Setting up Amazon’s Author Central

Today I was flipping through the list of my technical publications on Amazon, trying not to become too nauseous seeing the terrible reviews of some of the books. People just have no idea the kind of effort that goes into writing a technical book.

Anyway, that’s all beside the point. The point is I noticed that the picture Amazon had for me weighed 110 pounds more than my current picture. So I went to Amazon’s author central and uploaded a new picture of myself.

Up to this point, I’ve exclusively used my Amazon author profile for my technical publications. I thought it might be nice to try and use some of the meager hits I get to my Amazon profile to drive traffic to this blog. I tried adding the blog’s RSS feed to my profile and it failed miserably. In fact, it failed over and over again no matter how hard I tried (and remember, I get paid to write software like this).

At whit’s end I thought to myself, “I wonder if they even have a support e-mail address”. So I followed some links through the “Help” area in author central and, to my shock and amazement, Amazon didn’t just have a support e-mail address, they had a form I could fill out that had Amazon call my cell phone, and I then waited on hold after picking up for about 20 seconds.

I’m not kidding – a web property the size of Amazon actually had a human being on the line talking to me and doing a damn good job of making me feel as though my problems truly mattered to them (this is a skill that actually requires training, you can’t just pull people off the street and expect this to happen).

The moral of the story is this: If you have books published anywhere and they can be discovered in Amazon’s vast catalog, then you should stop what you’re doing right now, scurry over to Amazon Author Central, and set up your profile right now. It’s an invaluable tool and they track BookScan data for all of your books and give you tons of tools.

No wonder so many people are so pleased with Amazon as a self-publishing medium. With that kind of customer service and the amount and quality of the tools they provide, I was thoroughly impressed.

These days, it takes quite a bit for an online company, especially a behemoth like Amazon, to impress me.

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