It’s been a busy couple of months. What have we learned? What do we want to know?
We are curious why not. Are indie authors confused about how to compose a bio?
Do most indie authors believe they have their Amazon Author bio perfect?
Confusion can be forgiven—we’ve worn those flip flops.
But if you are not confused and believe your bio speaks to readers and bloggers browsing your book pages—do yourself a favor and read the article. Candidly, with few exceptions indie author bios are seldom perfect. Some are downright sad.
My Amazon Author bio often needs tweaking, too. How do I know? The dang thing is picked up by bloggers and others in RSS feeds and does me shame. I get to a blog I’m following or I check what Google is saying about my titles and there it is—in all of its messy glory! Your Amazon bio is the first hint to readers and fans that you know what you’re doing and that you know how to write. Consider this: Would you start a novel with a bio and description of your main characters with what you have composed as your own bio on Amazon? Bet not!
Recently, eight of us in eNovel Authors at Work participated in a hugely successful book tour organized by Tour Director Wendy Ewurum at Fabulosity Tours. We gathered hundreds of new followers on Twitter, Facebook Likes and dozens of subscribers to eNovel Authors at Work newsletter. As I went about thanking for tweets, retweets and following back new Twitter followers, I spent hours looking in on not less than 150 of their personal webpages and blogs. What an eye-opener!
I moused over and clicked on interesting book covers and all I got was a larger version of the cover. Whoa! Anytime a visitor clicks on the name of your book or a book cover it needs to drive the viewer to the book’s page on Amazon—or whatever venue on which you market your books.
Dozens of authors posted entire reviews from bloggers, early reviews (from mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins and Great Aunt Hattie) and Amazon reviewers on their webpages and blogs. At the end of the post was often a tag that said Buy on Amazon, but there was no live link! I clicked on links and it did not go anywhere. What a way to kill a book sale.
I do not know the value of posting entire reviews on a blog or webpage. Perhaps if you need content, it adds color and interest to your blog. We would love to hear from those of you who post reviews on your personal blogs. Here is the key—do those review posts drive readers to your book page on Amazon?
I visited one retweeter who listed herself as a best selling author on Twitter and in her Amazon Author bio. She has indie pubbed a half-dozen books. Not a single book had more than five reviews. One had none. I looked at the Amazon Best Seller stats: 1,232,463. Oops—that best selling book rank is sucking mud. Well, you say: She could have been a best selling author in another life. Sure, she could. I was. However, the author was not, and is not. I checked.
Here is how I know: Kindle Nation Daily has a free ebook tracker. Anybody can register, pop in a book and track its stats and price backward for twelve months. Here is another fabulous data sheet from KND—a spread sheet that lists every single sponsored book and how it performed.
Go Here. Look at the title in slot #91. Surprise! It shows The House on Persimmon Road by Jackie Weger reached #1 on Amazon Top 100 FREE on the first day of promotion and stayed at #1 Top 100 FREE until the promotion was over. I do not tout the book as a best seller because it was FREE. However, I can tout the title as my most popular book without embarrassing myself because 75,000+ readers downloaded the book.
Listen. I like that retweeter. She was kind to retweet our book tour to her followers. I appreciate it beyond measure. She’s got three times the followers on Twitter than I do. More followers on FB and her blog, too, but they are NOT buying her books. A title published in 2011 with only four reviews does NOT a bestselling book or author make. She has something else going for her but it does not translate into ebook sales.
Lesson learned: Do not tout yourself as a best-selling author if you ain’t. Readers are not stupid even if an author does not have good sense. I have been a best-selling author in the distant past. When I wrote for Harlequin many (not all) of my books flew off bookshelves. Nobody came up and patted me on the back as a best-selling author—but my royalty statements said so. Good enough for me. Still, I use best-selling author sparingly because I’m in the ebook arena now. Our books can reach stellar heights one day and sink into oblivion a few days or weeks later. In the indie universe, it is all about promotion.
Since I found so many blogs and author pages with covers that did not have live links to sales venues, I visited a number of eNovel Authors at Work’s blogs and webpages. Folks: Please put live links on your book covers! Many of our members are natives of other English speaking countries. All of their links go to the Amazon books pages in those countries. Oops!
The largest book-buying public is in the USA. And U.S. citizens cannot buy your books from AZ,ca or AZ.au or AZ.uk. You must link your covers to Amazon US. Do give your fans and readers in your home country a link to their own Amazon venue—but without fail, link your book covers to the US Amazon venue. Other wise US fans and readers who flock to your personal sites will not have easy access to your sales page. eNovel Authors at Work links your bio to your webpage or blog. So by golly, when USA fans or viewers land on your blog or webpage, make certain you give them a one click access to your title’s Amazon US venue. Don’t miss a sale!
There is an international book code/link that will serve all of us well. Unfortunately, I don’t know it. So! I hope an author reading this who is in the know will share it and tell us how it works.