Amazon Author Central is a great free tool to help you promote your books. Once it’s all configured and all your books are added, a link to ‘More About the Author’ will be included on each of your book pages. This means readers can easily find out what other books you’ve written/appeared in, more about you, see a link to your website, find out about upcoming events, and more.
Once it’s set up you just have to make sure it’s kept up to date, i.e. when you have new releases or arrange signings/events.
What many people don’t realise is you need SEPARATE accounts for the UK and US versions of Amazon. If you want to make the most of it, setting up just one account won’t do. It’s a nuisance, but you’ll have to do everything twice, and be aware that the two versions vary slightly.
Just sign up for free accounts on both sites and follow the instructions to set up your page.
Here’s an outline of what you can do:
Add an author photo (and additional photos)
Add your books (if you’re listed as the author, this should be straightforward. If, however, you’ve contributed to anthologies, you may find you’ll have to contact Amazon and have them manually add the book to your page.)
Add a biography (make sure to update this accordingly)
Add a blog RSS feed (a great way to get your blog in front of new people and encourage them to follow you – currently only on US version)
Add videos (great if you have trailers for your books)
Add your Twitter handle so people can see your latest Tweet and easily follow you
See sales information for your titles
See customer reviews for your titles
Amend and add to product pages (a great way of adding great editorial reviews you’ve had for your books to your product pages – though unfortunately this is only currently available on the US version of the site)
Make sure to take full advantage of everything offered here – it’s free promotion, and a great way to make people aware of you as a writer and hopefully buy more than one of your titles!
All of the features are self-explanatory and easy to use, so get signed up today and make Amazon work for you!
Here are my author pages on both sites so you can see what’s possible:
Does your website run on WordPress? Then you need to listen up. Have you ever logged in to the admin area and wondered what that little circle was with a number next to ‘updates’? It’s important, that’s what! Don’t just ignore it and hope it’ll go away. It won’t.
There are two types of updates which will appear there; plugin updates and WordPress updates. Both are important and should always be taken notice of if they appear. Why? There are several reasons you should keep everything up to date.
First, and probably most important is security. Teams of people work hard on WordPress and its plugins to keep it safe from hackers. Making sure plugins and your WordPress installation are up to date is a simple thing you can do to help protect you and your website.
Other reasons include bug fixes, new features and ongoing support. Some developers will not help you out with problems if you’re running an old version. This is understandable, considering many upgrades are bug fixes which could solve your issue/s anyway.
So now you know! Next time you log in and see that little circle coming up – you know what to do. It doesn’t require any technical knowledge and doesn’t take long, either. If it’s an update of WordPress itself (which is usually highlighted by a bar towards the top of the admin area, encouraging you to update), make sure to follow the instructions given about backing up your site – or if you already have a backup system in place, make sure your site’s been backed up recently. That way if there was a problem, you have a copy of your website to revert back to.
Do you have a blog? Do you visit other blogs regularly, and make comments? Good! You’re being social and making friends and contacts.
But have you ever wondered why some commenters have nice little photos of themselves by their comments, but you’ve just got a generic image? It’s because you need to set it up.
The “Web 2.0” term for these photos is “avatar”. Your photo is your avatar. You’ll see them on Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr… the list goes on. Ideally, if you’re promoting yourself, this avatar should be the same across all your social networks. This helps people, particularly if they connect with you on more than one of the networks, to associate that photo with you. They’ll remember you more easily when they see you elsewhere.
On some networks, like Twitter for example, you just upload a photo of your choice. That becomes your avatar, and it’s as simple as that. However, when leaving comments across the web, it’s not that easy. That’s why you see so many generic images. But it’s very easy to set up so your image appears in these places.
Sign up for Gravatar. A “gravatar” is a globally recognized avatar, to quote their website. All you have to do is register an account – it’s free – upload your avatar and it’ll then follow you across the Internet to all compatible websites, which are many.
So what are you waiting for? Turn yourself from a generic image to you, in a few simple steps! Just go to http://en.gravatar.com/ and get signed up! Test it out here when you’re done, if you like!
Twitter is a brilliant marketing tool for any writer. Not only can you use it to find and chat with likeminded people, it’s also a great place for exchanging information and, of course, promoting yourself. Lots of people just don’t “get” Twitter so they either don’t use it, or use it incorrectly.
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