amazon author central

Amazon Author Central – The Comprehensive Guide for Self-Publishers

Did you know an Amazon Author Central Profile is one of the easiest ways to promote all your books in one spot?

As an independent author and self-publisher on Amazon, you should definitely leverage this free online asset.

What is Amazon Author Central?

In their own words,

Amazon Author Central lets you create your author page, where you can share the most up-to-date information about yourself and your book with millions of readers.

When users click your author name on your book sales page, that links to your Amazon Author Central page.

amazon author central

They can then view all of your books easily in one place. This is helpful for readers who have enjoyed your book and want more from you as an author. Of course, it’s beneficial to you as well because it can mean selling more books.

Amazon Author Central is currently available in the following locations:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • India
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Brazil

I’m speculating when I predict it will eventually be available in all regions, but for now, this is where we are. Also, some features are place-specific, meaning that they are not available in all the regions. I’ll try to indicate what is available where throughout this guide.

Benefits of Amazon Author Centralamazon author central

There’s a lot.

It’s free. It’s a one-stop shop where you can send readers and potential readers to find all of your books.

You’re able to display a lot of information about your author brand, and there’s a Follow feature! When users follow you, they get notified via email when you release a new book.

The bottom line here, folks, is that Amazon Author Central has a lot to offer you as an author, so don’t ignore it. Use this guide to set up your profile so people can find out more about you on Amazon.

It’s going to blow your mind just how much is available to you for free, and I’m going to show you how to access each one and set it up for yourself.

Ready? Let’s go!

How to Set Up a Profile on Amazon Author Central

The first thing you need to do is go to https://author.amazon.com to set up your account.

Use your KDP login or any Amazon associated credentials to easily log in. You can also access Amazon Author Central from your KDP Dashboard on the Marketing tab.

kdp dashboard

8 Features Available at Amazon Author Central

1. Add your books to an author page

Add your book(s) using the Books tab and click on add it now in the first paragraph.

You can type in the title, ISBN, ASIN, or the author’s name. Any of them will work. PRO TIP: You can never go wrong with ASIN.

Select your title, confirm you’re the author, and you will see it appear in two to three days.

2. Add your bio

From the Profile tab, select the region-appropriate language. Just so that you know, this is available in different languages in different regions, which is really cool.

Type your bio, edit it, preview it, and publish from there.

3. Add photos and videos

Again, from your Profile tab, click the pencil icon right below the square for the photo.

Browse to upload your photo from your computer. PRO TIP: Make sure your photo is at least 300 pixels in width and height. It should be a JPG, PNG, or GIF file.

You can also upload videos in either of the following formats: AVI, FLV, MOV, MPG, WMV, MP4.

Keep the video under 500 MB.

4. Check your Amazon best seller rank

This option is not available everywhere you can access Amazon Author Central. Only five of the 13 regions offer this option.

From your Dashboard, click View Sales.

Select your name and the book you want to check. You can expand that search by selecting the formats and editions, and you can view the historical sales rank in different time frequencies.

5. Check customer reviews

Nine of the 13 regions allow you to do this.

From your Dashboard, select View Customer Reviews.

Sort by regions and filters. Select the book you want, click the link and there are the reviews.

6. Add editorial reviews

Wouldn’t it be great to have third-party credibility for your book?

Well, you can with Add Editorial Reviews. This feature is only available in the U.S., and it does not apply to audiobooks. It’s found right below your book description, above your product details.

To add a review, select the Books tab; make sure the marketplace is set to amazon.com.

Click the cover of the book you want to work with.

Select Kindle or Paperback.

Click Edit book details.

Add your review(s) by following the guidelines presented.

I go into a lot more detail on this further on in this guide.

7. Share blog feeds

This is another feature that is only available in the U.S. This is awesome if you have a blog!

You can set up your page so your blog posts automatically appear as a part of the content you’re sharing via Amazon Author Central. Your fans would love to see this!

From Profile, you can add a blog, then add your blog feed URL. If you’re using WordPress, most of the time this is just yourwebsite.com/feed/

8. Check Bookscan sales info

Here’s another U.S.-only feature.

Bookscan tracks points of sales for your book. You’re able to see where in the U.S. your book is selling any time it’s scanned to sell.

This is great for Facebook ads or book touring! Know your book’s worth all over the country.

Go to the Reports & Marketing tab in your KDP Dashboard. Click View Report in the Bookscan box to see how well your book is doing. Again, narrow down the search by frequency and geography. Know your following.

If you don’t see the Bookscan feature, you either aren’t in the U.S. or your books hasn’t been scanned.

Amazon Author Central – Editorial Reviews

The editorial review section is a feature of Amazon Author Central. It’s where you highlight reviews from outside Amazon.

You shouldn’t place your Amazon reviews here, since that’s repetitive and unnecessary. Instead, this is where an author can showcase their relationship with the world beyond Amazon’s ecosystem.

As we mentioned above, the review section has many other features.  One of them is the ability to place another author’s bio. That allows the author a version of their biography that may be more expansive or have a different slant than their general profile bio.

Why Should I Upload Editorial Reviews? 

Reviews always help you establish credibility.

You can toot your own horn, but nothing endorses you better than an outside voice. If someone’s read your work and decided they liked it, nothing speaks more loudly than their words of praise about you in a review.

Amazon Author Central provides this review section to give those voices a platform. It’s an added bonus that other promotional materials may be included in the section. This makes Amazon Author Central a place where you can send customers, colleagues, and publishers.

Everyone gets a better sense of how you’re doing as an author. It puts your best foot forward in a more intimate setting, which you control.

