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Blog > Book Marketing, Understanding Publishing – Posted on December 30, 2019

How to Set Up Your Amazon Author Central Page

Most indie authors understand the pressure to join every new platform that pops up, promising to help you market and sell your books: Goodreads, Facebook, BookBub, oh my! It can definitely add up. But even if you feel you're already maxed out on book marketing tools, there’s one major resource that you absolutely shouldn’t overlook: Amazon Author Central.

What is Amazon Author Central Page?

Your Amazon Author Central Page is a public profile where readers can learn more about you and your publications. The information on here includes a bio, your bibliography, pictures, videos, blog posts, and events — in other words, anything that helps build your author brand.

Amazon Author Central | Rick Riordan's Author Page

 

To create and edit this page, you need to sign up to Amazon Author Central. If you’ve embarked on Amazon self-publishing, either by publishing a print or ebook through Kindle Direct Publishing, or an audiobook through ACX, signing up is quite easy. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get access to the Author Central dashboard — your own private headquarters at today’s largest book retailer, and a crucial part of your marketing plan. Using this dashboard, you can track your book sales, manage and respond to customer reviews, and of course, personalize your Amazon Author Central Page.

Amazon Author Central | Author Central Dashboard

Most of it authors live in the US, but you can also access Author Central in countries other than the US, via Amazon UK Author Central, Canada Author Central, and so on.

Note: Don't confuse Amazon Author Central with Amazon Publishing. The latter is Amazon's book publishing unit.

How to set up your Amazon Author Central account

If you’re ready to get started, sign up here to create your Amazon Author Central account: authorcentral.amazon.com. If you self-publish, we recommend creating the account with whatever Amazon login manages your KDP dashboard — your Author Central info will not be linked to your KDP dashboard, but it keeps all your author “business” in one place.

As soon as you create your account, Amazon will ask you what author name you’d like to create the Author Page for — if you write under multiple pen names, pick one to start with, and you can add the others once you go to “claim” your books. Even if your books are released through a publisher, you can still create your own author page to manage your brand and build a following.

When you’re done creating your account, head back to this page and we’ll walk you through the process of optimizing your new headquarters.

How to set up your Amazon Author Page in 4 Steps

The most important thing to remember when it comes to using Amazon Author Central to manage your Author Page is to update, update, update. Consistently polish your bio and add new books, reviews, blog posts, and events. Remove anything that has become outdated. Ensure your Author Central Page feels current to whichever potential readers land there.

Without further ado, here’s how to set up your Author Central Page in 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Create a compelling Amazon Author Page

If your Author Central account acts as your own Amazon HQ, your Author Central Page is your business’s primary landing page. You want it to look clean and professional, and to offer potential readers concise and compelling information.

Amazon Author Central | Edit Author Page

We’ll break down all the steps to achieve this. Here are five elements to master in order to create a personal and helpful Author Central Page.

Add your author bio

  1. Select “Biography” on the Author Central Page tab.
  2. Ensure your bio is at least 100 characters to comply with Amazon’s rules. (HTML is not allowed in your bio, so if you need to bullet, use dashes or asterisks).
  3. When you’re done, hit "add biography" to save.

A great author bio is comprised of an opening byline that hooks readers in, a description of the theme of your title(s), a statement of the credentials that make you a writer people should pay attention to, and personal touches that help you stand out as an individual.

If you haven’t already perfected it, check out the bio guide linked above — or these excellent examples of existing author bios. Also, if you’re typing out your bio for the first time, we encourage you to do it in a word processor. Don't type right into your Author Page itself, as this could lead to lost work (and hair-pulling frustration).

Ensure you leave a way for people to find out more if they want, whether with links to your social media, author website, or contact information.

Add pictures

  1. Select “add photo” in the Photos section Author Page tab.
  2. Click “Choose file” and select the picture you want to use. (Ensure it’s a photo you own the rights to!)
  3. Confirm you own the rights to the picture and select “Upload photo.”
  4. If you are adding multiple pictures, select “Manage” and drag the photos into your preferred order.

