Having your book on Amazon is a very exciting prospect. You can tell all your friends “you can buy my book on Amazon.” But what about all the people who don’t know you and who are on Amazon looking for books to buy?
Published and self-published authors can optimize their exposure on Amazon thanks to many author-friendly features. And if you don’t know about these opportunities, you’re missing out on free book marketing resources.
In this article we’ll be looking at Amazon optimization services for your profile on Amazon. (One word of caution: It is very difficult to connect with a real person on Amazon concerning author activities, so you may encounter problems that you are unable to resolve.)
Have your own account on Amazon. Sounds basic but it is necessary. All this requires is buying one product on Amazon with a credit card in your name. (If you share an account with your spouse or family, set up a separate account.)
Sign-in to your account. You’ll see at the top left-hand corner of your computer screen the words “Hello, Your Name.” Right below that click on “Your Name’s Amazon.com.” Then slide your eyes over to the right and look under the shopping cart icon and to the left and you’ll see “Your Profile.” (Make sure you’re wearing your glasses because the wording is small.) Click on this.
Now you’re at your profile, which every person with an account on Amazon has. But this is definitely an author-opportunity page. And, yes, there are privacy controls here too (as on Facebook) so you can choose which information is seen by whom. Click on the button in the top right-hand corner that sees “Edit Profile.” (You will again be asked to sign-in as extra protection that other people aren’t editing your Amazon profile.)
Start filling out the bio information. For an author, the most important line may be the “Name” because that is the name that will appear on any reviews and other activities you do on Amazon. Make sure that this is the same name as used for your book. For example, your credit card (used to set up your Amazon account) may only have a first and last name. But if you use three names for your author identification, put all three names here.
(And be sure to upload a photo – people want to know what the author looks like. If you’re on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s a good idea to use the same photo across all platforms to increase your recognition factor.)
Do share personal information with which you are comfortable on this profile. Readers like to know about an author – sharing information gives a more three-dimensional feeling to who you are. And include the URL of your book’s website if you have one.
Go through the process of having your own books approved for your Amazon bibliography. This requires an outside representative to confirm to Amazon that you are indeed you.
If you have a blog, have your blog posts automatically feed into your profile. (Carefully read the “Add RSS Feeds” information.)
Recommend tags for your book. And write brief reasons for each tag as to why that tag is appropriate for this book. These tags must then be approved by Amazon.
Check the privacy settings you have used on each of the elements of your profile. You may choose to have different settings on different types of information.
BONUS STEP: Make sure that you or your publisher have requested the “Look Inside” the book feature. This feature is NOT automatic. You want potential book buyers to be able to look inside the book as they could at a bookstore.