Kindle Publishing Tip :: Utilize Author Central

by derek on December 30, 2011 · 19 comments

Earlier this year, I published my first book for the Kindle and have learned a great deal about the publishing process along the way.

For those that are familiar with Internet Marketing, you understand the concept of continuously testing. Whether it be testing different titles, ad copy, images, colors, or any combination of items, testing is essential to your success.

The same holds true when publishing eBooks on the Kindle.

Testing your Kindle books

When it comes to testing your Kindle books, there are a handful of items that you will want to focus your efforts on as you look for that sweet spot of daily sales.

Here are a few of the critical items you will want to test as you work on marketing your book and building your sales:

  • Title of the book
  • Cover image
  • Price point
  • Reviews and description

Generally speaking, all of these are relatively obvious areas that you will want to test. For instance, you’ve published your book and sales have been lagging for a month or two. Evaluate the areas above and select one that you want to use as a test case.

Will you get more sales at $1.99 than you have been getting at $0.99? Would a more professional cover boost your sales? Is your description grabbing buyers?

Testing is good, but tedious

Unfortunately, when it comes to testing on the Kindle Direct Publishing website things can be rather slow and tiresome to test.

Unlike when you have your own website or blog that you can update instantly and test small changes, you are at the mercy of Amazon when it comes to updating your Kindle books. Once your book is published, making changes to items such as the price, title, and cover can take between 12 and 48 hours to be reviewed and updated.

The same holds true for the description of your book.

Unless you use the following tip!

Amazon provides a service, or site, called Author Central that allows authors to create their own personal profile. The profile allows you to share personal information, including things such as your latest tweets, directly on Amazon.

Author Central also provides authors with the ability to edit information on each of their books.

It doesn’t cover all of the areas that you want to test as an author, but it does allow you to update the description of your book and also allows you to highlight reviews. You can also add special sections such as “From the Author” and an assortment of Book Extras.

So you might be thinking, big deal, I can do that on KDP too.

While that is true, updates made via Author Central are applied to your book’s page on Amazon almost instantly as opposed to the 12-48 hours it takes via the Direct Publishing interface.

Not only that, but it also provides you with some advanced (well, more advanced than KDP anyways) editing controls such as the ability to include bold and italic text as well as ordered and unordered lists. Okay, so that isn’t earth shattering–but it is better than being limited to just plain text.

Improve efficiency and set yourself apart

Sign up for Author Central if you haven’t already so you can begin leveraging these benefits within your own testing. At a minimum, being able to create your own author profile page provides you an opportunity to promote yourself on one of the most visited websites.

Utilizing it for your testing will also allow you to get quicker results on your changes, and allow you to set yourself apart from all of the authors using plain text.

Give this Kindle publishing tip a try and let me know how your testing improves your sales!

For those that are still on the fence or scared by all the work involved with publishing on the Kindle, don’t forget you can get in touch with me at Teague Publishing for help with becoming a published author.

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