One of the best free publicity features for authors on Amazon is one that appears to be “secret” because it is so often overlooked, especially by self-published authors.

This is an author’s ability to set up an Author Central profile, which is not the same as an Amazon public profile that anyone on Amazon can create and use for writing reviews on the site.

For an example of what an Author Central profile can include, look at mine in the screenshot above, or take a closer look on Amazon. The option to get a customized URL is relatively new.

Why Author Central Is Important

Besides the all-important headshot and bio, you can import several blog feeds, your Twitter stream if you have one, and add a video. The biggest advantage of an Author Central profile probably is that all your books and ebooks on Amazon can be displayed here in one place along with your bio, etc.

People on Amazon can get to your Author Central profile (if you have set one up) in at least three ways:

  • If they type your name in Amazon’s browser field, your Author Central profile will be one of the choices returned in search results along with books by the same author name.
  • If they have typed in one of your book titles and then are on that book page, they can click on your name right under the title at the top of the page.
  • They can scroll down the Amazon page of one of your books until they come to the “More About the Author” section.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller's About the Author Page on Amazon

If readers click on the “Visit” link, they will be taken to your Author Central profile. Note that this profile is much more than just the biography that’s displayed on the books page.

The “secret password” to this publicity op: http://authorcentral.amazon.com (in the U.S.) and http://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk (in the U.K.)

You can actually fill out information in English on other Amazon country sites if you can read enough of that language to figure out what to do. And not all Amazon country sites may yet have this option, or as robust an option.

At the moment, the U.S. Author Central profile bio information seems to be automatically transferring to other Amazon country sites. In addition, you can go into the specific country site and add to that country’s Author Central profile bio. Your Amazon password tends to work across all Amazon sites.

I did this for my thriller CIA Fall Guy on the German Amazon site (amazon.de) because the book takes place partly in Germany. I added specific Germany-related info to the bio because I lived in Germany a long time ago.

Many More Options

Once signed into Author Central, you can take advantage of lots of other options. In fact, Amazon now owns Shelfari, a community for book lovers, and is using this subsidiary site to enable others, besides the author, to add information, just like Wikipedia does. Readers can comment on the characters, plot, etc. of a novel, and their contributions show up on the book’s page on Amazon.

Tip: Every so often, check out these Shelfari additions by others. I discovered that a well-meaning person had actually confused characters and given away plot points in the character descriptions of one of my novels. I simply made the correct adjustments.

Big advantage: As of this writing, you can only email Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) with issues about your Kindle books. But you can actually get an immediate callback during phone center hours for an issue on a topic that Author Central handles. I have found the people who call back quite helpful.

If you are an author and have not yet claimed your Author Central profile, do this immediately! Then gradually make your profile more robust.

Your readers will appreciate it.

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Phyllis Zimbler Miller’s KDP Select ebook thriller CIA Fall Guy and her KDP Select ebook Top Tips for How to Market Your Book on Amazon and Facebook will be available for free download on Amazon, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, July 24, and Wednesday, July 25, Pacific Time. CIA Fall Guy will be at http://amzn.to/L38eiP and Top Tips will be at http://amzn.to/N5H0Gj. Mark your calendars now!