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.
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.
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?