Tag Archives: Amazon

[PAPERBACK] How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West

[PAPERBACK] How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West

Watch for How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West in the autumn of 2018. This new title will be available through all major bookstores worldwide in paperback format, plus on Kobo.com and E-Sentral.com in .EPUB ebook format, on October 15, 2018.

Those who wish to sneak an early peek will be able to find this book on Amazon in .MOBI ebook format as early as July 15, 2018, and it will be free of charge for five days that week only.

This book contains a repeatable, entirely achievable six-week publishing process—a blueprint you can easily follow no matter what type of book series you wish to publish on three recommended ecommerce sites. It also contains case studies of several highly successful authors who are already doing these things and earning massive incomes from it.  Read more here.



A Shortlist of Google’s Top Ranking Factors … an Excerpt from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Enjoy this excerpt from the upcoming sixth installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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Throughout this T-shaped marketing ebook series, in several of my past blog posts, and in many of my other books, I’ve referenced the following six ranking factors that will help you to improve your website’s SEO. Improving your SEO is crucial to your success as an author because it will help you to attract more readers and sell more books. How do I know these things work when applied with a consistent focus? Because I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later (and still growing) by doing all the things I recommend to you. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on ecommerce sites such as Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 300 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period. That’s my firsthand experience with this to date. I also regularly read the research published by SEO industry leaders, such as Moz, which has guided me in building my book business so I can guide authors like you in doing the same. In short, this stuff works!

  1. Publish relevant content on a consistent basis:
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    Blogging is one of the best ways for you to stay engaged with your current and prospective readership; and, the more often you post something new online, the more points Google will award to your blog site thus improving its SEO. But you should know that Google is far from being the only search engine that rewards new content. Amazon and Kobo do, too, as mentioned in this book. Want to dramatically increase your SEO over the next year? Start posting relevant content on a consistent basis that pleases all these search engines.
     . 
  2. Build a high number of relevant backlinks to your website:
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    In addition to blogging, I’ve also mentioned how legitimate book reviews, guest blogging, and content syndication can be used to increase the number of relevant backlinks to your website. This, too, is worthy of a higher ranking in Google’s eyes thus improving your SEO.
     . 
  3. Protect and improve your SEO with proper HTML coding (REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags):
     .
    While guest blogging and content syndication are both fantastic ways to improve your own website’s SEO, they can also cause duplicate content issues if too much of the same copy is being reused on different sites without due care. This is where implementing REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags can come in really handy as discussed in the HTML Coding for Beginners T-shaped ebook.
  4. Attract regular click-through traffic to your website:
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    It stands to reason that the more content you post, the more backlinks that redirect to your site, and the higher your SEO ranking grows, the more traffic will find its way to your website and click on it. You want these people to stay there as long as possible. If they only click once and then leave, that’s called a bounce; but, if they click on a few different pages and stay there for a while to read things over, that’s called a click-through. A high bounce rate may affect your SEO negatively while you’ll garner more SEO points via an increased click-through rate—all the more reason to ensure your website contains relative and enticing content people will want to stay there and view.
     . 
  5. Encourage more social media activity and shares (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube):
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    I dedicated an entire book, titled Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, to teaching authors how to utilize social media marketing as part of your online sales strategy. Did you know social media activity is one of the things Google rewards that can help to improve your SEO? Well, it is. And certain social media sites will earn you more points than others, so I’ve learned. For example, did you know YouTube is owned by Google? Now that you know, you may be more inclined to start posting more video content on a regular basis.
     
  6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly:
     
    On March 26, 2018, Google went live with its new Mobile-First Index. According to Google, “Mobile-first indexing means Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device, the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward. We aren’t creating a separate mobile-first index. We continue to use only one index.” If you want to know how to ensure your own website is mobile-friendly, be sure to pick up a copy of the Mobile Marketing T-shaped marketing ebook for some great tips.

Although I’ve written and spoken about the above six SEO ranking factors before, I’ve never discussed the below six. We’re going to review them in this book because, according to Searchmetrics Ranking Factors, they are some of the strongest factors that were found in all the sites surveyed that ranked in the top 10 Google search results:

  1. Protect your website’s security with HTTPS (SSL security certificates).
  2. Include attractive images and easy-to-read fonts in your website’s main content area to encourage more time on the site.
  3. Increase Pinterest activity.
  4. Increase Google+1 activity.
  5. Ensure you have a strong local SEO (e.g., free listings in business directories such as Google My Business, White Page, Yellow Pages, Yelp).
  6. Answer industry-related questions on your blog to encourage featured snippets inclusion (as briefly mentioned in the Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising T-Shaped ebook).

