Sunday, February 20, 2011

How To Get Your Kindle and Soft/Hardcover Versions Linked Together on Amazon

How To Get Your Kindle and Soft/Hardcover Versions Linked Together on Amazon

Amazon Kindle Optimization

Part of optimizing your Amazon page is having it go hand-in-hand with the Kindle version. If you have not already signed up to have your book formatted for Kindle, I would suggest doing so as soon as possible. By the end of 2010, ebook sales were up by $1 billion. Amazon reported Kindle versions of their top 10 bestsellers outsold the print 2 – 1 (as reported to engadget). Some in the industry believe that eBook sales will increase by over $3 billion in 2011.

If you have already done the Kindle conversion (or are planning to), here are some important first steps once it is complete.

  1. 1.      Go to the Kindle listing on Amazon and see if it is linked with your print book (you will see the box below, plus your reviews for your print book will appear for the Kindle).

If they are not linked (and Amazon is not always good about doing this on their own), simply go to the “contact us” screen (sometimes it gets moved but if you go into the “help” link at the upper right of the screen and search for “contact us”, it will bring you to the page). All you need to do is write a query to them, indicating the book title and author, and let them know that the two formats should be connected. It takes about a week.
2.       When the two formats are joined, the tags are not. The good news is that if someone finds your book based on tags, they will be able to get to the Kindle version if the two are linked.
3.       Tag your Kindle version book and have your friends, coworkers, etc vote on the tags, just as with the print version.
4.       Share the update on Facebook, Twitter, chats, groups, etc that your book is available on Kindle.
5.       I would recommend putting out a free press release to announce this. You can do so through

Once you have your print and your Kindle versions, you now have double the presence on Amazon.

 There are some important things to keep in mind with Kindle, which add to the value.
1.       There are a little over 770,000 books available on Kindle. That is less competition for your book and the interest in eBooks is increasing quickly (matter of fact, the interest is increasing faster than the population of books in Kindle format, great time to get on board).
2.       International sales are becoming more dependent on electronic versions.
3.       Pairings with other books are easier for Kindle. In normal circumstances, pairings are assisted greatly when your book is purchased at the same time as others on a consistent basis. With Kindle, pairings are entirely based on purchasing history, since eBooks are downloaded one at a time. The likelihood of your book being paired with others is much higher.
4.       Some reports suggest that a person is more likely to purchase an eBook on a whim than a printed book, especially when dealing with online sales.
5.       Combine all of this with the reviews that you have gotten and will continue to get, you have a great opportunity to sell a large number of copies.
6.       Remember, New York Times now has eBook bestseller lists!

Especially important:  As previously mentioned, there are just over 770,000 Kindle books available on Amazon. This makes your rate of exposure increase exponentially and your odds of being picked up into Amazon’s recommendation system higher. Amazon separates Kindle rankings from Amazon rankings. This is HUGELY beneficial to you because in the Kindle department your book is 1 of 770,000 as in the Amazon marketplace your book is 1 of over 5,000,000. I hope you see the opportunity here. The kindle/eBook market is going to grow in the next year like a wildfire so if you can get in and establish a presence in that marketplace now you will be set for the future. 

Author Central - Part 2 - Author's Page

Author Central - Part 2 - Author's Page

Hopefully by now you have already gone in and claimed your Author's Page via Author central. If you already have your author's page created and updated on your book's Amazon page here are some tips on how to maximize this information portal for your target readers viewing pleasure! 

 Now it’s time to go in and set it up! After you have verified your account, you can add content. An explanation of this appears next.

After you log in for the first time, you will see the welcome screen with various content below. The important thing is the tabs at the top.
1.        Home is the page you land on.
2.       Books is where you actually “claim” your book. Within is an “Add more Books” button. Click that and you will be able to link your book with your profile. After any books are added, you will see them here, complete with the # of editions, sales rank, and average review score. If you have more than one version (paperback, kindle, hardback, audio, etc), the stats for the one with the best sales rank will be displayed.
3.       Profile is the next big one. There are five sections here. For each, click the “add” or “edit” link (it’s in blue in the upper right corner of each section). In each circumstance, a window will pop up with specific instructions. They change them sometimes so the screens are not posted here, but it is quite simple to use.
a.      Biography: This is your author biography. It’s fine if you use the same one that you typically use, just remember to update it when it changes.
b.      Blogs: This feature allows you to start an Amazon blog. If you already have a blog, you can add the RSS feed here. You can add as many as you like so if you have multiple blogs, you can have multiple feeds. It creates a sort of 1-stop shopping and you do not have to copy your individual blog entries to Amazon. It can take up to a day for one of your new entries to make it to the Amazon page but it will go automatically.
c.       Events: This is a feature that you should make sure you use. Any author-related events that you have (speaking, book signings, etc), make sure to add them here. This also includes the international book fairs, even if you are doing the “book-in-booth” program when you aren’t actually going to be there. You can still indicate that your book will be represented. The reason this is important is that media will look at Amazon feeds to find out what’s going on. This is yet another way to open yourself up to possible media coverage.
d.      Pictures: This is where you can upload various pictures. Keep in mind that this is actually regulated, so make sure you have rights to these pictures (i.e. they’re ones you’ve taken or created yourself, no images of your favorite movie characters that you found on Google). If you have pictures of yourself from events, these are good to post.
e.      Videos: Just as with pictures, you must have rights to any video that you post here. Keep it book related so any video trailers for your book should go here. They allow videos of up to 500 MB so feel free to upload high resolution (although, depending on your connection speed, it could take awhile). They now allow more than one video to be posted so have at it. Remember, this page is indexed by search engines. From a SEO (search engine optimization) standpoint, video(s) increase the page’s rank. A good example of a video clip can be viewed here: 

