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?
Amazon Author Central is a free tool that authors who have published a book through Amazon can sign up for — whether they’ve published in print or ebook through Kindle Direct Publishing, or an audiobook through ACX. You can think of Amazon Author Central as your own private headquarters at today’s largest book retailer.
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.
While the Author Central dashboard can be used to track your book sales and to manage and respond to customer reviews, its primary purpose is to personalize your Amazon Author Central Page — which we're going to talk about right now!
Note: Don't confuse Amazon Author Central with Amazon Publishing. The latter is Amazon's book publishing unit.
What is an Amazon Author Page?
Your Amazon Author Central Page is a public profile where readers can learn more about you and your publications. Using the Author Central dashboard, you can update your Author Page to include your bio, your bibliography, pictures, videos, blog posts, and events. Basically, you should use your Author Central Page as an opportunity to brand yourself.
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
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 3 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.
We’ll break down all the steps to achieve this. To start, here are three elements of your Author Central Page that you should personalize.
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, 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).
1. Select “Photos” on the Author Page tab.
2. Click “Browse” 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.
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 “Author Page URL” 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, keep trying.
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...
1. Select “Videos” 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.”
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.
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.
To claim your books, here’s what to do:
- Click the “Books” tab.
- Select the “Add more books” option.
- Search using either your author name, the book title, or the ISBN.
- 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.
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.
And once you have all your books associated with your name(s), don't forget to...
Add editorial reviews, if you have them!
Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the best conversion tools for your book! The Editorial Reviews function allows you to add a maximum of five of your best reviews to each of your book pages. Here’s how to do it:
- Select the “Books” tab.
- Choose the book you want to add reviews to.
- Select “Add” under Editorial Reviews and follow the provided instructions.
- Preview the review and when you’re ready, hit “Save.”
Of course, if you have reviews from notable outlets or recognized publishing figures, feature these. However, your review doesn’t need to be from a bestselling author in your genre in order to be noteworthy. Positive feedback 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 will give your books an insider advantage against their competitors, 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):
- United Kingdom: https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk
- Germany: https://authorcentral.amazon.de
- Japan: https://authorcentral.amazon.co.jp
- France: https://authorcentral.amazon.fr
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 three 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.
Now that you know how to put together an amazing Author Page, let’s see one in action!
Example of a compelling Author Page
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!
Additional Amazon marketing resources
- All you Need to Know About Amazon Algorithms (free course)
- How to Run a Price Promotion (free course)
- How to Create the Ultimate Book Marketing Plan (free course)
- What I Learned From Failing With Amazon Advertising (blog post)
- How to Write an Amazon Book Description That Sells (blog post)
- Winning Amazon's Secret Popularity Contest (blog post)
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.
Update: the Amazon Author Beta program
Amazon is also currently running a private “Amazon Author” beta program. It’s essentially an updated version of Amazon Author Central: a dashboard that lets you update the information on your Author Page. You can find it through your KDP account and see whether it's your cup of tea.
So far, the changes appear to be centered around streamlining the interface and integrating Amazon services so that you don’t need to keep logging in to different sites. This means that authors will be able to manage their books and profile on all international Amazon marketplaces from just one account.
Additionally, it appears that Amazon may be trying to merge the ability to view/update parts of KDP, ACX, GoodReads, and other Amazon services all from one central dashboard, though details on that are still light. Stay tuned for more details as they become available!
Have you tested out the beta program? Have you already used Author Central to optimize your Author Page? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!