As you can see, there are even more things you can do to improve your SEO that will be covered in this latest T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook. Do all these things, and the end result will surely be an increased readership and more book sales for you. Now, let’s dive in a little deeper to learn more….

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I hope you enjoyed that little excerpt. Watch for the book this coming month on Amazon, and a couple of months later on both Kobo and E-Sentral.



BookShots: The Hachette vs. Amazon Truce?

A few months ago, I published How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers which highlights a few highly successful independent authors who are using “rapid release” publishing (among other tactics) to sell thousands of books online. Many of them are earning six-figure incomes. One of the early pioneers earned seven figures in her first year. I’ve since come across an article from 2016, titled “James Patterson Has a Big Plan for Small Books,” discussing how one of the world’s most famous trade-published authors is using the same tactic to sell more books to an extended audience:

…Mr. Patterson is after an even bigger audience. He wants to sell books to people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media.

So how do you sell books to somebody who doesn’t normally read?

Mr. Patterson’s plan: make them shorter, cheaper, more plot-driven and more widely available.

In June, Mr. Patterson will test that idea with BookShots, a new line of short and propulsive novels that cost less than $5 and can be read in a single sitting. Mr. Patterson will write some of the books himself, write some with others, and hand pick the rest. He aims to release two to four books a month through Little, Brown, his publisher. All of the titles will be shorter than 150 pages, the length of a novella.

This article states that Patterson created the idea of BookShots to try to capture the growing number of people who just don’t have/make the time read traditional 300- to 400-page novels anymore; but, considering he’s offering these novellas in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats, I’m willing to bet Patterson also sees how BookShots can help him to monopolize on today’s digital selling trends. The fact is, the best way to sell a book online is to publish another book. When done on a consistent basis, as the above-mentioned independent authors do, it can successfully ping both Amazon’s and Google’s algorithms to place an author higher and higher up in the rankings. The higher your rank, the more books you will sell. Online selling has more to do with indifferent computerized processes than publicity or popularity.




I also see Patterson’s BookShots concept as a form of truce between Hachette Book Group (which publishes his books in the USA through its Little, Brown imprint) and Amazon after their epic battle a few years ago. To refresh your memory, Amazon believed that all ebooks should be priced low all the time. The Amazon Books Team went so far as to send out a mass email to all its ebook publishers seeking support of its stance. Below is an excerpt from that email which was also published by Dave Smith for BusinessInsider.com in August of 2014:

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores.…

…Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book.

Skip ahead a couple of years, and James Patterson announced his plan to publish cheaper BookShots novellas to reach the same audience Amazon was talking about. In the 2016 article, it states:

In some ways, Mr. Patterson’s effort is a throwback to the dime novels and pulp fiction magazines that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, when commercial fiction was widely available in drugstores.

There’s the truce. In November of 2014, Hachette was victorious in negotiating a deal that allowed trade publishers the continued right to dictate their own retail prices for the books they produce (as it should be, in my opinion). But Amazon got through in some ways, didn’t it? The company planted a seed with the traditional publishers that obviously grew. And now James Patterson and his team write BookShots.

The independent authors mentioned earlier may not be as famous as James Patterson. Just his name alone commands an automatic audience to sell all the BookShots he publishes each year with ease. But, as mentioned earlier, many are now selling thousands of books online each year using the exact tactics that are detailed inside How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers. I now do the same and have seen my personal blog users increase from 1,000 to over 5,000 in one year. I’ve also watched my personal monthly book downloads increase from under 5 books per month to 300+ books per month on average. Now you know what I mean when I say it’s unecessary to add a bunch of extra “fluff” into a book to get it to a certain word- or page-count to make it more saleable. That’s irrelevant in this day and age. You can sell just as many—if not more—books by writing and publishing BookShots like James Patterson does, whether you write fiction or non-fiction.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Your Ebook is an Asset … if You Own the Copyright

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral for FREE! Download it today!

According to renowned American businessman and investor, Robert Kiyosaki, an “Asset can be anything as long as it has value, produces income or appreciates, and has a ready market. Assets put money IN your pocket.” Before Kiyosaki’s popular Rich Dad Poor Dad book was published, many of us viewed our homes as our own assets. But we now realize that, so long as we’re paying a mortgage on it, our home is actually the bank’s asset. It is producing a regular source of cash flow for the bank, but not for us.

