Amazon Author Central

To aid authors and provide more information about authors to readers, Amazon has what are called ‘Author Pages’. This is a place for a simple bio, an avatar icon, social media feeds (such as for blogs and twitter), and a full listing of books by that author.

As a reader I like them because I get to find out more about the author.

As an author they are a pain in the neck, at least, right at first.

First, Amazon does not set these up automatically. An author must sign up and verify who they are. Then comes the matter of populating the page with the author’s books.

The sequence goes like this:

  1. Find ‘Author Central’ website.
  2. Sign up and wait for Amazon to approve the account.
  3. Set up the preferences, including all social media feeds.
  4. Add all your books one at a time.
  5. Wait for the books as the feeds to show up.

And after the above come these steps:

  1. Manually add your book any time you have a new one come out.
  2. Find all the other ‘Author Central” links for the other Amazon sites.

You see, Amazon does not propogate your author page to the UK or the DE (Germany) websites.*1 You, the author, have to hunt down all these links, and do all the steps listed above to get them set up.

Like I said, a pain in the neck.

However, to help you, here are the links to the various Author Central pages. Be warned, for other countries you will have to create a new account, and for Germany you will need to decifer the page, as there is not an English option. Each site will not acknowledge the existance of your accounts on any of the other sites:

Germany (DE):

Is it worth the hassle? Yes. It provides information, is a great selling tool to help guide readers to your other work and social media platforms, and makes the author appear to be accessible.

Do I have all of mine set up yet? Sorry to say I don’t, but I’m working on it!

*1: I’ve seen a handful of authors say their accounts did propogate over. But I, and a lot of others, are not so lucky.

Oh Noes! Amazon is Getting Too Big!

I’ve been seeing a curious fear-reaction on a number of blogs, comments, in articles and news. All to the news that Amazon is opening up more imprints, furthering their steps from book seller to also book publisher.

And the comments to the Indies, who are happily selling their wares without any publishers but themselves? “Yeah the percentages are great right now, but what happens when Amazon changes the terms/drops royalties/kicks out Indies/(insert fear here).”

You know what? One day I’m going to die. So is everyone else.

But that doesn’t stop me from living!

As with any other aspect of life, you deal with what you have now, plan for the future with the information you have available NOW, try to make informed and good decisions… and then you move forward.

Fear is a dangerous place to make good business decisions (or life decisions). Yes, Amazon is big. Yes, they can do big damage if they choose to. Yes, an individual author means nothing.

But like in life, if there is a change we’ll have to adapt or die. So will everyone else.

Time to take the fear out of it.

Diversify! Why sell only through Amazon? There is no reason not to also distribute ebooks through Barnes & Noble, Kobo (and all their affiliate stores), Diesel, Sony (and all their affiliate stores), Smashwords (so many affiliate stores!), XinXii, Omnilit, and so many others. That doesn’t including selling off your own website, if you want to go through the hassle of setting one up.

We really have no control with any of the other online retailers, either, but at least by having the ebooks available in so many places we’re not allowing Amazon to have a monopoly in our ebook availability. This not only helps us with sales and finding new readers, but it also helps balance out the business moves Amazon makes.

The best any of us can do is take the situation and make the most of it. Fortunately there are a lot of avenues to sell ebooks right now. We can list and sell right NOW for very nice terms.

The only big sales avenue I’m opting out of at the moment is Google until their royalties, interface, and contract terms improve. As an individual author/publisher my opting out is pretty much the only influence I have. On any company.

Put away the fear and live!

Or, to turn this into a writing analogy:

Put away the fear and write and sell!

May Ebook Sales Update

In putting this post together I realize that I didn’t put up an update post in May for April sales. Oops.

Easy to fix, though. This post lists numbers for all the months my ebooks have been released.

For those just starting out I encourage you to look through Victorine E. Lieske’s blog post about sales growth over time. It helps to see the progression and build many Indies go through.

We hear about the big numbers, making a big splash right form the start. Personally, I find the other type of stories more inspiring. Starting low, slowly building, and then POP.

Maybe I find those stories more inspiring because that appears to be my personal trend. 😉

So, on to actual numbers! These are per month, across all sales channels for all sorts of science fiction:

February: 5 (First partial month) – Published 1 short story, 1 novelette
March: 21 – Added 1 novel and 1 novella
April: 18 – Added 1 novella and 1 novelette
May: 24 – Added 1 short story

7 Total ebooks released.
68 total ebooks sold across 3 1/2 months, not including any freebies.

I feel like I’m building. I’m also garnering more good reviews. Hopefully as we go through summer and start reaching the fall/early winter holiday seasons I’ll have a good backlist built up to take advantage of the new ereaders on the market.

That’s the goal I’m working towards. Currently have 2 novels, 1 novella, and a slew of novelettes and short stories in the pipeline. It’s such a rush to have a market for what I write, which is more old-fashioned character-driven science fiction. I wasn’t able to sell them before, but now I can!