Amazon

Every book we publish has a dedicated page on Amazon that features:

  • the cover image
  • a description of your book
  • your author bio
  • a “Search Inside the Book” link that features select content, such as frontmatter, table of contents, and the index
  • blurbs, review excerpts, and awards
  • a link to your Amazon author page, if you build one

How to Create Your Amazon Author Page

Creating an Amazon author page via Author Central is easy, free, and worth your time! All authors with a book on Amazon are eligible to join Author Central. Creating an author page will allow you to manage some of the content that readers will see on your book’s page. Another useful feature of Author Central is that it allows you to track sales on Amazon and locate buyers. Visit Amazon Author Central for tips on optimizing your book’s search results.

Your Amazon author page is also a good opportunity to tell readers a story about your work at length and build credibility for your platform. The goal of this page is to give readers a sense of who you are in a more personal and engaging way. An expanded bio also helps improve your searchability on Amazon, increasing the chances that readers will find you and your work.

Complete the checklist below to build a strong author page on Amazon:

1. Create your Author Central account on Amazon

2. List all of your books on your author page

3. Post at least one high quality author photo

Amazon allows you to upload up to 8 photos on your page. This is an opportunity to showcase your professional interests, your experience as an author, giving a presentation at a conference, etc. Be sure to prioritize more recent photos and photos that build on your platform. Readers like to get a sense of the author as a real person, and this is how you can show the different facets of your work in an accessible way.

4. Add an author bio

Tell your story in a personal and intentional way. It should be written professionally but also showcase some of your personality. This bio can be written in third or first person, whichever feels most natural. The bio should not be too long but also not too short. Aim for three to four paragraphs.

Start with an intro to your expertise. In the first few sentences, pack in your most recent research, work, and major accomplishments, including where you currently teach and any other details relevant to building your credibility in relation to your book’s topic. 

Be sure to include as many relevant keywords as possible. Think of keywords as the terms that would make up the word bank of your book and as phrases that readers would be using to search for your book. (For example, if one were to search on Amazon: “Books for millennial burnout”, this keyword string can translate to ‘”Her work engages with millennial burnout” in your bio.)

Use the next few paragraphs to touch on your background, previous books, big media hits, media/journals you have written for, where you have previously taught, noteworthy accomplishments, major awards you’ve won, or relevant affiliations. You don’t need to include all of these details, just ones that best illustrate your story and how you became an expert in this area.

Close with some personal details and include your website and relevant social media accounts. (i.e. She currently resides in Oakland, California with her partner and two dogs, Sally and James. She can be reached on Twitter @UCPress. Visit her website at ucpress.edu.)

Check out examples of great bios: Alexandrea Ravenelle, Marion Nestle

5. Link your blog feed

6. Post relevant and high-quality videos

Amazon allows you to upload up to 8 videos on your page. These can include video interviews, book signings, or presentations/talks you have given on your book’s topic. For previous authors, you can include videos that feature content on your previous books, but do try to keep this content as recent and relevant as possible. It’s good to balance both establishing your credibility in the now, but also featuring your professional journey.

7. Create and share your author page where relevant

This might include your email signature, blog posts, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc.

 

How to Get Amazon Reviews

Getting Amazon reviews is an important part of marketing your book, especially if you're trying to reach a trade audience. While reviews cannot be posted ahead of your book’s pub date, you can still work to secure reviews beforehand, so that your reviewers post them as early as possible (ideally within a few weeks of your book’s launch). 

Keep in mind that when searching for a book and skimming listings, customers are drawn to looking at how many stars and reviews a book has. For some, this is all they know about the book beyond the title and cover, so it builds credibility. Once a customer is on your book’s product page, the reviews are often what they look at directly after skimming the product description, so look at reviews as an opportunity to build on your product description.

Later on, it will pay to have reviews, as this increases searchability of your book, helps build your sales ranking, and can provide entryway into awards and promotional opportunities. Be sure to set a goal for how many reviews you want to get (20-30 reviews is a good place to start). 

So how should you go about it? Here are some of our guidelines and tips:

  • Leverage your network: Reach out (via email list, social media, directly) to your colleagues and friends, including colleagues whose books you have reviewed, people who belong to your ideal audience, your blurbers (it’s easier to turn a short blurb into a longer review, than to start from scratch!), etc.
  • Push for Verified Customer reviews, meaning the reviewer purchased your book directly from Amazon.
  • Avoid mention of personal relationship with reviewers. Other authors are welcome to review your book, but if they have a personal relationship with you, or were involved in the book’s creation process (i.e. as a co-author, editor, illustrator, etc.), their reviews will be flagged and deleted. Amazon also does not allow individuals who share a household with you or close friends to write Customer Reviews for your book. Amazon is nifty at flagging and deleting reviews by loved ones - and if you take this risk, your book may get flagged altogether, making it harder for any customer to leave a review, even if they are not acquainted with you.
  • No paid reviews. Amazon does not allow any form of compensation for a Customer Review other than a free copy of the book provided upfront, and if you offer a free copy, it must be clear that you welcome all feedback, both positive and negative. If Amazon detects that a customer was paid to write a review, they will remove it.
  • Encourage reviewers to include photos with their reviews. This can be a selfie of them with the book, or just a personal photo of the book in the setting in which they read it. It’s a nice touch and adds legitimacy that real people bought the book and read it somewhere, and it lets your book cover shine!
  • Active Amazon customers only. Reviewers must have spent at least $50 on Amazon.com using a valid credit or debit card in the past 12 months in order to leave a review. There is also talk that Amazon will eventually allow only Prime customers to review products later down the line, something to keep in mind. 

 

Tips for Your Amazon Reviewers

If you’d like to share some tips with potential reviewers of what to include in their Amazon review, we recommend sharing the following suggestions:

  • Focus on audience. What would other customers who are curious about the subject want to know? Speak to this community as if you were recommending a book to a friend--personably, energetically, and respectfully. What would compel you to pick up this book?
  • Identify what differentiates the book. Is it the voice, the tone, the case studies, the uniqueness in the research? Highlight this and consider drawing comparisons with other books that this book may be in conversation with or builds on. 
  • Do not share any personal information about the author. (i.e. “I know John Doe from college, so of course I had to read his book!”). You can, however, mention if you’ve read the author’s previous books before or have interest in their work/research. Feel free to compliment the author, but do it at a distance.
  • Try to include as many keywords as possible. Think of keywords as the buzzwords that make up the book’s word bank--even if these terms may not be completely accessible to a general audience, think of who the book is actually for. You want to be specific enough, so that you reach the right readers. What kind of jargon will reach the target audience of this book? (i.e. If you’re reviewing a book about eco-burnout, you should try to refer to ‘eco-burnout’ in your review)

Please see Amazon’s Customer Review Guidelines for more information.