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”.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.