Amazon Author Central Needs To Be Central

Amazon Author Central Needs To Be Central

Amazon Author Central needs centralising

Amazon Author Central is a fantastic promotional tool for self-published authors, but why oh why does Amazon persist with a separate Amazon Author Central page for the UK?

Why are UK authors penalised by having their Amazon Author Central pages so totally disconnected from the rest of the Amazon world?

Why do they have to duplicate everything from their Amazon Author Central pages on the UK to the US site?

In reverse, why do authors outside the UK have to set up a separate Amazon Author Central page, just so they can reach UK readers?

Does the UK have an Amazon problem? Or does Amazon have a UK problem?

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 released from the time, tell this part of the story. (Be patient as I found the first press release was a little slow to load.

LEADING INTERNET BOOKSELLER AMAZON.COM ACQUIRES U.K.-BASED INTERNET BOOKSTORE BOOKPAGES LTD.

and

Amazon.com Acquires Three Leading Internet Companies

Ok, so these press releases are nearly twenty years old, but they do begin to tell the story of why Amazon UK is so separated from the rest of the Amazon world, and why Amazon 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 years.

Many new UK self-publishing authors may not realise that when they post their book buy links from their Amazon UK page, no one outside of the UK can buy it.

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.

Amazon Author Central UK Problems

 

Worse still is that Amazon UK DOES NOT share book reviews onto other Amazon sites.

Why are book reviews from Amazon UK readers only posted on Amazon UK, and not on the whole world of Amazon? 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?

Why are UK reader reviews only accessible to an author if he or she goes to the trouble of setting up a separate Amazon Author Central UK page?

Why are book rankings separated?

On my US (the whole of the world in fact) Amazon Central author 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 author page, I can get my book rankings, but there is no author ranking. So much for being central!

While Amazon UK operates on a separatist model, it can only hurt UK self-publishing ebook authors. For those authors outside the UK, it’s just simply a pain in the neck.

Either way, though, it proves that Amazon Author 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 them do so?

And then there are even more un-central Amazon Author Central locations

If the confusion between Amazon Central US and UK is not bad enough for authors, did you know that you can have even more decentralised Amazon Author Central 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 Amazon Author Central page of its own, so Australian authors miss out completely.

The best advice I can give authors at present is to set up multiple Amazon Author Central pages on the US and UK, and if you are keen, the German 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.

But, wouldn’t this all be so much easier if it was, Central?

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

18 thoughts on “Amazon Author Central Needs To Be Central

  • I published my first book on Amazon last week and thought that it was interesting that I got reviews on Amazon.com, however none on UK, AU or NL, which are the ones I know have sold books on and looked at so far.
    From that observation I concluded that reviews are only displayed on the department where the book was bought, but would love this to be wrong…
    (I am in Australia)

    Reply
  • Yes, Pollyesther. Book reviews that are posted on Amazon stores other than the US store, seem to only appear on the originating store site. Not very helpful. However, US reviews do get added to the UK store. But on my Author Central page, I only receive notifications of US reviews. Again, not very helpful.

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  • Thank you for your information and reply! Still figuring it all out, but so far no appearance of my US reviews on the UK site. I checked my author central page on the UK site and indeed, no info there, besides the book.
    From what I understand in this blog post, I have to become an Amazon UK member first and set up my Author central page to be able to see the US reviews appear there?
    Currently I am only subscribed to the AU site and KDP. Still feeling a little confused :(

    Reply
  • PS: After successfully managing to sign up and fill out my Author Central page at Amazon UK, I went to Amazon AU to find no such option at all! It seems that Author Central has not made it “Downunder” yet!

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  • I believe there are only two Author Centrals, Pollyesther. US and UK, So don’t hold your breath for an AU site anytime soon.

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  • I contacted Amazon UK about this a few months ago about this so it’s great to see this movement being taken up by others. Amazon said they’d look into merging all reviews regardless of which site they were posted on. As we know, this hasn’t happened yet. I hope they do make this change as most readers will not search for reviews on other random Amazon sites and those other sites may just hold many more reviews than the one they are buying from. Frustrating for the authors…

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  • The suitability of books for different markets is a genuine concern. For example, some British readers of American books say, “It’s very Americanised” which is valuable feedback if as a Brit, you want a British perspective. Also, writing books written by US authors on writing markets for example, would be less relevant to people living in the UK, because writers in the UK probably don’t have access to the same magazines. That’s all very well if you want to sell overseas, but tricky if you can’t get a copy. I’ve also seen books on taxation, sold in the UK, and the reviews say it’s about US taxation – different laws altogether! My point is, some literature doesn’t travel as well as other literature. Sometimes, it’s useful to have a different British perspective, to warn you off buying an American book about taxation! After all, if you only read the US reviews, you might walk away thinking it’s perfect!

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  • It’s certainly true that some books don’t travel well, Susie. But it would be helpful if UK reviews (and indeed, Canadian, Australian and South African) got better exposure, instead of being locked up on Amazon UK and the other individual country sites. As you say, US reviews are added to Amazon UK (about US taxation!), but the same is not done in reverse. I think my main point is that every review adds value, no matter where it comes from.

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    • No, US reviews are not added to Amazon UK. That’s how I knew it was a book on US taxation. The Brits who’d bought it and reviewed it, were disappointed,. They were the only reviewers on the UK site. On the US site, the reviewers loved the book, because it was relevant to them.

      I can see your argument, I’m just saying, in some instances the separation is justified. But yes, on novels, it would be nice to have reviews across borders. And it would be nice not to have to recreate your author page on every different market. Def agree on that one!

      Reply
  • Thanks for this again, Derek, I do like your blog. I didn’t know that about Author Central, guess I’d better go to amazon.com and create one if my co.uk stuff isn’t showing up there. Have never understood why they are all so separate.

    Reply
    • Glad to hear you are enjoying my posts, Patsy. Yes, Author Central is a bit confusing, because, well, as you discovered, it certainly isn’t at all central. Good luck!

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  • I know Amazon is the Daddy when it comes to selling our books, but surely there must be somewhere else? Someone who is prepared to give authors and readers a good service, to satisfy a genuine demand from both suppliers and consumers? That’s what capitalism is all about, right? I’m a writer, not an entrepreneur (yes, yes, I know we all have to wear 2 or 3 hats these days, but you get my drift) so maybe someone could have a word in someone’s ear and we might see an eager young David warm up his slingshot and take aim at Amazon’s Goliath dominance?

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    • One can hope, Dave. But the alternatives to Amazon at present are few, and none of them are setting the world on fire.

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  • I have previously had US reviews appear on the UK listing – that has, for reasons I know not, stopped happening. I never had it the other way around.

    The Author Central business is even more confusing to me – why on earth do they want to maintain multiple versions of the same thing? It must be painful for Amazon, it is certainly painful for authors.

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  • It’s not just Amazon US and Amazon UK that are separate. Amazon also owns Goodreads, yet reviews posted there are not transferable to Amazon.com (and visa versa). Why???

    Amazon also owns Createspace, yet they have separate policies for authors. This has been a source of frustration for me for years. I have emailed them about this in the past and, if answered at all, I only get pat on the head deflections for answers that they will pass on my concerns.

    It doesn’t make sense that Amazon would allow this bad business practice to continue.

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    • I agree, John. It’s immensely frustrating for all authors. It seems such a simple thing to do, but for some reason, Amazon resists.

      Reply

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