Key sections for publishers and authors to edit
There are several places in the Amazon book page which are populated with data from the publisher or author, some of which is brought into Amazon’s product pages from outside sources.
Most notable are:
- Book description
- Editorial reviews
- Book Extras from Shelfari
- Amazon Author Pages
The Book Description appears in a prime early position, below the cover image. Effectively, it replaces your jacket copy and should be written to sell, not just a matter-of-fact description. It’s where you must reassure potential buyers that they won’t be wasting their money or time if they buy your book.
You might want to start by blowing your trumpet a bit with a couple of reassuring quotes from reviews, awards, or testimonials. Then give a brief description, again with a focus on creating excitement or interest, not a comprehensive run-down.
And, like good direct marketing copy, it’s good to end with more brief reviews or endorsements for further reassurance. And, of course, ask them to buy. While it’s sales copy and should be upbeat, take care not to overdo it: it needs to have integrity and credibility to work.
In spite of the term ‘editorial’, these are not independent reviews: it’s information the publisher or author can provide. This is a prominent part of the product description page.
It’s commonly used to highlight quotes from reviews but can be used for other promotional copy from either the publisher or author under the following headings: Review, Product Description, From the Author, From the Inside Flap, From the Back Cover, and About the Author.
Book Extras from the Shelfari Community
Shelfari is a social network dedicated to books. It’s owned by Amazon and has millions of members worldwide. Amazon has integrated Shelfari into its site so that some of Shelfari’s activity around a book, such as user reviews and character descriptions, can be brought into Amazon.
Here’s another place where you and your network can contribute content that might find its way into your Amazon page. In fact, Amazon encourages authors to contribute to, and edit, Shelfari’s Book Extras as we’ll see in the next item.
Incidentally, while Shelfari’s tight integration with Amazon makes it an important social site for marketing, competitors like Goodreads – the largest book social site with more than 10 million members – are working hard to extend their influence and content. Goodreads, for instance, is integrated with Kobo.
More About the Author — Amazon Author Pages
A link underneath the heading More About the Author says, ‘Visit Amazon’s [Author name] Page’. The source of this page is an Amazon site called Author Central (authorcentral.amazon.com) which provides authors with a host of tools to promote and track their books, whether self-published or sold through their publisher.
Any author can set up a free account to:
- Publish an Author Profile with content that includes your live blog and Twitter feeds, event calendar, videos, photos, and links to your other books.
- Your profile will also pick up your Wikipedia entry if you have created one – and why shouldn’t you? Anyone can add a page to the world’s biggest encyclopedia and plenty of people will be interested in finding out about you. Here’s a place to get started: Wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Starting_a_new_page.
- Edit information on Amazon’s site relating to your book.
- Add reviews of your book from the media and other sources.
- Add, edit and delete Book Extras information that comes in through the Shelfari community. Your Author Profile also increases your promotion and status within the Shelfari community.
- Track sales through Amazon. (For print books sold in the US market, Amazon also tracks sales through stores.)
Here’s an example of what an Author Profile can look like. This one, from Kindle million-seller John Locke, includes his recent blog posts and Twitter feed, author videos, a reader Q&A, and links to his books.
Amazon Pages: Your customized landing page on Amazon.com
Amazon recently introduced Amazon Pages to provide publishers and sellers with a dedicated landing page for all of their products on its site.
These pages operate very much like Facebook Pages and come with your very own Amazon.com/mypagename address.
Among the features Amazon Pages provide are:
- Templates to customize the look of the page
- Marketing widgets that let you feature and list your products on Amazon
- You can post stories and links to your page
- Visitors can use Facebook or Twitter to like or share your posts and page
- Built-in analytics let you measure the pages’ performance
Amazon Pages is a recent introduction and a development to watch. Unlike Author Pages, it doesn’t currently connect to the book page but it might provide a convenient way to funnel Amazon’s well-qualified visitors to a showcase for a list or series.
Find out more about this topic on our Digital Publishing 101 useful resources site.