This same concept applies when it comes to your book—depending on the format of book you choose to produce and which publishing model you choose to publish it through. I used to believe that all books were assets for their respective copyright owners, but I’ve since changed my tune. Digital ebooks and audiobooks have the potential to be lucrative assets, as do print-on-demand (POD) paperbacks and hardcovers. Mass-printed paperbacks and hardcovers, on the other hand, are straight-up liabilities due to the outdated economic practices still employed by the traditional players in our book supply chain. This long-established system repeatedly bleeds money from the pockets of publishers and authors alike which is why so many are now choosing to publish their titles in ebook format alone. It just makes better fiscal sense, as we’ll discuss in this mini ebook.




Ebooks, in particular, can be highly profitable digital assets for both fiction and non-fiction authors, online marketers, and business professionals in general. Think about it from a strictly business perspective for a moment; you’ll quickly see that an ebook is a portable business card that can be delivered instantaneously, anywhere in the world, for free or for sale, via email, blog, website, or ecommerce site. An ebook can be read in the comfort of one’s home or office, during a commute by train or airplane, or even when standing and waiting in line. Ebooks are easily searchable documents that can be hyperlinked to other relevant information sources (e.g., company webpages, blogs), providing even more value to the reader. Ebooks are updateable which is especially helpful to those who wish to keep their information relevant and stay on top of the dynamic Internet. With a digital asset like an ebook, you don’t have to pay storage or maintenance fees of any kind. Best of all, there are hundreds of thousands of affiliate marketers out there who are more than happy to help others promote and sell their digital assets all over the world. Pretty much every major ecommerce site has its own affiliate program now, and this is like having a massive sales team at your disposal without having to pay anyone an upfront salary.

Still not convinced that an ebook is an asset? Well, there is a form of online book sales and marketing known as “rapid release” publishing that many of today’s most successful independent authors are using to sell literally thousands of ebooks every year. Ask them and they’ll assure you an ebook is indeed an asset, and a highly fruitful asset at that.

Why Traditional Bookstores Won’t Carry Your Book on Their Shelves … and Why That’s Okay

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral for FREE! Download it today!

Many of today’s indie authors are content with self-publishing ebooks alone on Kobo and Amazon’s Kindle. Others who wish to offer a paperback version for your readers may be satisfied with simply converting those ebooks into print-on-demand (POD) paperbacks for sale through Amazon.

But many indie authors dream of seeing your books on the shelves of the traditional “bricks and mortar” bookstores, and you may wonder why these bookstores won’t carry your self-published titles. The real reason may surprise you, and it may also make you decide that it’s okay to stick with ebook and POD selling online. Times are changing, after all.

But times are changing a little more slowly in the world of traditional bookstores. Many of the long-established players in the book supply chain—trade publishers, distributors, and booksellers in particular—still follow the same archaic European business practices that were implemented in America in the 1930s as a way to stimulate bookstore sales during the great depression. These policies are unique to “bricks and mortar” booksellers; and it is these policies, more than any other factor, that shape which titles they will stock on their shelves.




BOOKSTORES ARE FANTASTIC VENUES FOR ONE-DAY CONSIGNMENT AUTHOR SIGNINGS

Not only is it possible to move a surprising number of books during a bookstore signing (if planned properly ahead of time); it is also a great way for fledgling indie authors to get used to being “on display” in public. There isn’t the same pressure to perform and entertain as there is at an evening book launch and reading event. Bookstores offer a much more comfortable arena for indie authors to learn how to talk about and sell your books to others. So, please know that I’m a strong advocate of bookstores in general—of celebrating new books in person through bookstore signings. There’s no more special place in the world to launch a new title, in my opinion.

And here’s the great news! Most—if not all—traditional bookstores will support indie author signings on a one-day (e.g., three hours in the afternoon) consignment basis even if they won’t carry your self-published books on their shelves for general browsing. For three solid hours you’ll get your own table, and you and your book will get to be front and center in the bookstore. That’s a very good thing, believe me. It’s much better than being tucked away on a shelf somewhere out of sight.

A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH BOOKSTORES

There is a form of online book sales and marketing that many of today’s most successful indie authors are using to sell literally thousands of books every year—quantities that are unheard-of and unimaginable for most trade-published authors whose books are displayed on “bricks and mortar” bookstore shelves. Authors, can you imagine how much more profit you would earn if you learned these tried and true strategies for success? Publishers, can you imagine how much more profit you would earn if your authors were out there actively selling their own books alongside your in-house publicity, sales, and marketing efforts? Bookstores, can you imagine how much more profit you would earn if you were using your co-op advertising dollars to support in-store book signings and online book launches for the authors who are willing to bring their traffic straight to your physical stores and websites? There is a way for authors, publishers, and booksellers to all work together for our mutual benefit, and I believe it is the wave of the future in this industry.

