It has been an interesting week. Having just published Ani’s latest collection, ‘Doggerel‘, reissued her ‘Notes from a Small Dog‘ and published a new edition of my fantasy, ‘Swords of Destiny‘, I did something I seldom think to do, I checked my Amazon Author Page…
Stuart’s page was the same when I checked, and he too had just published another book.
It is not going to inspire confidence in your work if the ‘storefront’ is a mess and the customer can’t find what is supposed to be on offer!
While a few books on the author banner were correctly listed, the rest were either:
- Linked to third party sellers trying to make a fast buck by reselling books at exorbitant prices. One was almost $80! Good luck with that…
- Linked to deleted third-party sellers and thus listed as ‘currently unavailable’ and therefore not for sale at all.
- Listed as only available through third-party sellers, thus putting such meagre royalties as are earned directly in their pockets.
- Linked to either the Kindle or the Paperback, with the ‘buy’ listing showing only one, rather than both editions.
Any and all of which mean that the books cannot or will not be bought… even though they are all available, directly from Amazon, most of them in both Kindle and Paperback… but only if you know where to look. And how many people are going to know they are there, take time to trawl through or check when a book is listed as unavailable?
I rolled up my sleeves, headed to Amazon Author Central and started typing.
To be fair to Amazon, their operatives are always helpful and, once I had managed to make it clear what the problem actually was, the issues were immediately rectified. I did find that I had to do the same for some, though not all, of the problems by contacting both Amazon UK and US though.
If you do not have an Amazon Author Page… you should. It groups all your books together, allows you to add detail and make changes to book listings as well as making it easier for readers to find your work, follow you and be notified of new releases.
Whether you publish your books through Amazon UK or US, you need to set up separate Author Pages for both and can also add Author Pages for other countries too, such as Amazon France and Germany… both of which have English language sections. The most useful one though is undoubtedly Author Central.com, the US site as it has more functionality. Once your account is set up there, you can ‘claim’ your books and add them to your author page, alter details and… crucially… contact Amazon’s staff from each book listing at need.
After several days of emailing, all was orderly at last and correctly linked.
Meanwhile, I took the opportunity of updating book descriptions compressed by Amazon’s display… I miss the white space we once had. I also updated the author bio, that had been neglected for a while and realised you can tailor your bio for each book, to reflect its mood.
Though it would be nice if Amazon left in the spaces you had typed between the words…
Having done all that and sat back finally with a celebratory cuppa, I bethought myself of my Goodreads author page… and that was almost as bad.
It didn’t take long to update what I could and the Goodreads Librarians did the rest in no time at all.
Not a bad bout of housekeeping in the end!