Saturday, May 29, 2010

Amazon's Author Central and Editorial Reviews

The following guest post is by Aaron Shepard . . .

Self publishers who don't use Amazon Advantage may have noticed that it has become harder and harder in the U.S. to get your info onto Amazon's book detail pages. Its Books Content Update Form -- for years the standard way of submitting such info -- has been subject to longer and longer processing times, until it seems to have stopped working at all.

So, it is with great relief I can say that Amazon has stepped up and filled the gap. In early May, it became possible to add and in most cases even edit Editorial Reviews -- including Product Description, From the Author, and other such elements -- through Amazon's Author Central. If you've already signed up there, simply go to the Books tab and click on a book to find the link to Amazon's new form. If you haven't signed up yet -- well, what are you waiting for?

Note that Amazon's form will accept some simple HTML, but you absolutely don't need it. Plain text works just fine. Watch out, though, for a slight quirk: If you get too close to a section's length limit, Amazon removes blank lines from between your paragraphs.

Just as when using the Books Content Update Form, there are a number of tricks to submitting Editorial Reviews for maximum effect. You definitely do not want to fill in every section or submit book review excerpts in the way Amazon suggests, or else most of your effort will be wasted. For a thorough discussion of this, see my book Aiming at Amazon.

And for an example of what can be done, see Amazon's book detail page for my book POD for Profit.

Your entries appear on in a day or two. That's quite an improvement!

The other news from Author Central is that it is now available also in the U.K.! Unfortunately, the U.K. version doesn't yet allow submission of Editorial Reviews, but I'm sure that will come. Meanwhile, the U.K. Books Content Update Form is working.

By the way, you can always find links to Author Central or the Books Content Update Form in any country at my Sales Rank Express.

Aaron Shepard is the author of Aiming at Amazon, POD for Profit, and Perfect Pages. He is also Webmaster of Aaron Shepard's Publishing Page and Sales Rank Express.
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