Amazon Author Central | Adding Photos

Including a profile picture is a great way to make your Author Central Page more personal. It’s also good to include multiple photos that relate to your books' themes or your author brand.

For instance, if you write non-fiction books, you could include a picture of yourself speaking at an event related to your topic. If you’ve written a story steeped in Celtic mythology, attach a picture of yourself in the Scottish Moors. And of course, if you post about your topic on social media, you can just grab a couple from Instagram!

Customize your Author Page URL

  1. Select “add link” in the Author Page URL section on the Author Page tab.
  2. There will be an auto-generated URL, but you can enter your own.
  3. Amazon will let you know if your desired URL is available. If it is, save it. If it’s not, try out some variations.

Amazon Author Central | Customizing URL

It goes without saying that an address such as www.amazon.com/author/reedsy-author will look much more professional than one like www.amazon.com/author/reedsy-author/k/G6A4B/c?Y_7T/5l-8 (which is the kind of URL Amazon will provide you with if you don’t create your own).

If you're looking to go above and beyond, you can kick your Author Central Page up a notch by also adding...

Video

  1. Select “add video” on the Author Page tab.
  2. Click “Browse” and select the video you want to use. (Ensure you own the rights to it!).
  3. Confirm you own the rights to the picture and select “Upload video.” Amazon will notify you when the video has finished uploading, as it can take a while.
  4. Once you’ve been notified, you will be prompted to review your video. Hit “Approve” when you’re finished.

Many authors will choose to add a “book trailer,” public readings, or other things related to their works on their Amazon page. Ensure your video is: 1) either mov, mpg, avi, flv, or wmv format, 2) smaller than 500MB, and 3) less than ten minutes long.

Your blog feed

  1. Select “Blogs” and then “Add blog” on the Author Page tab.
  2. Enter the RSS address* for your blog (not the actual website URL), then select “Add.”

Amazon Author Central | Add an RSS Feed

There are various ways to locate your blog RSS address (or feed address), depending on where your blog is hosted. However, one common way is to:

  • Go to your blog.
  • Right-click and select “View page source.”
  • Pull up the “Find” feature (either command+F for Macs or ctrl+F for Windows).
  • In the search bar, enter “RSS” and you should find an altered version of your blog link.

For instance, on WordPress, the RSS address looks like this: http://nameofyourblog.wordpress.com/feed/

Find out more about RSS addresses on Amazon’s support page on the topic.

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Mark Oshiro is an author who’s done everything right. They’ve got:

  • A strong and informative bio
  • All their books and publications to which they’ve contributed
  • Both photos and video content
  • A linked blog that they update regularly

Compare this to other authors who don’t have as much content filled in and you’ll quickly see the difference. Without a robust profile and portfolio, your Author Page is nothing more than a flat list of whatever books Amazon thinks it can attribute to you. But with just a little effort, it becomes a one-stop digital storefront for both your work and your author brand!

Step 2: Claim your books

When you claim your books, it ensures that all your publications will appear on your Amazon Author Central Page. This way, the people who land there can scroll through every one of your titles before picking one to download to their Kindle. It also links your author name on all your book's pages back to your full Amazon Author Page.

Amazon Author Central | Claim Your Books

To claim your books, here’s what to do:

  1. Click the “Books” tab.
  2. Select the “Add more books” option.
  3. Search using either your author name, the book title, or the ISBN.
  4. Hit the “This is my book” button.

But what do you do if you’re writing under pen names, or have co-written a book? There are steps for that, too!

Adding books under a pen name

When you select a book “written by” a name other than one associated to your Amazon Author Central account, a dialog will appear saying that you are not listed as the author of this book. At the bottom of that message, simply click “let us know” where it asks if you write under another name. Amazon will verify your identity, and then associate that book with a new pen name under your Author Central account. Each Author Central account can manage up to three pen names — after that, you’ll need to create additional Author Central accounts under a different email address.

