by Will Viharo
Whether you like it or not, Amazon has cornered the eBook and the self-publishing markets.
Since most money trails lead back to the top of the economic food chain, no matter what you buy or where you buy it, many otherwise marginalized writers (like me) “suck it up” and go over to “the dark side" in order to effectively peddle our wares.
But once you’re there, under the auspices of the alleged “evil empire,” you have more control over your own career than you might think, or at least how it’s presented to the public…
The irony of presenting yourself as “independent” even though you’re promoting your books via a mega-media conglomerate like Amazon is not lost on me.
However, having published a variety of ways, via a variety of resources, I can tell you from my own personal experience it’s by far the most cost-effective and user-friendly – not to mention highest profile – service of its kind in the current marketplace.
I recently used CreateSpace (after already publishing via Kindle) to start my own imprint devoted exclusively to my own titles, and found it to be a relatively easy process, especially since their customer service reps are so accessible by phone, which is extremely helpful.
Communication makes all the difference in any relationship, or business.
Putting a Face on Your Fiction (or Non-Fiction)
This is where the subject of this particular blog comes in: communicating who you are as an author on your own unique Amazon Author Central Page, which will probably receive a lot more traffic than your own website, just because it’s located inside a virtual “mall” where consumers are shopping anyway – by the millions.
That’s both good and bad for you, since the sheer volume of potential readers benefits your as a writer, but it also means the competition is that much more intense, especially since it seems there are even more writers than readers out there.
Via Amazon Author Central's various free services, you can edit your Author’s Page, as well as each individual title, including Product Description, Editorial Reviews, your Bibliography, and your Biography.
This is true whether your books are self-published or not. I have books on my own page published via my own imprint as well as by other presses, and I am able to add and edit the information on each title’s product page as I choose.
Along with my novels, I also listed various short story and journalistic anthologies to which I contributed. Each one of these separate product pages also links back to my Author’s Page, making it easier for consumers to browse my entire body of work.
Additionally, you can upload several photos of yourself, as well as videos. For instance, I have three customized book trailers, a video of me reading from one of my novels, and a taped interview featured on my page.
Plus you can add auto-feeds directly to your Blogger and Twitter accounts, so that these links appear on your page as well, updated in tandem.
You can also customize your page’s URL, making it even easier for people to find you.
And unless people know you exist, much less what you have to offer, you’ll never sell a single book.
Carve your own unique niche, even if it feels like you’re scrawling your initials on a piece of granite with a butter knife. It takes guts to put yourself out there, so no matter how obscure you might feel, it’s a personal triumph.
Your Amazon Author’s Page, just like all of your social media platforms, should reflect that victory. People like winners. Act like one.
PHOTO: CLAUDIO TOLEDO
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New Orleans, LA