Author Central is a fantastic promotional tool for self-published authors. But why oh why does Amazon UK persist with a separate page for KDP self-publishers?
An Amazon author page should be just that. A page, and only one.
Why are UK authors penalised by having their Amazon Author Central UK pages so totally disconnected from the rest of the Amazon world?
Why do authors have to duplicate everything, including their author profile and bio and editorial reviews, from their Amazon Author Central account UK pages to the Amazon Central US site?
In reverse, why do authors outside the UK have to set up a separate UK page, just so they can reach UK potential readers?
There is nothing quick, easy or central about it.
Does the UK have an Amazon problem? Or does Amazon have a UK problem?
An Amazon UK history lesson
Perhaps a little history is needed to answer all these questions. Most importantly, is that Amazon did not set up business in the UK from scratch. They did it by acquiring BookPages Ltd in 1998.
These two press release headlines from the time, tell this part of the story.
LEADING INTERNET BOOKSELLER AMAZON.COM ACQUIRES U.K.-BASED INTERNET BOOKSTORE BOOKPAGES LTD.
Amazon.com Acquires Three Leading Internet Companies
Okay, so these press releases are nearly twenty years old when traditional publishing was king. But they do begin to tell the story of why Amazon UK is so separated from the rest of the Amazon world. And why Author Central UK is (still) on the outer.
Without being privy to the fine print of the takeover of Bookpages, history tells me that there must have been an agreement to keep the UK Amazon market separate, and protected. From who, and for who, I have no idea. But the separation has been clear now for many years.
Many new UK self-publishing authors don’t realise that when they post their Amazon book pages buy links from their Amazon UK page, no one outside of the UK can buy their book.
While I can buy ebooks from Amazon US, Germany, France and many other countries, Amazon UK is a ‘no-go‘ sales zone for anyone outside the UK.
Worse still is that Amazon UK DOES NOT share book reviews from the Amazon UK store onto the Amazon US store.
Why are book and customer reviews from Amazon UK readers only posted on Amazon UK, and not on the whole world of Amazon? So much for being an international author.
If a reader posts a review on Amazon.com, Amazon.de or Amazon.fr, they appear on the Amazon.com page, along with all other countries, including the UK. However, reviews posted on Amazon.co.uk stay there, and only there. Why?
It is not only a problem for UK authors. Non – UK authors have a problem too.
Why are UK reader reviews only accessible to a non-UK author if he or she goes to the trouble of setting up a separate UK author page? It’s a fragmented nightmare for a book publisher.
Why are book rankings separated?
On the book tab of my US (the whole of the world in fact) Amazon Central account page, I can get my book and author rankings, but they are minus any UK data.
Then if I go to my UK (only UK) Amazon Central account page, I can get my book sales rank, but there is no author ranking. So much for being central.
On some occasions, titles on a US author page don’t appear on the UK page. So you have to claim your books again to get them listed.
While Amazon UK operates on a separatist model, it can only hurt UK self-publishing ebook authors. For those authors outside the UK, it is simply a real pain in the neck.
Either way, though, it proves that Amazon Central is definitely not central at all.
Isn’t it about time that Amazon UK joined the rest of the Amazon world? Or for Amazon as a company to make this happen?
Authors have one KDP account, so why not have one global Amazon Author Central page with one author page URL?
And then there are even more un-central Author Central locations
If the confusion between Amazon Central US and UK is not bad enough for many authors, did you know that you can have even more decentralised pages on Amazon DE in Germany, Amazon FR in France and Amazon JP in Japan?
Oddly enough, however, although Australia has an Amazon Kindle store, it does not have an Author Central page of its own as yet.
So Australian authors miss out completely because they can’t create an author bio page for their Australian readers.
The best advice I can give authors at present is to set up multiple Amazon Author Central pages on the US and UK.
If you are keen, the German author website site as well.
Why Germany? Because Germany is one of the biggest ebook markets after the US and UK, and there are a lot of Germans who read in English. So it might just be worth the effort.
Kindle Direct Publishing is a wonderful self-publishing platform. But wouldn’t it all be so much easier if Amazon Author Central was, well, you know, Central?