As a writer published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program, I receive a digital newsletter from Amazon with the scintillating title Kindle Direct Publishing Newsletter.
The content of the newsletter is fairly bland, including such items as what your payment for borrowed titles will be and the maddening section “Featured KDP Books,” where all I really want to know is how these writers were picked to be featured in the first place. I don’t begrudge these sections too much, since newly published KDP’ers could probably use this information.
But what took the cake for me was their Marketing Tidbit for the Month. I love Amazon and KDP and everything they’ve done for my writing career. But here is what passes for marketing advice from them:
Already have an Author Central page on Amazon.com? Great, that is the first step in establishing your author brand online. In order to maximize exposure be sure to create your very own author website as well. Your personal website and your Amazon Author Central page work together to help build your credibility as an author. They also provide search engines such as Google or Bing the information needed to help your name come up when people are searching either for you or for the subject of your book. Make sure that the words and language you use are the same on both your Author Central page and your personal website. Key word consistency is important to assure you are optimizing your search engine results. Also, be sure to include links to and from your Amazon Author Central page, your personal website and your book’s detail page, all of these links tell search engines that your book is relevant to people searching either for you or the content of your book.
So, to sum up:
- Go to your Author Central page.
- Create your “very own” author website.
- Make sure you link from one to the other.
Really, KDP? Why not tell us why the Author Central page can’t be accessed from the author’s KDP page? Or when it will? How about better information on how your placement algorithms work or hard data on the best time to publish on KDP might be? How are your authors chosen for features and Kindle Daily Deals?
Or how about providing better marketing services to begin with? Why don’t we have coupons, discounts, contests, advance ordering, moderated forums, online author events for indies? How about specific advice on best blogging platforms, hosting services (including your own), newsletter software? How about a step-by-step marketing guide for newcomers to publishing, a “Zero to Hero” plan for new authors to get up to speed in a world–marketing–they’re probably unfamiliar with?
Again: Amazon, you’re awesome. You broke traditional publishing over your knee and you’ve given my writing a place to be read.
But don’t stop there. Keep innovating and pushing ahead. My suggestions are not ground-breaking concepts in marketing; implement some of them and demonstrate why you’re the market leader in the digital ebook world.