How to Price an Ebook: A Guide for Independent Authors

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral for FREE! Download it today!

As an independent author (a.k.a. “indie author”), you must oversee all aspects of your own book business from the project management aspect of things (e.g., writing, editing, designing, proofreading, indexing, publishing) to the financial end of things. If you’re feeling stumped when it comes to setting your manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), you’re not alone. Many indie authors are in the same boat. I wrote this mini ebook for all of you, and I’m giving it away free of charge along with an earlier mini ebook I wrote titled An Independent Author’s Checklist: What You Need to Have Ready for Ghostwriters, Editors, and Graphic Designers. I hope you find both these resources to be informative and helpful supplements to my other full-length ebooks and paperbacks.

This is an important ebook for indie authors to read. I’ve written several articles and blog posts about how to price an ebook in the past, but I’ve never been this strategic with regard to tailoring one’s prices for both Western and Eastern world markets. In retrospect, up until 2016, I had a pretty narrow view of how to price ebooks outside of North America and Europe. What changed for me in 2016? Quite simply, I became a little more “worldly” when I travelled to Asia for a working holiday. What I learned during my six-month trip will no doubt help many indie authors like you with the pricing aspect of a book business.




I’m still a strong proponent of value-based marketing. As I’ve stated many times in the past, most indie authors are already pretty comfortable with price-based marketing (e.g., offering really low prices to try to undercut one’s competition). At the end of the day, anyone can sell based on price. Right? But here’s the biggest problem with that plan: if a low price is the only thing you’ve got, and then another indie author with a similar ebook comes in at a lower price than you can match, you’re done. You’re finished. You’ve got nowhere else to go. But if you can learn how to sell based on value, right from the start, then you’ll always be able to justify your price where it is, no matter what other indie authors are doing. You can even increase that price, down the road, by adding more value to your overall offering. Value-based selling is such an important skill for all indie authors to learn, no matter where you live in the world.

That said, my trip to the “Eastern World” opened up my eyes to all the different markets today’s indie authors can sell into. What might be considered a discount rate in one region of the world is actually considered a value-based rate in another. So, as I discuss in more detail throughout this mini ebook, it’s important for indie authors to be strategic in the way you’re pricing each and every one of your ebooks. Your ability to understand each individual market and adjust your prices accordingly will make all the difference to your sales success around the world. Good luck!

How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers

Now available through AMAZON, KOBO, and E-SENTRAL!

There is a form of online book sales and marketing known as “rapid release” publishing that many of today’s most successful independent authors (a.k.a. indie authors) are using to sell thousands of books every year. Some of these authors are earning six-figure incomes from their ever-growing online platforms. What is a “platform” you’re asking? It is a loyal readership. And that’s what the Big Five—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster—trade publishers are looking for when scouting new book projects. They’ll sign the unknown indie authors with built-in audiences that can guarantee them sales before they’ll re-sign a known trade-published author with limited traction. That’s the reality of this business.

INDIE AUTHORS CAN BE SUCCESSFUL WITH FICTION AND NON-FICTION

Throughout 2017, my primary focus was finding and sharing indie author success stories with my subscribers on the PPG Publisher’s Blog. I’ve included many of those stories in this book, too. Interestingly enough, some of those original posts led to cautionary comments from other “author marketing consultants” who suggested that this type of online marketing technique can only work for indie authors who write fiction. They seemed to suggest that it’s somehow simpler to sell multiple fictional books than it is to sell multiple non-fiction books—that it’s easier to build up one’s readership based on entertainment genres rather than self-help/educational genres.

Something deep inside me disagreed with their logic. Something in my heart said it would be just as easy, if not easier, for indie authors to successfully utilize “rapid release” publishing for non-fiction books as it would be for fiction. I went in search of proof and found it once again. (You get what you focus on in this world!)




In my research, I’ve found that non-fiction indie authors are among the perfect candidates for this form of self-publishing. Why? Because of your diverse demographics (e.g., seniors, adults, teenagers, children, males, females, et cetera) and the varied subject matter you can cover within your respective industries (e.g., hairdressers can write about long hair, short styles, curls, braids, updos, colours, et cetera; automotive service technicians can cover vehicle maintenance and repair for all kinds of different makes and models, various automotive parts and how they work, et cetera). When it comes to topic matter, the sky is the limit for most non-fiction indie authors; and “rapid release” publishing provides an opportunity for you to expand your business to genuinely help more people—the do-it-yourselfers—without over-extending your current workload. Think of this as a unique way to clone yourself.

