Building Flawless Author Foundations
We’re continuing the series on building author foundations by claiming your author profiles on Amazon. Even if you’ve done this already, there’s a good chance you’ve missed a few gems in this profile. So don’t leave me now!
Why do I need it?
Setting up your Amazon Author Profile is a simple step that gets overlooked too often. For reasons we don’t need to understand (Amazon and Google are very good friends *wink wink*), this carries a lot of weight in contributing positively to your SEO (search engine optimization).
Why not use it?
In my experience, many authors don’t know it exists or incorrectly assume it’s automatically set up after their book is uploaded. Of course, there’s also the “why bother” crowd. Please don’t follow this crowd.
I recently followed a debate on the Amazon profile in an author Facebook group. Someone mentioned that they never clicked on an author profile on Amazon, assumed no one else did either, so why bother? Cue my head exploding. Your books do not sell themselves. Book sales are the direct result of targeted marketing. You should take advantage of every free marketing opportunity that applies to your goal, genre, and marketing plans. In this case, this profile helps you to improve your visibility.
Anatomy of your profile
The Amazon Author Profile is the hyper link in your name, directly under your book title. If you’re not sure you have a profile, click the link under your name. If it takes you to just a list that includes your book, it’s not set up. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you click through and see your profile picture and bio in the left margin and your book in the center. But don’t stop here. If yours is set up, let’s see if we can make it better.
Your headshot and bio
For familiarity, I always suggest you maintain the same profile picture in your book’s backmatter, social media profiles, and Amazon. Keep it fresh, by updating it every 3 to 5 years. Your bio should be the same as your book backmatter too. Use the shorter version here. There’s room for readers to scroll, but it’s likely most don’t bother to scroll. Try to keep the most important information just above the hyper link, to read more. Your bio should be warm, and not read like your resume. You can certainly list accomplishments but try to stick to the most significant as they relate to your book, not your high school soccer team’s winning championship game back in the 1980s. I also think it’s best practice to include something personal. Where you live (metro area not street) with whom (spouse, 10 kids, 5 dogs, and 4 cats), and what you like to do in your spare time, are warm additions to any bio. If you’re not sure what it should look like, I suggest you look at the bio of your favorite traditionally published author to see how the publisher has set up their profile.
There are a few additional items you can include in your Amazon Author Profile just below your book listing. This is the real estate in your profile that can help you stand out from others in your genre and keep your content fresh to help improve your SEO.
First, you’ll notice you can add photos and videos here. This is a great place to include a photo of you holding your first copy as well as your book trailer. Don’t treat this like your Facebook profile and add family vacation pictures. But do consider updating photos every six months to a year. Your book trailer can remain, unless you change it.
Next, you’ll see toward the bottom, on the right, a link to add the RSS feed from your blog. This is one of my favorite features of your profile. We know that Amazon carries a lot of weight on Google. Just search for your name or book title to see what’s at the top of the search. Adding fresh content is the best way to maintain that ranking. Which is difficult with a profile because it’s mostly static. This is where the RSS feed comes in.
Search Google to find out how to grab the RSS feed from your website. WordPress, Wix, and SquareSpace all over different formats for this. It should look something like: www.yourwebsite.com/blog/rss. Then plug that URL into the field in your profile that says “add rss feed”. Each time you publish a new blog post to your website, the rss feed pushes that content to your Amazon profile. You don’t have to do anything but publish blog posts. This keeps the content in your profile fresh and helps to improve your profile’s ranking on Google. It’s important to note that won’t pull old blog posts from your website, just new content as you publish it.
Keep it fresh
I think it’s a good idea to make sure your bio is updated periodically. Twice a year, unless something changes significantly for you, is probably all you need. Make sure you’ve updated the status of a project, announced an award, or discuss any upcoming books you’re working on. I like the idea of doing this with changing seasons or changing clocks. That way it becomes a habit you maintain, year after year.
I’d love to see your profile! Use the comments below to share the link to your Amazon Author Profile. Let’s see how you did. As always, use the comments below with questions. I’m always available for a free 30-minute consultation if you’re feeling stuck in your author marketing efforts. You can schedule that meeting here via phone or Zoom.
If you’d like to work with me to help you reach your author marketing goals, I offer self-paced courses, 1:1 author marketing coaching, group coaching (coming mid 2022), and done-for-you marketing. Click here to find out which program fits your goals.
Photo credit: Via Unsplash, Christian Wiediger, Photographer