Like almost everything on the Internet, many of the suggestions for new authors are useless drivel, but now and then really good ideas crop up. For the next couple of weeks, I'll be trying to place the recommendations I've tried into one of those two piles. And because I don't want to bombard you with totally negative comments, I'll be alternating between the really bright ideas and the prescriptions for disaster.
Let's start with my favorite -- Amazon's Author Central. Surprised? True, I tend to be hard on Amazon when I catch them trying to profit from an author's innocence, but in this case, their offer of a free author's page not only makes sense -- it makes cents, if you'll pardon the pun.
The goal of any author's promotion is to draw attention to her books, and what better place to do that than on a website that sells some 70% to 80% of all books, whether you're looking for hardback, paperback, or e-books?
Qualifying for an Author Page is simple. Do you have a book for sale by Amazon? Then you qualify to build your own page. Just go to: https://authorcentral.amazon.com usinsg your Amazon ID. Amazon will provide a detailed bibliography of all your books, complete with links to each one's sale page. You then can add everything you want a prospective reader to know about you and your work.
Start with an appealing biography, and then add pictures of yourself (particularly at book-signings or speaking engagements), a list of awards you've received, your book trailers, links to your blog posts, your twitter feed, and your schedule of events and appearances. You'll be given a link to your page, so that you can tell anyone interested. Mine, by the way, is amazon.com/author/carolynschriber. And Amazon will help you post that address on other social media sites if you choose. Keep the information updated regularly, and your readers will follow you with ease. They'll even find a button that will allow Amazon to send them a notice whenever you publish something new.
But wait! There's more. Author Central also provides you, the author, with another private page, purely for your own use. When you sign into Author Central with your Amazon ID and password, you will find a link to your author page, so that you can add information. Then you get a list of all your books, so you can check for completeness and accuracy. The Sales Info tab takes you to sales reports and book and author rankings. And the tab of Customer Reviews lists every review you receive on any book on Amazon (very useful when you're just curious to see if there has been a new review. You can have them shown by title or by date received.)
These two pages give you everything you need to sell your books on Amazon. It's a one-stop promotion headquarters. Yes, there are other places to list your book on the internet, but this is the most important one. It's accurate, it's kept up-to-date (every hour!), and it's free. Don't neglect it.