Photo of gift wrapped in dollarsAt a workshop session of the 41st annual Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators summer conference in Los Angeles, Tim Ditlow, associate publisher of Amazon’s Children’s Books, spoke about what he is looking to acquire.

As this is a new publishing avenue for Amazon, which has other publishing imprints, Ditlow is open to unpublished books as well as self-published ones.

Information on Amazon’s approach to authors was also provided by Jon P. Fine, director of Author & Publisher Relations for Amazon.

From the perspective of Internet business, what may have been the most important remark was when Fine noted that, although Amazon is a technological company, it realizes that, without authors providing content for Amazon’s technology, Amazon would not have a book business.

Fine said that Amazon considers “Are our authors happy with what we are doing?” And he indicated that Amazon realizes that authors are in fact “customers” of Amazon.

In addition, while “cover art is still crucial,” Fine said that keyword search is very important for the discoverability of books.

And here, in my opinion, is the most important info for authors that Fine shared:

If your book on Amazon has the “Search Inside” function, while prospective purchasers can only see a portion of the book, Amazon search can see the entire text of the book.

Fine gave as an example a book on hiking that mentions Patagonia although Patagonia is not included as a keyword in the metadata for the book.

If the book has the “Search Inside” function enabled and someone does an Amazon keyword search on the word “Patagonia,” the book could come up in the search results.

The importance of this?

If you are the author of a book on Amazon, you need to have “Search Inside” enabled if you want to help people find your book. And which author does not want to help his or her book be found?

As I point out in my book TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK, as an author on Amazon you can connect to the “Search Inside the Book” opportunity from the “Welcome to Author Central” screen after signing in at authorcentral.amazon.com

And if you have not yet taken advantage of the other opportunities at Author Central, now would be a good time to do so.