Monday, August 24, 2009

Amazon Author Central Announcement

I received this in my email box.

We are excited to let you to know about a simple but important change that will help many more Amazon customers find Author Pages and Author Blogs and learn more about you and your work. In short: We now link to Author Pages from book detail pages on Amazon. A new feature called “More About the Author” can be found right under the Product Details section on book detail pages.


I am a huge fan of Author Blogs and Bios, especially when they are hosted directly by the e-commerce site selling your work. The new pages are formatted a bit better than old Amazon Connect "profile" pages were and I always thought the blog posts cluttered up the product pages and needed to be streamlined a bit. Nice to see Amazon is working on all this. If you have books for sale on Amazon and have not set up your Author page yet, do so. Here is a link to the Cheryl Anne Gardner page so you can see the layout. The page comes up in Author name searches as well. If you had an old Connect page and blog, that should have transferred over seamlessly, if not, you need to get in contact with Amazon at the link provided in the bottom of this post. I now leave you with the rest of Amazon's announcement:


At Amazon, we’ve made our goal to give authors a more prominent “customer-facing” role within our store. This will not only be helpful and fun for Amazon customers, but we love the idea of enabling authors to better promote themselves and their work and to reach both fans and new readers. In pursuit of this goal, we think Author Pages is a great new feature. They are further improved by the data you contribute via Author Central. So why wait to launch “More About the Author”? And what about features like Author Blogs?

When we build something new at Amazon, we often introduce it in a “soft” way at first, allowing us time to work out some kinks before we increase its prominence within our store. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the chance to find and fix any number of bugs, many of which you told us about (We’re not done, of course, so please keep the feedback coming!)

As we’ve improved Author Pages, we’ve steadily made it easier to find them. For example, a few weeks ago we made them easier to find in search. We also added a link from author names on detail pages (take a look right under the book title on a detail page – hovering over a hyperlinked author name will yield a link to the relevant Author Page). “More About the Author” is another step forward as we methodically increase the prominence of author information across our store.

Of course, there’s still so much to do – we have many new features in the works, including improvements to what you see already. For example, we want to allow customers to navigate from Kindle detail pages to Author Pages the same way they do from detail pages for physical books. Also, the current “More About the Author” feature is extremely simple -- it doesn’t yet do “smart” things like link directly to fresh Author Blog content. We expect to add both of these features in the coming weeks. (If you’re wondering about the change from the “old” Author Blog feature, the simple explanation is that the previous implementation proved a relatively inefficient use of detail page space. We want those pages to be as tuned as possible to selling your books –we think our new implementation will not detract from that goal while still exposing your Author Blog content for interested customers.)

So stay tuned and thanks for your patience and support while we keep improving the beta version of Author Central.

Best regards,The Amazon Author Central Team


L.K. Campbell said...

I think this is great that Amazon has opened up this opportunity to independent authors. I started my Amazon Central page last month and linked the blog by RSS feed to my blogger blog.

Stefan said...

A problem I found, is that it is not possible to feed MySpace blogs to Amazon blogs using rss, for some reason.