MODERN BOOK SALES AND MARKETING FOR INDIE AUTHORS

Selling physical books in an offline marketplace is different from selling digital books in an online marketplace. In the traditional offline world, indie authors must appeal to people such as booksellers, reviewers, and publicists to help you sell more books; but, in the online world, you’re working with intangible algorithms and computerized search engine optimization (SEO) processes to increase your exposure. This is a blessing, as you’ll clearly see once you read this book. This is a new and highly effective way for indie authors to reach literary agents and trade publishers. Or who knows? You may decide to remain independent once you see the kind of success that is truly possible for you.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

[Ebook Conversion Sale!] Improve Your Sales on Amazon

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

Just a quick reminder of Polished Publishing Group (PPG)’s ebook conversion services and why it’s so important to convert your paperbacks and hardcovers into a .MOBI ebook for sale on Amazon’s Kindle.

A little while ago, I posted a blog entry titled 3 Ways an Author Central Page Can Spike Your Ranking on Amazon. In this post, I talked about the fact that PPG cannot create an author page for you on Amazon. If we could, we would. But according to Amazon’s rules, authors must create their own author pages and then “claim” their own book(s) to those pages in order for them to display properly.

It’s always a great idea to offer your potential and current readers their choice between a physical book (e.g., paperback, hardcover) and ebook version of your title on your Author Central page. And it’s an even better idea to upload them at different times for all the reasons discussed in the above blog post.

If you currently only have a physical book published right now, we can help you convert the final print-ready .PDF or Word.doc file for that book to a .MOBI ebook for you.




In fact, we’ll do even better than that for you this month…

Click here to order your conversion package before November 1, 2017, and we’ll convert TWO ebook formats for you for the price of only one: a .MOBI (Amazon’s Kindle ebook format) and an .EPUB (Kobo’s ebook format).

We’ll even send you some helpful tips on how to upload the files to each platform so you can reach a broader audience through both.

It doesn’t matter to us where/who you published your paperbacks/hardcovers through. If you can provide us with the final print-ready .PDF or Word.doc file for your book, we can help. Click here to order your conversion package before November 1, 2017.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Three Ways an Author Central Page Can Spike Your Ranking on Amazon

Kim Staflund’s Author Central page can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Kim-Staflund/e/B0733M2PZV/

You may have been browsing Amazon.com’s bookstore recently, and you may have come across author pages that group together all of an author’s books in one place along with his or her photo(s) and biography. If you’re wondering how you can set up a page like this for yourself and how it can help to spike your overall ranking on Amazon, keep reading. Here’s what you need to know.

You Must Create Your Own Author Central Page and “Claim” Your Books to That Page

Whether you have a publisher (such as PPG) that is publishing your books worldwide for you or you’re self-publishing your own ebooks to Amazon’s Kindle by yourself, Amazon won’t automatically group all your books together—nor will Amazon allow your publisher to do it on your behalf because the company prefers to work directly with individual authors. What you must do is sign up to create your own Author Central Page; and, once that process is complete, you must contact them again to “claim” each of the books you want added to your page by sending them a list of the ISBNs (or ASINs) and titles of those books.

Your Author Ranking is Important to Your Overall Success Online

In many ways, online book sales and marketing works differently than traditional book sales and marketing does. In the traditional world, you’re trying to appeal to people (e.g., publicists, book reviewers, booksellers) to help you promote your book(s) to the masses. But, in the online world, you’re goal is to get your webpage indexed via computerized processes—algorithms. It’s all about effectively “pinging” a search engine’s algorithm in order to rank higher and higher in its search results which, much like a successful publicity campaign, will increase your page’s exposure. More exposure generally equates to more sales over time. It’s a numbers game.




Each one of your books on Amazon’s website has its own individual webpage ranking, and that ranking is based primarily on how many copies of the book have been sold. But there are other factors that can affect ranking such as publishing frequency, association with other bestselling books via the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section of the page, and one’s Author Central page … to name only three (algorithms are elusive creatures).

