Book Launch Checklist Day 6: Amazon Author Central

The Book Launch Checklist thus far:

  1. Pick a launch date
  2. Announce Launch Date on Your Blog
  3. Share Launch Date on Facebook Page
  4. Join a Book Lovers Facebook Page
  5. Announce Launch Date on Twitter
  6. Amazon Author Central

I’m probably not doing a great job getting these listed chronologically. But to give you a general sense, we are still working on things you should be doing BEFORE you actually publish your book. You want to announce to the world that you have an awesome book coming – as much as saying so may pain you, because you don’t KNOW yet that your book will be awesome, and because as an introvert perfectionist writer type you HATE claiming things that may or may not be true.

Today’s post is about Amazon’s Author Central. By the way, I’m assuming that you are going to publish your book on Amazon, either as eBook for the Kindle or as a paperback via CreateSpace, or ideally both. Read How to Publish a Book if you have questions about all that. This series is just about the launching, i.e. marketing, of your book. If you’re not planning on selling it via Amazon (though I say you’d be crazy not to), then today’s to-do on my checklist won’t apply to you.

Amazon Author Central is your very own profile on Amazon.com. You get a whole page all to yourself, some important real estate, if you think about it. Once you have books for sale, they are linked to your Author Central profile so that readers and potential buyers can find out more about you. But it’s not an automatic thing, so you have to make sure you put together your profile before launch day.

Go ahead and visit the Author Central page. Sign in and all that (I’m pretty sure you can use your normal Amazon ID and password, but I don’t remember exactly). Here is what your profile looks like:

authorcentral1

As you can see, it’s not complicated. Enter your author bio (browse your favorite authors to “steal” ideas), a link to your blog/website (which you should have created at the latest after reading item #2 of this checklist), a nice picture of yourself, and, if you have one, a video. The video tab has been glaring me in the face for quite some time as I’m DYING to post my book trailer there, except I don’t yet HAVE a book trailer. How to make one will probably be the last item on this checklist.

Once you’ve published your book(s), it’s very easy to link them to your Author Central profile under the “Books” tab:

authorcentral2Just click where it says “add books” and you will be prompted to enter the title and/or ISBN (or ASIN in case of a Kindle book). You can then “claim” your book as yours and it will be added to your listing.

I remember having some trouble early on with my different editions not being linked, i.e. the Kindle book showing but not the paperback, or vice versa, but this was easily fixed by contacting Amazon. See the “help” tab at the top right? Clicking that will get you another page with a big fat yellow button to contact the Author Central help desk via email, and they’ve always been very prompt in responding to me (and good in understanding the problem).

If you’re planning to sell your book outside of the United States, there is good news and bad news. The good news: you CAN (so there is no reason, not to). You can sell your Kindle book pretty much anywhere you want to, and your CreateSpace paperback, as far as I know, is currently available to sell in the UK and Germany in addition to the U.S. The bad news: You have to create a separate Author Central account and profile for each country. First of all, this is sort of tedious, and secondly, not all countries give you the same functionality. In the U.S., there is a whole tab for adding editorial reviews and a host of other info about your books, but in the U.K. and Germany, that tab isn’t there. You’ll have to painstakingly email them with any changes to your book description, for instance, which I find totally annoying.

Nevertheless, altogether Author Central is a great way to make your books (and yourself) look more presentable on Amazon, so make sure you take advantage of it!

Next up:

7. Share on Google+

View the entire Book Launch Checklist here.

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