I was thrilled when my first book was listed on Amazon way back in the day. That was before all the hoop-la over social media. This time around, I'm much more computer literate and I've come to realize how important Amazon Central is. I'm still in the process of setting up my Author Central page, but I thought I'd share some of the ways I've learned to optimize my experience on Amazon.
1. Profile picture. Choose a picture of yourself or a picture that you want to use to represent yourself to use as your profile picture. It's always good to be consistent and use the same picture on your blog, your website, your Twitter site, Facebook, etc. Eventually, as you create your presence on the Web, people will recognize your picture without having to read your name.
2. Bio. Write a good, interesting bio that tells the readers some interesting tidbits about you while telling them about your books and why you are an authority on the topic.
3. Blog. Amazon Central provides a space for each author to blog. This will not replace your blog on the Web if you have one. It will, however, add to your presence on line. If your book is non-fiction, make your blog posts about the topic of your book or a related topic. If you write fiction, write about the writing process or something of interest about your genre.
Keep your blog posts short (250 to 300 word). Make your titles clear with good key words in them so searches will pick them up. How great is it to have Google bring potential customers right to your Author Central page where they are just a click away from buying your book if they get the inclination.
4. Listmania. Start a list that includes your book. Create a list and put your book and other top books of your topic on it. This will just give readers another chance to see your book. For example, I have a list, My favorite books about Twitter. Of course my book is one of them and so are the other leading books. Don't be afraid of the competition.
5. Book Trailer. Amazon allows authors to post book trailers. You can make your own at animoto.com with just a couple of key phrases and good jpegs. I haven't put one up for my book yet, but many authors are posting them and gaining attention through them.
6. Book reviews. All authors should concentrate time and energy into finding reviewers for their books. If you read the books of others, post a review about them. Several things might happen if you do: (a) You'll gain the attention of other writers; (b) You'll gain the attention of their readers; and (c) You may find that the other author will review your book as well.
In addition, seek reviews of your book through the top 1000 reviewers on Amazon. Many of them are eager to read and write reviews for you. Be generous with free copies of your book. It will pay off in the end.
If you have other tips on how to get the most out of Amazon, please leave a comment. Even if you don't have tips, leave a comment anyway...