For several years now, Amazon has had a feature called “Author Central Profile.” You may or may not have heard of it. That doesn’t say much about it, does it?
But there are two big reasons why you should build a profile: First, it’s free (can’t beat that). Second, Amazon will create a profile for you — whether you cooperate or not — and so it’s certainly in your best interest to provide as much information as possible on your profile and to make sure that what Amazon feeds in there is correct. With minimal work to get it set up, it’s simply another tool on the web to help promote yourself and sell books.
First, let’s discuss how readers find an Author Central Profile, because someone who shows interest in one of your books now can learn more about you and/or see your other books relatively easily. On every Amazon.com book page, about halfway down the page, there will be a photo of the author (if it’s been submitted) and a link to learn more about the author. Visit the Amazon page dedicated to one of my client’s books as an example. Then scroll down to his picture and you’ll see the link to be taken to Mark Hamel’s profile. (Thanks, Mark!)
Next, let’s talk about how to get this profile set up properly. Anyone who has a book for sale on Amazon can set up their profile by going here. To get started, all you need to do is provide Amazon with a photo of yourself and a short bio. That will at least provide the basics so that your profile doesn’t look completely bare.
The next step is making sure that your bibliography is correct. Amazon will automatically feed in the book titles associated with your name. But that list of titles isn’t always correct. If a book of yours is missing from that list, you can simply click on the “Add Title” button and submit the book that should be added to your bibliography. It can take a few days for your new book to show up, but it should get done. However, if you see a title that’s not yours that’s showing up on your profile, you will need to contact Amazon to request that it be taken off. Some people say that Amazon isn’t great at responding to those types of requests, but others have had no problem.
Now on to the fun stuff … the “extras” you can do with your profile. One great feature that Amazon offers is the ability to blog on your profile page. Or even better, if you already blog, to have your blog entries automatically fed into your profile page. So it’s one step to set it up, but you’ll have endless new content on the profile page. Some authors also include upcoming events on their profile page, which again is a great way to make it look new and updated.
Lastly, while there’s technically nowhere to plug your author website on your Amazon profile, there are some ways around that. For instance, by putting links to your website in your blog entries or in the bio you give to Amazon, you are letting fans of your writing know where they can learn even more about you and follow what you’re doing.
If you have a book currently for sale on Amazon, go to that book page now. Find your author profile page. Then do something with it!