|Don't lie, you know you want one.|
Well, since you asked so nicely I'll be happy to explain. As most authors (and all readers) know, Amazon is the premium destination for books online. Their Kindle is burying opposition like the Barnes and Noble Nook, and Amazon has become the nexus of self-publishing for ebooks. It's even expanded into audio books, and if you want to get in on Amazon's audio book revolution by reading books for money here's an article about Amazon's deal with Audible and iTunes and how you can take advantage of it.
Now because Amazon is just so damned big it's really hard for authors to get noticed. Unless you're already famous, or your books have been positively reviewed thousands of times, you're not going to get discovered very often. The reason for that is Amazon is a marketplace, and if what people want is Dan Brown and 50 Shades of Grey, then that's what's going to show up on the homepage. It's dismal, but the catch-22 of Amazon is that you and your books don't get seen by browsers unless you have a lot of reviews and purchases. Of course, if no one knows you're out there then it's impossible to get those purchases or reviews in the first place.
The Amazon author page is a tool to help authors consolidate their presences on Amazon, and to make themselves easier to discover.
|You are here. No, no... over here.|
The first step in getting an Amazon author page is to go to the Amazon Author Central Homepage right here and to sign up. Once you're signed up the page works like any other form of social media; you upload a photo, give the readers a short description of who you are and what you do, and you tag all of your books. Once you've done that Amazon will make sure to include a link to your profile on every page with one of your books so that if a reader wants to know more they can check you out with the click of a mouse.
In addition to making you easier to find by putting links on all your pages (which is particularly nice if you're in a lot of separate anthologies like I am), this author page also allows you to post links to signings and events you're having. Lastly if you have a blog (and I'm assuming you do) you can plug in the feed on your author profile so that anyone who stops by can see what it is you've been posting about. In short this profile acts as a one stop shop for everything you're creating that you want readers to check out.
What's The Catch?
There is no catch, friends. An Amazon author profile is simply a way to make sure that you can be more easily discovered, that readers can find all of your books instead of just a few, and that you get a chance to tell them where you're going to be and to hook them onto your blog. It's completely free, and costs you nothing more than the effort of signing up and creating an attractive profile for the masses.
Why would Amazon do something like that for authors? After all they're an evil corporation out to maximize profits and become a monopoly, aren't they? Opinions vary, but to answer your question Amazon provides authors with these profiles to help us sell more books. Through Amazon.
Do you have to do this to succeed? No, of course you don't. But while it's possible to start a fire by rubbing sticks together, it's easier to flick a Bic and call it a day. Why work any harder than you have to, especially when you've already put so much effort into getting books on the market in the first place?
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