If you are not on Amazon Author Central or Goodreads as an author, you need to be. For reference, here are the two sites:
Why does this matter? Amazon is the largest book retailer in the world. Your Author Central Page functionality provides a platform for Amazon readers to interact with you. You can do more than just list your books and bio. You can link your blog and list your events. You can also upload videos if you have them. When there is a new blog post on your site, your Amazon followers will be notified. When you have a new release listed in your bibliography, your followers will also be notified. So it is a way to automatically contact your readers. And don't forget to claim your sites in other countries on Amazon. No, the US site is not the only one -- you need to claim them all!
The UK site is probably second in importance. There is not an Australian site yet. Also note, the US site is the only one to integrate blogs. And, if you use Google Chrome, you are easily able to translate the foreign languages, if you cannot read them.
Here is a quick checklist for Amazon Author Central:
- Claim your site by clicking on the link.
- Click on the books that are yours. You might need to click through quite a few if your name is similar to someone else.
- Add your bio
- Add your photo -- or photos
- Link your blog
- Enter your upcoming events
- Upload your videos
- Repeat these steps for each country site (except the blog)
- Keep these updated from time to time -- especially when you have a new release.
- You might also consider making these country-specific if you have content related to that country.
So what about Goodreads? It is one of the top book review places on the Internet. You can interact with lots of readers here. You can also run giveaways and interact with your readers via Q&A. Note that Goodreads is now owned by Amazon, but they have not integrated this with Author Central --- yet.
To claim your Goodreads page, do the following:
- Sign in or create an account, and then search for your most popular book via ISBN, ASIN, or title.
- On the book, click on your author name. Scroll to the bottom of your author profile page.
- Click "Is this you?"
In the drop down, click on Account Settings and make sure you've done the following:
- Add your biography
- On the right, click on Videos to add videos
- On the right, click on Events to add events
- On the right, click on Edit Blog. Here you can add a Goodreads blog or link your existing blog. To link existing you need to enter the Existing Blog Feed URL.
In the drop down, click on Profile and do the following:
- Add your website URL
- Add your Twitter handle
- Add the genres you write within
- You can update your bio here
- You can also add books and combine editions
If you want to add a book to GoodReads:
Login to your Goodreads account. If you haven't created an account, you have to do this first.
After you login, you should see your profile circle on the top right of the homepage. Click on that. Then click on "Author Dashboard." On this page, you will see your Stats if you have any and below that is the section "Your Books" to the right of that is "Add a Book." On this page, you simply fill in all of the pertinent and necessary information, and upload your book's cover. Once you are done, click "Create Book" at the bottom.
If you set all of this up, your existing blog will feed both of these sites automatically and will reach your followers. Which brings me to one of the most important points. Besides trying to capture their emails and getting them to post your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, ask your readers to follow you on both sites. Provide links to your author pages -- and with Goodreads you can even include buttons (for those of you who are web savvy).