If you read a book by a new author and really like it, you’ll want to read more about that author. So you click on the author’s name in Amazon next to the book you finished. If that author has a well set-up Amazon Author Page, that click gives you a wealth of personal and professional information about your new literary friend, along with easy links to everything else they have ever written. Do you know what happens if that author lacks an Author Page?
Even worse is if they’ve set up a page but it’s unprofessional, incomplete, or otherwise not compelling. This does as much damage as poor book listings, and can turn a potential lifelong fan into somebody who never reads another word you wrote.
Author Pages Are Important
Make no mistake. A browser who’s checking out your Author Page is one of the hottest leads you will ever have. They don’t just care about one of your books. They care about you. They’re curious about who you are, and want to know what else you’ve written. Even if they don’t buy your books that day, they’re more likely than anybody else to buy one in the future.
When a lead is that hot, it’s your job to close that sale. Your Author Page is a 24/7/365 salesperson who works on that all the time, for as many people as you want at once, for free. But it only does as good a job as you let it.
Author Central (the part of Amazon where you set up your Author Page) also gives you a number of tools to analyze your performance overall, from sales to a collection of all your reviews, so you can monitor what’s working and not working with your books. They even offer advanced reports with information about performance in specialized sales areas, across different regions and formats, and your overall rankings compared to other authors worldwide.
But that’s not its core value. It’s core value is presenting an excellent presence to potential readers who are curious enough about you to look at your Author Page.
What’s On an Author Page
Our members get detailed, video trainings that describe the pieces, parts, and best practices of every nook and cranny of the Author Page so they can fine-tune it to perfection. But here we’ll give you the basics. Author Pages include:
- Your Name, so readers know they’re in the right place. You can set up multiple Author Pages for multiple pen names.
- An author photo, which is more important than you might think. Make sure yours is high quality and shows your face. You can add up to eight photos, each of which makes a deeper and more personal connection with readers who have begun to care about you.
- Your full bio, where readers get to know more about you as a person. In the Internet Age, transparency and personal connection are vital, so be real and honest and interesting in what you say here.
- An option to sign up to get updates about you and your work. This is like an automated newsletter about you that Amazon manages, based on when you publish new work and what you do in your blog and social media. If you make it clear how awesome you are, people will volunteer to hear how they can buy your next book.
- Links to social media feeds and your blogs. You can set up Amazon to post links to your updates out in the rest of the internet, so readers can find out how to engage with you more deeply. Setting it up is a little tricky, but well worth the effort. This is also where your author videos appear (see below).
- Links to all your books you’ve put on Amazon. Most of the time, this happens automatically. If not, you can manually set up any books they missed. This is the sales floor your Author Page uses to hook those interested readers. Keep it up to date (and, remember all the things about good book listings…they apply here, too!)
- A panel about other authors, specifically authors who people who bought your books, also bought books by them. This doesn’t do much directly for your sales, but gives you a constantly updating list of people who might be willing to do some cross promotion, joint ventures, guest blogging, and other cooperative projects with you.
The Magic of Author Videos
You don’t have to add author videos to your Author Page, but they are an excellent method for connecting deeply with readers and developing strong credibility. They give a glimpse into your life and personality, which forges the kinds of connection that otherwise would have only happened at a reading or other face-to-face event.
You can put up to eight videos on your page, none of which can last longer than 10 minutes. I can not overstress how valuable and important these can be. Common video types include:
- A video bio where you introduce yourself and give more information about who you are, what you write, and what you love.
- Book trailers for your coming projects, or for the series you write in.
- A clip from a public reading or speaking event.
- Video announcements of upcoming events, or video from certain events
- You reading an excerpt from one of your books
- A compelling image, with a voice reading your work running in the background
On the flip side, avoid sharing content that isn’t uniquely yours. It doesn’t matter how funny or cute that cat video is, don’t put it on your Author Page. This isn’t Facebook.
Make Time For This
Your Amazon Author page is like the lobby of a bookstore. It’s not what you sell, but it sells the opportunity to make more sales. You don’t “not have time” to make yours excellent, any more than you wouldn’t “not have time” to keep the lobby of your bookstore clean and presentable. It’s worth the time and effort.
- Check out our Author Central Quickstart Guide in the Getting Started Video Trainings. It offers almost 2 dozen short videos on how to use every feature available in Author Central.