovery as well, so I encourage you to read this pieces in the Resources and Free Downloads section when you get a chance.

And here’s a quick checklist to get you inspired:

  • You’ve lead with a seriously enticing opening sentence!
  • You’ve used bolding and italics smartly
  • You’ve used multiple paragraphs, no more than 3 sentences each
  • You’ve used bullets if you write non-fiction
  • You’ve included a stand out review excerpt if you have one
  • You’ve mentioned any awards you have
  • You’ve mentioned/listed your series if the book is a part of a series
  • Your bio makes sense for your genre and topic
  • You’ve added social media to your bio, with links

My bestseller tip

Log in and update sections of your Amazon Author Central account once per month.

Download my free Quarterly Amazon Planner through the Resources and Free Downloads section and set a calendar reminder!

Get creative, incorporate your keywords, add a new event that highlights something standout you’re doing for your book discovery, and use it as an opportunity to constantly find ways to network more effectively and communicate your unique selling points more creatively!

Resources and Free Downloads

Improve Your Book Discovery on Amazon

Supported HTML for Customizing Your Book Description

How to Update Your Book Details

Linking Your eBook and Paperback Editions

Free Quarterly Amazon Planner Download

Please share some creative strategies that have worked really well for your Amazon Author Central page!



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