Here’s the cold, hard truth: if you haven’t tweaked your Author Central account yet, your book listings on Amazon KDP look dreadful, your descriptions aren’t optimized, and your customers aren’t being properly guided so they buy other books.
Sound familiar? Join the club! If you’ve spent any amount of time researching books in your niche, you likely have a good idea as to how many others out there have yet to complete these 3 simple steps as well.
But after today, you won’t be one of those people. Let’s begin. 🙂
Step 1: Claim your Author URL via Author Central so that your pen name will become a clickable link on Amazon, leading potential buyers to all of your books rather than a listing of other niche-related books from other people.
Until you claim your author central URL, even if you have an Amazon Author Central account, all of your books will be scattered all over KDP and your pen name won’t be linked to anything.
Look at the 2 examples below: One author has claimed their author URL and the other hasn’t.
With the first book from Lois Sachs, potential customers can’t click on her pen name in order to buy other books. They’re stuck with the one option.
With Shannon’s listing, she’s increased discoverability and optimized her Author Central account so that if someone is interested in her Prayer Journal, they can click her name to explore her other books.
So, make sure you claim your author URL via Author Central for all of your main pen names. You don’t have to do this for every pen name you use, but you should make a point of doing it for the brands you intend to fully develop.
You can claim your author URL by logging into Author Central and clicking on “Author Page” in the top navigation menu. Then, look to the right where you’ll see “Author Page URL”. Click “Add Link” to assign a customized link to your pen name.
Make sure you choose a username that reflects the type of journals and planners you’re publishing. It doesn’t have to match your pen name exactly. Amazon will check to make sure the URL isn’t already in use and if not, it’ll be added to your account.
Not sure what URL to choose? In my example, if I was planning on publishing a lot of journals geared towards moms, I might choose “journals-for-moms” as my username (which is currently available! ;).
Using keywords in your author URL is a great way to fully optimize your account. Just make sure you choose a username that is relevant to your niche, but also not too specific so you’re able to publish a variety of similar niches under one pen name without confusing your audience.
Journals for Moms is a great author URL because it could include pretty well any type of planner, organizer or notebook that would appeal to women.
Your author URL will become active in 30 minutes or less. When this happens, you’ll be able to visit it to see your entire Amazon profile.
And speaking of profile…
Step #2: Fill out the author profile section of your Author Central account.
You only have to do this once, but it will create a neatly organized profile on Amazon that’s connected to all of your books.
Start with your biography. Keep this short and on point. If you’re publishing low content books for Mom’s, write up a short blurb that describes who you are and how/why you create or use the type of books you’re selling.
Journals For Moms are created for those of us who desperately need organization in our lives – or perhaps just a safe place to jot down thoughts, dreams and aspirations (or perhaps to rant!).
Designed with mothers in mind, all of our journals include carefully thought out pages that feature sections for notes and day-to-day planners so even when life gets chaotic, your journal pages will never be. We hope you have fun writing in our unique journals, designed for Moms – by Moms.
P.S: Yes, these journals are great for Dads, too. Get yourself organized, dude!
Next, it’s time to add an image to your Author Central account. You can choose to add your latest journal (or best selling low content book), a logo, or an attention-grabbing photo of ANYTHING that represents your brand.
Tip: Visit FreePik and search for “Cartoon Woman” to load up a ton of really cute photos that would work great on a “Journals for Moms” author central profile page!
Now it’s time to add the final touches to your Author Central account.
If you have a blog, you can add it to your Author Central account by clicking on “Add Blog”.
You’ll need to find the RSS feed of your website in order for Amazon to connect to it. Since this isn’t always so obvious, you can check out this page for instructions on how to find it.
If you don’t have a blog, don’t sweat it. It’s not that important!
But guess what is? Fixing your damn mess of a book description!
Step 3: Editing Your Book Descriptions
When you publish a book via Amazon KDP, despite how hard you try to space things properly, when the book goes lives it ends up looking like one jumbled mess of text.
Case in point:
Clearly one stands out and is much easier for a potential buyer to read.
You can edit your book description HTML a number of ways, but you don’t really need to invest in some fancy editor to get the job done. Simply load up the book description page in your Author Central account.
Yes, you could have done this via KDP when publishing your book but if it’s already live, don’t mess with it. Use Author Central instead.
Click on “Books”, then select the book you wish to edit.
Bypass the impulse reaction to cringe at the mess of a text-wall that appears, and click “Edit” next to Product Description.
You’ll see something like this:
Editing the description in the default compose mode will leave you pulling out your hair, but it’s useful for bolding text without having to know HTML. So go ahead and use the BOLD or ITALIC options to highlight any text, as needed. Then, click Save.
As for fixing the spacing, you’ll click on the HTML mini-tab at the top of the box to do that.
Trust me, trying to add spacing using the regular compose box is a nightmare.
Okay, so when in “EDIT HTML” mode, all you need to do is add the following html code after any text that you want to add a single space to:
This will add a single line spacing to your book description. It’s likely you’ll want to use double-spacing though, so in that case just enter the code above twice, like this:
Add this after the end of every sentence in your description where you want double-spaces to appear.
Here’s a quick look at the difference between single spacing and double spacing in descriptions:
I want double space throughout most of my book description with single spacing used for the bullet-points.
Here’s what my finished code would look like. I’ve highlighted the double-spacing in yellow and single-spacing in green just so you can see it better:
And this is the end result:
Looks so much better, doesn’t it? Once you save your work, the changes will be reflected on your Amazon book listing within a few minutes.
And here’s an important time-saving tip: You don’t have to re-code your descriptions for every book you publish. Just do this once, then copy and paste the code into a text file and save it for future use.
That way you can simply copy and paste it into the descriptions for all your books and only make quick text changes to the description, if needed. For the most part, your book descriptions should all be pretty similarly structured so you might just need to change the wording regarding the size of the book or page-length.
Tip: Don’t save the source code in WORD as it will add extra html and mess up your work. Instead, use a basic text program to save a copy of this HTML. If you’re on a Mac, “TextEdit” is already installed. If on a Windows machine, use the built-in Notepad.
There’s not much else you have to do within your Author Central account, but if you want to further optimize your book pages with keywords, go ahead and create a short bio for the “About the Author” section. Again, save a copy of this in a text file as well so you can copy/paste it quickly for all your books.
The more you get into the habit of creating what we call “swipe files” (text-based copies of repetitive work), the easier it will be to fill these fields in quickly without having to type anything!
Just create one bio swipe file for every pen name you use, and one HTML-based description for every book size you use and you’re good to go.