Amazon Author Central | Switch Your Pen Name

Don’t worry — adding pen names in your Amazon Author Central account will not link your pen names publicly. Once it’s approved, follow the same steps above to fill out each pen name’s Author Page.

What to do if you’re a co-author

Since there are no shared author pages, each co-author can (and should!) list the book they wrote together under their own author page. In other words, if John Smith and Jane Brown write a book together, they should both “claim” the book on their author pages. Then both John Smith’s and Jane Brown’s audience will be able to see it, increasing sales potential.

What to do if you’ve contributed to a book, but aren’t the primary writer or editor

If you’ve contributed just a small portion to a book — say, a short story or just one chapter — you can still list the publication under your author page if the primary author or editor has listed you as a contributor. What this means is that whoever is managing the Amazon listing for the book itself must give you contributor credit. You can tell if this has been done by finding the book on Amazon and looking at the authors and contributors listed below the title.

Amazon Author Central | Listing Multiple Authors

And once you have all your books associated with your name(s), don't forget to...

Step 3: Add editorial reviews

Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the best conversion tools for your book! The Editorial Reviews section of your book’s Amazon product page has as much influence on buyers as the blurb, the cover, and the look inside function. By allowing you to add your best reviews, and even a description of your work, to each of your book pages, the Editorial Reviews function adds credentials to your titles. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Select the “Books” tab.
  2. Choose the book you want to add reviews to.
  3. Select “Add” for the appropriate section under Editorial Reviews and follow the provided instructions.
  4. Preview the review and when you’re ready, hit “Save.”

Amazon Author Central | Add Editorial Reviews

For Kindle books, you can add as many reviews as you’d like, given that it’s within the 20,000 characters limit; for hardcovers and paperbacks, you’re limited to a maximum of five reviews. It’s best practice to pick out the most impressive review snippets from reputable sources — be it a recognized publishing figure, a notable outlet, or a popular book review blog. However, your review doesn’t need to be from a seasoned critic or a bestselling author in your genre in order to be noteworthy. Positive feedback from an editorial reviewer on Reedsy Discovery, or from a reader on Amazon or Goodreads can also work wonders.

And for bonus points: if you have established relationships with any reviewers, you can ask them to edit their reviews slightly to hit your target search keywords. This helps Amazon’s algorithms better understand your book and its intended audience, thereby making it much easier for readers to find and buy them.

Step 3: Update your international accounts

Again, Author Central is available on more versions of Amazon than just the US one. And if you’re already taking the time to iron out one version, you might as well go the extra mile and set up your pages for international markets! Author Central UK may be particularly helpful if you write English-language books.

You can sign up to various Amazon sites here (and just follow the above steps for optimizing those pages too):

If you can, try to translate your author information into the appropriate language. Of course, just using Google Translate might result in some wonky phrasing, which isn't great for native speakers perusing your Author Page. So if you can’t find someone to help you make sure the translation is smooth, sticking to English might be the better bet.

With these four steps, your Author Page should be ready to rock! But it can’t do the whole job of converting potential readers into avid ones on its own. Check out our additional resources to ensure all of your book marketing bases are covered:

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Becoming a successful indie author isn’t a straightforward process, and requires you to take advantage of any resource that might give you a boost. The Amazon Author Central account is one of those tools, and a significant one at that! So use it to the best of your ability.

Checklist: Set up your Amazon Author Central Page

To sum up, here are the ten things you have to check off when creating your page:

  • Create an Amazon Author Central account
  • Write a strong author bio
  • Add your own and other relevant pictures
  • Customize your Author Page URL
  • Add videos of book trailers and/or events
  • Add an RSS blog feed
  • Claim your books
  • Fill in editorial reviews for your books
  • Update your international pages
  • Return and update regularly

Have you already used Author Central to optimize your Author Page? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!