Amazon is Flat Out on a Roll…
New updates to Amazon Terms of Service and techie stuff just keeps on coming. In eNovel Authors at Work we have jumped on Amazon Giveaways to build our follow list. We do this to snag the email Amazon sends out to one’s followers upon a new release. That’s huge. IMO, that Amazon email fits the bill for those of us who are newbies without a huge personal following. Pre-order doesn’t work for those of us still trying to get a foothold and get our books visible among the five million ebooks available to readers. It’s a short leg up. But every little bit helps.
Now this: Amazon has revealed a new firmware update blogged by The Verge that’ll hit its Kindle e-readers later this month. Add these updates to the New Features for Kindle E-Readers Amazon announced November 14, 2014.
Listen folks, this girl is not a techie. I own four Kindles of varying description. I know how to buy and download books and word games. I know to keep the things charged so when I cosy up to the fire, or sit on the porch at a beach house, I’m nose in a book I’m anxious to read. That is it.
But! I have enough sense to figure out what the new firmware means to me and you as indie authors.
Guess what? Readers and book buyers can now be traveling cross county or sitting in a dentist’s office while deciding which books might appeal. Yep. The update will allow Kindle owners to view our “look inside” preview pages on our books. It will allow the reader to see the cover and the book description. And the Kindle owner will not have to log into Amazon to access the new features or buy our books. There is much more. But this single feature is critical.
Here is why: Gonna ask you this question: Once your book went live on Amazon, did you access the ‘look inside’ feature? Bet not. Few indie authors do. Have you visited your book description to repair missing commas, a misspelled word, or misuse of verb tenses? Few do. Is the book description in present tense? With few exceptions, book descriptions need to be in present tense to convey immediacy. As in: Read me! Find out what happens next.
Do you use the online tools Amazon provides in KDP and CreateSpace to proof your book a final time before you hit publish? Few do. Many indie authors just won’t take the time. I get it. It takes hours. Just remember, it takes hours for the reader to enjoy your book, too. I have yet to get through that proofing process without finding a dropped period, an article such as ‘the’ or an ‘s’ left off ‘she’. Hey! I still miss stuff. I hear about it, too, either from a reader or Amazon.
Once your book is live, do you download the first copy of both digital and print? Nope. Because I see indie books often with no sales rank. A book won’t have a sales rank until it has been downloaded. Is your author bio short and aimed at readers, or a job description? I discovered an author bio today that went on for 2000 words. Took me longer to plow through the thing than the sample book feature. Author bio suggestions HERE.
You will have to visit Sam Byford’s blog on The Verge for a far better explanation than I can manage. Amazon has a Press Room. Go there for up dates and information. If you have any questions, ASK AMAZON.
The bottom line: Our books showcased on Amazon need to be pristine–at the very least perfectly rendered in the ‘look inside’ feature. Many of us in eNovel are engaging in sponsored Ad Campaigns for our ebooks. Amazon is showcasing those on Kindle screens now. That’s huge, too. The book buyer has had the option to order a book via the Kindle for a year or more, but now the book buyer has access to far more features before making that almighty decision of which book to download–mine or yours.
On my Kindle Fire, ‘also boughts’ are now streaming across the bottom. Do you know this feature? When I buy a book or another item this pops up: “Frequently Bought Together”, or “customers also bought”…and below that note is a stream of similar titles in the genre I’m browsing. My romance books often show up in that stream right next to best selling romance books. Amazon is targeting impulse buyers. Readers can now tap a cover and impulse buy our books without having to sign in to Amazon. Read what Fortune has to say about this killer feature.
If you are a savvy indie author you may not need any information in this article. But, if you are not certain how your books and bios and descriptions measure up, do follow the live links. It only takes a few minutes to decide if an article or suggestion is worth your time. Do have a glance at your low starred reviews. If any raise questions about grammar, verb usage or misspelled words, do review your book. Use the ‘look inside’ feature. Use the proofing tool inside Amazon KDP. If you were taught as I was to put your best foot forward in any new circumstances, just know that your bio, book description and book preview falls in the realm of putting your best foot forward. The reader turned off because of easily repaired errors left to reside in your book description or preview, may never buy one of your books.
Because we often find mishaps in legacy published books is no excuse the leave them in ours.
@Copyright 2016. I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. Comments welcome. Please add to the discussion. Techies welcome to educate us further on Amazon’s updates. P.S. After proofing and posting and revising this blog, 24 hours later I looked at it again and found two errors. Repaired ’em.