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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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Kinsella December 30, 2011 at 10:31 am

Author central is a great tool and this has reminded me I need to update mine 🙂


derek December 30, 2011 at 11:08 am

Please do…I just took a look at your books and I think having a little more about you as the author would be great to connect to Amazon visitors, as it sounds like your story is amazing.
I’ve taken note of your book for my reading list once I pare it down a bit; holidays have caused my reading to slow down.


Leonardo@test January 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Hi, i feel that i saw you visited my website so i got here to return the prefer?.I am trying to in finding things to enhance my web site!I suppose its adequate to make use of some of your ideas!!


John McMahan January 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Dear Amazon:
Several of my books re: real estate are already sold by Amazon.
I have just written a new book which is an autobiography about my fifty years in real estate. The title is “Experiences and Lessons From A Road Less Traveled” (Personal Reflections from fifty years in Real Estate1961 – 2011″. The list price is $65.00.
The number of pages is 277 in a 6 X 9 format similar to my book “Cases in Commercial Real Estate Investing” published in 2005 and currently sold by Amazon.
I have had such a good experience from selling through Amazon I thought I would contact you before talking to others.
The book is currently being printed but I have a preview edition available for your review if you are interested.
If so, you can contact me at the email address above or by phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Look forward to talking to someone from Amazon.
John McMahan


derek January 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

John…first, I wanted to let you know that I edited your comment and removed your phone number from display so you don’t end up with a bunch of people calling you out of the blue.
Second, it appears that you are attempting to contact Amazon but this blog is my personal blog and as much as I’d love to have it, I don’t have a direct line of communication with the powers that be at Amazon. Now, if you’d like to talk to me about converting your print books into digital format to sell on the Kindle, I can help you with that. 🙂


Ken Shaw February 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Hey Derek, Just published my first book on Kindle. Thanks for the tips about Author Central. I had no idea. My book is about How to make wine at home.
Thanks again.


derek February 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Awesome news, congrats Ken! I’ve grabbed a copy while it is on the free promotion so I can check it out – although I have to admit that I am not a wine drinker at all.
One word of caution, you might lose out on a fair size chunk of your royalty due to the delivery fees as it looks like the book is quite large and I am guessing it is due to all of the photos.
Again, congrats on the accomplishment!


Ken Shaw February 25, 2012 at 12:15 am

Oppps, again thanks for the tips. I never even thought about “Delivery Costs”. Guess I need to hang out on your site to see what else I can learn. :>)


Ed Guerena February 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm

This is a great tip. It will save me some frustrating time waiting for minor edits to take effect. Thank you very much.


derek February 24, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Glad you liked it Ed! 🙂


Judy H Wright-Auntie Artichoke February 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Hello from Montana,
We just added videos about each of the books up on Kindle KDP. I put the videos in author central. It is a great resource.
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke


Chris Lockwood February 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Great advice, Derek.
Do you happen to know how to handle multiple author names with Author Central? The KDP account can handle as many authors as you want, but the AC seems to be for just one, making me wonder if they actually want us to create separate AC accounts for each name.


derek February 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

Thanks Chris!
You can add multiple pen names under one Author Central account, although I believe the limit is three (would have to look that up again.)
Within AC, click the link to add a new book and then search for your pen name or book title. Then, go through the process to claim the book and it will ask you if this is you, and once you confirm it will establish a new pen name for you in AC. Then, in the upper right corner, you will be able to switch between the pen names and see the books for each name.
Let me know if that doesn’t make sense and I will try to write up a post with detailed steps.


Chris Lockwood February 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Thanks, got it. Your directions are much clearer than AC’s.


Judy H Wright-Auntie Artichoke March 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

Hello from Montana,
Derek, thanks for your great tips and techniques. I am so busy writing new books or editing older, bigger books into Kindle size, that I have not done as much marketing as I would like.
I use Author Central because I have books on Amazon. Is there another author place just for KDP?
Oh by the way, We had our parenting books up as one and two last week. I love it.
Judy Helm Wright aka Auntie Artichoke


Franklyn@personal blog March 16, 2012 at 7:31 am

Wow, this post is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these
things, so I am going to tell her.


Fanny@Real Estate License Guides October 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I am so inspired that you followed through on self publishing a book. Thank you for the author central tips. I may actually try to finish by fiction book and publish it.


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