4.       Sales Info: This feature has been enhanced. There is a map displayed here with areas shaded as to where your book has sold (hard copy only, eBooks are not tracked via this medium). The system uses a service called bookscan, which counts the number sold via several mediums, including brick and mortar stores (not all stores report to this service, but the big ones like Barnes and Noble and Borders do). The lined areas are “combined areas”. The population of booksellers in these areas are spread out to the point where reporting numbers may  diminish the anonymity of the store reporting, so they combine these into one. Below the map is a bar graph which tells you the numbers per week of the last 4 weeks. The last graph is the charting of the sales rank. In this area, you can switch between the various formats and look at how they have done historically. You can change it from 2 weeks to 1 month, to “all available”. The key with this area is not to get too obsessed. This does not report every sale as Nook and other eReaders are not part of it, nor every bookseller. Also, the books you sell on your own are not counted here.

5.       Customer Reviews is a tab that shows a list of the reviews for your book(s). You can switch between the “short” view and the “full” view and you can also change the sort order.
6.       Help is the last tab and this is where you go if you are having trouble.

Remember, this is not the same thing as your Amazon Profile, which is what you write reviews under, make purchases through, etc. This is what people will see when they go to your book’s page and click on your name, so it is important.

For an example of an author who has utilized the functions listed above please view this here: (note the author has his blog and video linked).

Author Central Example:

Mike Saxton, "7 Scorpions: Rebellion"

Robin Landry, "When I Dream"

Once again I hope this helps everyone out! Your comments are always appreciated :)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Amazon Profile

Amazon Profile

The Amazon profile is a central hub for all of your involvement with the site. It gives you a page to share information about yourself and also a quick link to reviews, listmanias, how-to’s, etc. So, why is it important? Here is an overview:

1.       The profile is what a user will see when they click on the “By” link on a review. When you have a signature like “Author of . . .” (which is set up on your profile page), the person who is viewing your profile may be interested in finding out more about you before looking up your book. To click on the link and find a blank page is to have a person immediately lose interest in going any further and is the potential loss of a sale.
2.       The profile contains your “New Reviewer Rank” and “Classic Reviewer Rank”. When your rank ascends enough, you may be contacted to review books/products. Not only will this get you free stuff, it’s free publicity for your own work (and if you have a link to your website, all the better). Remember, when people like the way you write, they want to see more of what you write.
3.       The profile can lead people to your book page. Even if they do not buy it immediately, the act of viewing it will help you out with Amazon recommendations, which are driven by page views, wish list adds, and purchases.
4.       Author review exchanges, no matter the forum, are almost always done through Amazon. In order to post reviews, you need an account. Remember, Amazon is a central hub for reviews and numerous shoppers read the reviews on Amazon even if they do not purchase the item there.
5.       It’s FREE! That’s right. You don’t have to pay for this. Free publicity is the best.

As you can see, it is all about driving traffic to your book’s page and no one way will work entirely. By utilizing as many options as possible, you can maximize the traffic to your book’s page. Here is how you set up your profile:

1.       If you haven’t already, go to the Amazon home page and click the “Start Here” at the top.
2.       Fill in the email address that you want Amazon to send updates and invoices (for any purchases you make, it’s free to sign up for Amazon). Click the bubble next to “No, I am a new customer”.
3.       Fill in your name and choose a password.
4.       Click “create account”.

You will now have a basic account. When you first make a purchase, you will have to indicate your address and credit card information, but you do not need to do that initially. Technically, an Amazon account is not fully “active” until you have made at least 1 purchase. A good idea is to buy a copy of your own book. You’ll get royalties on it and it will help your rankings.

5.       Once you have created your basic account, click the “Your Profile button”.

  1. The first thing it asks you is what name you want to use. I would suggest using whatever name appears on the cover of your book (if you have a pen name, use that, you can ship things to alternate names). Click “create profile”.
  2. The next screen asks for some information about you. There is an option to “Skip and go to your Profile” as you can add, change, or delete any information you want at any time. Also, you can choose what information you would like viewable. I would recommend at least indicating your location and web page. Your email address (it can be a separate email address that you create specifically for this) should also appear so people have a way to contact you. Once you’re a big name, you can have a public relations person do it.
  3. Congratulations, you’re done! That was easy.

If you ever want to edit your profile, you can return to your profile page through the same “Your Profile” button. When you are logged in, there is a yellow “Edit Your Profile” button on the top right of the screen. Simply click that, and then make the changes that you want. You will need to make sure you save it. When you are in edit mode, there is a save button that will appear in the upper right.