Three Ways an Author Central Page Can Spike Your Ranking on Amazon

Once your page is officially set up (which should only take a day or two … they’re pretty fast), the fun begins! Now you can create an author bio for yourself, upload author photos and promotional videos, include your upcoming events, and add the really simple syndication (RSS) feed from your WordPress blog to share teasers of your latest blog posts with an extended audience. Doing so can help to spike your ranking on Amazon in these three ways:

1. The very act of creating an Author Central page—and adding those first one or two books, author photos, events, and/or videos—automatically spikes your overall author ranking on Amazon. I found it to be quite a significant spike (400,000+ points on the author ranking scale!), so they’ve obviously built this into their algorithm to encourage more and more authors to do it.

2. Each subsequent update of any kind pings Amazon’s algorithm and increases your ranking again; albeit, in my experience, it’s not as significant a boost in ranking as the first time around. But here’s some great news: much like it is with all blogs and online publications, each time your RSS feed adds another entry to your author page, it not only pings Amazon. It also tells other search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu) that this particular Amazon page has received another relevant update which gets it re-indexed with all of them. (It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that an RSS backlink like this on a high-traffic website such as Amazon is also great for your blog’s SEO.)

3. Last but not least, a high-ranking Author Central page can help to boost the ranking of every book associated with it. If someone buys one of your books and really likes it, he or she won’t have to go far to find all the other books published by you. They will all be listed together, making it much easier to find and buy. The more books people buy and subsequently review for you on Amazon, the higher up your overall ranking will go.




The key is to maintain this pace. Keep it going. Keep updating your Author Central page in various ways … new books, new pictures, new events, new videos, new posts via your RSS feed. You can build on the last increase in your ranking by adding a new update quickly. But if you stop for extended periods of time, it will all slide back down again. Pretty soon, you’ll be so low on the totem pole that it will take a lot of work to climb back up to the top. So, be sure to keep your momentum going by continually updating your page at least once per week if not more. That’s the key to success in the world of algorithms and online selling.

Not All Amazon Regions Currently Offer Author Central Pages … and the Ones That Do Don’t Offer All the Same Features as Amazon.com

As of today’s date, there are only five regions in the world that offer Author Central pages and you must set up each one separately from the rest: the USA, UK, Germany, France, and Japan. I’ve also found that only the USA page allows for links to RSS feeds, but I’m hopeful the other regions will begin to see the benefit of this and add it to their platforms over time.

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An Independent Author’s Checklist: What You Need to Have Ready for Ghostwriters, Editors, and Graphic Designers

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral for FREE! Download it today!

As an independent author (a.k.a. “indie author”), you are the project manager of your own book’s production from start to finish, from conception straight through to publication. This may include hiring a freelance ghostwriter (if you choose not to write your book yourself), an experienced editor, and even a professional graphic designer for best results. It all depends on the type of book an indie author wishes to produce.

For example, there are different components involved with designing a paperback book than an ebook of any kind; and there are even more components to consider if that indie author wishes to publish and print a hardcover book. An Independent Author’s Checklist includes an important list of questions indie authors will want to answer for a graphic designer, ahead of time, to ensure the book is completed properly and professionally the first time around. This type of preparation can save time and money for both project stakeholders because it can prevent complete do-overs in cases where the designer was unclear about the indie author’s original vision.

Communication is so important throughout this process—not only with your graphic designer. An indie author will also want to have certain things prepared ahead of time, in certain ways, for both the ghostwriter (if applicable) and the editor. As such, it’s often helpful to have a checklist at your disposal that makes this entire process run as smoothly as possible—particularly for the indie authors who are new to the whole publishing business. That’s why I created An Independent Author’s Checklist and decided to publish it online for indie authors everywhere. I want you all to have as much helpful information as possible at your fingertips, so you all have a positive publishing experience coupled with the best possible chances of success. That is my wish for you.




An Independent Author’s Checklist includes helpful information for indie authors regarding effectively communicating your book’s vision to a ghostwriter. Although some indie authors are both qualified and have the time to write their own books, you might choose to hire someone else to help you create that compelling narrative. Both are acceptable ways to produce a book. That said, when hiring a ghostwriter to help pen your book, it is important for indie authors to remember that ghostwriting is an ongoing, collaborative process (much like the entire publishing process). To make things run smoother, you should be prepared ahead of time.

An Independent Author’s Checklist also includes important guidance for indie authors regarding how to submit one’s manuscript to an editor so that it contains all the information you want edited. For example, some indie authors will only have the main body of their book interiors professionally edited. In that case, often any front matter, back matter, and back cover copy that is added after the fact is riddled with all kinds of spelling errors and typos, diminishing the professional quality of the book. But for indie authors like you who follow the guidelines in this checklist, you’ll avoid these issues and end up with the best possible result.