Updating Amazon’s Author Central So Readers Can Learn More About My Books

Whether or not you like Amazon or not, from an author’s perspective it is the six hundred pound gorilla. If you’re not available on Amazon, it is to sell books.

For authors, Amazon has a site called Author Central. There, authors can, within limits, add more info on each book. For example, you can add reviews by professional/magazine reviewers or tell a little about why you wrote the book or provide more info on the plot and characters. Also, my blog feeds the site, so you can see it a short time after it is posted on my web site.

What I couldn’t figure out is how to get to all the content from the visitor’s page. If you type Marc Liebman in the search bar on the Amazon page, it takes you right to my books. Click on a book and you see one of the items. Why which one pops up and how to get from one to another is beyond me. I know the material is there because I checked. Amazon, it is world of promotion algorithms probably rotates them in some predetermined pattern unknown to the author.

Amazon has also added a calendar feature to the site. Its probably been there all along but I just noticed it. Unfortunately, it won’t link to my web site calendar so I am going to do it manually. Right now, I do it twice, once in Outlook and then on my web site. This will make three and if I put it on Goodreads , I will have do add the same info four times. So much for only adding data once!

What surprised me is how long it took to add all the material. A lot had to be written, some had to be re-formatted, and some, literally, had to be found in the bowels of my laptop. It took the better part of three full days of work to get it all done. Amazon says, at least on the page where you enter the data, it should take three to five days to appear.

There were some odd things about inserting the info. One was there were different pages for the Kindle and hard copy versions? They asked for the same info. So, I kept asking why?

Another oddity was on the Kindle page, there was only room for one professional review and five on the hard copy? Again why?

After all that work and saving the content I created in their recommended format, I am still finding formatting issues such as missing spaces between words, added spaces between paragraphs, etc. Even using the recommending format, there are still errors which I found incredibly frustrating and correcting them time consuming. The cause is probably only known to the IT gods and Amazon.

Apparently, Author Central is a living breathing “thing” and Amazon keeps adding more features to the page which means more work for the author and the author’s publicist.

Oh well!

Marc Liebman

September 2017

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