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Author Central Book Merge

3 December 2012

From Indies Unlimited:

[I]f you have books listed for sale on Amazon.com and you’re not taking advantage of their Author Central platform, you’re shooting yourself in the feet. No, not the foot: both feet. Repeatedly.

. . . .

I’ll show you how to merge your books. I heard that grumble. Yes, you need to merge your books. Here’s why.

What the hell is merging books? Well, even if you claim your books to Author Central, you may have multiple versions or what they refer to as editions: Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audio, etc. If you merge these, they will show up under one title heading, and the shopper will be able to see every type of edition available in one place. That benefit is huge – that way you can provide ONE link to a book and people won’t have to search for their preferred format. The other awesome thing about merging your books – is let’s say your eBook has one review, your paperback has three reviews, and your hardcover has two. Once you merge those editions, ALL the reviews will show for each – so instead of people seeing one review for the eBook, they’ll see five. That’s much better, isn’t it? I knew you’d see it my way.

Link to the rest at Indies Unlimited

Advertising-Promotion-Marketing, Amazon

12 Comments to “Author Central Book Merge”

  1. I have to admit Author Central is very nice, because it’s tough being a writer named Christopher Wright. I have this mental image of someone emailing one of the other Christopher Wrights–maybe the expert on Deuteronomy–asking him if he was planning a sequel to his Space Opera.

    • The other author I publish with my publisher account has the same name as an author who wrote a book about being an Amazon insider. I sometimes wonder if the Amazon guy ever searches for his name and is horrified that it yields exactly three hits on Apple: his and two erotic horror books.

  2. Isn’t it (non) funny how you don’t have Author Pages at Kobo or BN? Isn’t it odd that you can’t even write a review at Kobo?
    Isn’t it annoying, maddening and frustrating that if you change anything about your book at BN, you either lose your ratings or your stars?
    It just took 5 days for Kobo to get back to me because there was a weekend in the way of their “We’ll respond in 24-48 hours”. Yeah, uh huh.
    And yet they bleat and whine about how Amazon is being so mean and stealing 🙁 authors and books from them by offering so much more.

    • At least the GoodReads reviews “on” Kobo aren’t lost when they lose one’s book. My duology vanished from Kobo, after having been shipped via Smashwords and appearing for a few weeks. When it showed up again, the pages had different URLs from before. *facepalm*

      One might think that this would be a “oh, if one publishes through Kobo, things will go more smoothly because you can poke them directly.” Instead, I’m going, “If this is the service they give another company, I don’t want to deal with them directly.”

  3. Barb–I agree. Amazon has become so dominant because it’s the ONLY well-run service in this field (or, at least, the only large, general one that’s well-run; there may well be some small, genre-specific services that are very good, for all I know). It’s a lot like complaining about your (generic “you” here) weight problem when you overeat and never exercise, and expressing bitter, blame-filled envy of a slim, fit rival… who eats right and exercises daily. There IS a reason the rival is slim and fit, and it’s not that s/he’s Evil Evil Evil.

    Anyhow, this piece has finally explained to me (I suspect) why my ebook edition of a fantasy trilogy isn’t linked to the hc and paperback editions. Readers (understdnably) found the original number of the print series very confusing (no number, followed by 1 & 2), so I renumbered them coherently in my ebook editions (i.e. 1, 2, 3). Clearly, I will have to go have a series of migraine-inducing emails with some miniumum-wage Amazon functionary to sort this out. (sigh)

  4. The only complaint I have with Author Central so far is having to deal with the international clones. UK has its own as does Germany, etc. Not all of them are as efficient as the original. For example, I still haven’t figured out how to get my editorial reviews on .de (even after two polite emails and one that was a little more direct and didn’t even get a response). I managed it with .co.uk after a couple of emails.

    And the customer reviews from the other sites don’t show up on .com (some of a couple of ‘selected’ .com reviews show up on the other sites – and the buyer is directed to .com to read all of them). You can’t ‘opt’ this in either from the Author Central pages.

    As a reader, this drives me to .com automatically (I live in Germany) to read the reviews before ordering the book on .de (books are delivered free in Germany – it’s usually a better deal than ordering from .com with the horrendous shipping costs) – so for the reader it’s also a little time-consuming.

    And for an author – you can’t get in touch with the UK readers who reviewed your book and beg them to post on .com, so if you’ve got good reviews somewhere else, the .com buyers won’t see it.

    • They can’t post their reviews on .com without a .com account, anyway — I was going to transfer some reviews (on Bujold books) over to .uk, and it wouldn’t let me do that.

      • ABeth, you can get access any of the other Amazon sites by using the same email and password you use for .com (on the login), then you’re automatically a customer of whatever site you are on. I just tried this on .it and it worked (although it took me a minute to figure out how to log in since I don’t speak Italian 🙂

        Then you’ll have to add your reviews again manually. I don’t think there’s a way to transfer them.

        • I wonder why they don’t have one unified author site that can tie across all their domains. Tax purposes? Some kind of legal restriction? I didn’t even realize there were Author Centrals in other countries… it sort of stretches the meaning of “central” a bit.

        • I thought I’d tried that, and gotten fussed at by the webpage because I wasn’t a UK customer… I may give it another shot at some point.

  5. I have three editions of my book on Amazon: Kindle, paper, and audio. The Kindle and audio editions linked automatically when the audiobook went on sale, but the paper one didn’t. I contacted CreateSpace to ask them to change the title, hoping that would make the editions link. They gave me a confusing reply. I e-mailed Amazon Author Central, and they got back to me in an hour telling me everything was linked, though it may take a few days for the change to show up. Kudos to Amazon Author Central for such quick and efficient service!

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