How to Upload Amazon Author Central Editorial Reviews

To have so much going for it (not to mention being free) Amazon Author Central couldn’t let you go without providing some headache.

As it turns out uploading reviews is easy, but it’s not entirely simple.  Let’s start with the mechanics to get started:

First things first: the editorial review feature is only available in the Amazon United States region. If you’re not working from there, you can’t access those functions, so unfortunately this is where you have to stop.

Once you’re inside Amazon Author Central, you get to the review feature by clicking on the ‘Books’ tab at the top-left. Next, you select the book title you wish to edit. After that, select the version (Kindle, paperback, etc.  Note: Audiobook support currently doesn’t exist).  Click ‘Edit’ and you’re ready to upload your review.  [This is where the manageable headache begins.]

Amazon Author Central is extremely particular about how you upload the text of the review.  They make the following recommendations:

  • Reviews should come from reputable sources. The name of the source should be credited after the quotation.
  • Quotes should follow ‘fair use’ guidelines. Limit to 1-2 sentences.
  • Limit reviews to 3000 characters to keep them from being too long.
  • Plain text editors, such as Notepad, are recommended. More sophisticated programs can cause formatting problems.

These suggestions are well and fine, but the last one is off base.

Formatting often goes askew, even with the simple editor programs.  A workable solution seems to be HTML.

This can be a problem if HTML coding isn’t your specialty; however, a tool from Kindlepreneur can help you format your book description. You can find that at https://DaleLinks.com/html.

Click the Amazon Editorial Review button.

Copy and paste your review information where indicated.

Use the tools provided to format it accordingly. (The interface is WYSIWYG [what you see is what you get]).

Once you’re done, click Generate My Code.

Click Copy Code.

Paste the code into the review section of Amazon Author Central.

Click Preview to make sure you’ve got the look you want.

Make changes if necessary.

Even though it’s a bit convoluted, this process will get the job done, allowing you to use the book review feature to reach a larger audience and generate more sales.

Amazon Author Central Multiple Pen Names: Is There a Limit?

As a destination that reflects your career as a writer, Amazon Author Central should have as clear a view of your persona as possible.

Great care should be taken to make sure the information about you is accurate and complete. Your Amazon Author Central profile is an important feature within your account.

If you’re someone who has multiple pen names, you want them all represented.

The question, of course, is what does Amazon allow. Amazon’s ecosystem has always permitted pen names, but is there a limit to how many?

The simple answer is yes, there are restrictions. . These limits may not put a ceiling on the actual number of pen names per se, but they do regulate the way they are organized.

Does Your Author Central Profile Need A Pen Name?

Whether it be George Sand or James Tiptree Jr., or whatever, pen names have been a way for authors to lead literary double lives since charcoal scribblings first wrote human signatures on cave walls.

A pen name is a pseudonym an author uses to remain anonymous. There are many reasons why an author might sign another name to their work, but they all ultimately come down to branding.

The author doesn’t want people to know they are the creator of the work.

The pen name can be a closely guarded secret or a matter of simple convenience. It is almost never done flippantly, especially in modern times, when clear identification is the only way an author receives credit or payment.

Pen names are used to protect the author from stereotyping, discrimination, and/or undue criticism.  Maybe the writer is known for creating non-fiction, but wants to try their hand at mysteries.

The author may have a reputation that runs counter to the subject matter they want to write about. They may believe they won’t be taken seriously, and hiding their identity gives them power over the restrictions.

One famous science fiction author (the aforementioned James Tiptree Jr.) actually wrote to a publisher to support getting another author published. The publishing house agreed and signed on the new writer, never realizing Tiptree Jr. was actually writing on behalf of one of her own pen names!

How Does Amazon Feel About You Adding Multiple Pen Names?

At one time, it seemed Amazon restricted the addition of pen names to only three per listings. A pen name doesn’t create a new account, it merely allows the Amazon Author Central profile to know your pen name is one under which you also publish.

Since Amazon has extended the number of pen names per profile to seven, it seems they don’t actually mind the tactic.

Moreover, the use of pen names is one of the rare instances in which society doesn’t frown upon using a false identity.

Pseudonyms, stage names, and pen names are a common part of the creative world. From actors named John Wayne to world-renowned authors called Mark Twain, it’s accepted that artists may use aliases.

The only restriction seems to be that artists not be duplicitous when it comes to paying taxes or taking responsibility. It’s likely Amazon enjoys providing a mechanism where authors can show they’re not avoiding their obligations.

The Amazon Author Central profile lets writers address their professional duties while managing their work in the marketplace.

How Do You Add Multiple Pen Names To Your Amazon Author Central Profile?

Adding a pen name is simple.

Log into Amazon Author Central and click the Books tab in the upper left.

Click Add It Now in the message at the top of the page.

Type in the author’s name, ISBN, or title of your book that has the pen name.

Amazon will find the book and display it.

Click Add This Book.

A dialogue box will appear stating that it doesn’t appear you are the author of the book.  You will see the pen name and a message asking if the pen name is your name.

Click the radio button next to the pen name to claim it.

Once Amazon has verified the name belongs to you, it will be listed from now on as part of a drop-down list in the upper right of Amazon Author Central.

As mentioned before, you can do this for seven pen names per Amazon Author Central profiles. Welcome to the world of multiple pen names!

What Are You Waiting For?

You know you can’t wait to get your Amazon Author Central page set up, so you can start sharing it!

If you find that there’s anything missing from this guide, do the community a favor and let us know below so we can update accordingly.

If you have questions, someone else may want to know the same thing. Get the conversation started and let’s help each other!

This article was originally published on SelfPublishingwithDale.com as Amazon Author Central Page Set Up on June 10, 2017.

Scroll to Top