9 Critical Steps to Successful Self-Publishing: Critical Step 8
Critical Step 8: Establish a Presence on Author Sites
Whether you publish independently or traditionally, Amazon.com will be an important marketing tool for your book. You need to go beyond just the listing of your book on its own page, but include additional information that helps sell your book.
Amazon’s Author Page, Author Central, Goodreads, & Shelfari, and Giveaways/Promotions
When your printer or publisher submits information about your book to Amazon, the company will create a unique page for you with a hypertext link associated with your name. Clicking on that link will take you to your Author Page where you have the opportunity to add a lot more information about your book.
Your Author Page should include a brief biography, a video (if available) of you speaking about your book, some photographs that relate to the book, and recent tweets (after you link your Twitter account to it). If you have a book trailer for your book, this is a good place to post it. Similarly, if you’ve been interviewed on television about your book, post that interview here.
Create an Author Central account on Amazon. I consider Author Central to be Amazon’s most valuable resource for authors, as the people who work there can be reached easily and are very helpful.
With one exception, despite the fact that both Goodreads and Shelfari are owned by Amazon, the information you post on one site does not automatically appear on either of the other sites so you need to post for each one. (The exception is that the Book Extras section on your Amazon Author Page is populated by information that can only be added through Shelfari. Yes, it makes no sense at all.)
KDP and KDP Select
In order to sell an ebook on Amazon, it must be available through KDP (Kindle Digital Publishing) and must be in the correct format (Amazon supports several formats, and offers a lot of advice and tools for making and checking the conversion; alternatively, you can hire someone on Fiverr.com to convert the book to one of the acceptable upload formats at a nominal cost). Enrolling in KDP Select makes your book available through additional Amazon resources (such as Kindle Unlimited, and Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: KOLL) but you must give Amazon ninety days of exclusivity for offering your ebook for sale. (If you don’t want Amazon to have perpetual exclusivity of your ebook, make sure to uncheck the box that states: “Automatically renew this book’s enrollment in KDP Select for another 90 days.” Find this option by clicking on your book cover under Bookshelf → YourBook → Enrollment Details.)
For more information on publicizing your book, see 9 Critical Steps to Successful Self-Publishing: Get it Right the First Time.