SPQ 048: Amazon Author Page: Why Link to It Instead of a Blog?
Leslye Penelope, a fantasy romance author, wonders why Steve points his URL directly to Amazon instead of sending people to his author website. As a reader, she usually researches an author before buying a book. It seems his URL should go to a place where readers can learn more about him and then figure out if they want to buy his books.
Steve is glad Leslye asked this question because it challenges a piece of advice he has been giving to listeners. This type of question makes him think about his responses and the “why” behind everything he recommends.
Leslye is talking about the URL forwarding technique covered in episode 17. The idea is to create a simple, easy-to-remember URL, such as Steve’s HabitBooks.net. People don’t have to think about the address or remember long strings of characters.
Sometimes it is better to send people to blog content. Leslye is spot-on when she says it’s a good way to get people to know, like, and trust you. However, Steve has a specific reason for linking to his Amazon author page. It’s a matter of focusing on your native platform.
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this in “Respecting the Psychology of the Platform.” You have to think about the platform you’re using and create content for that audience. If you are on Kindle, you want to encourage people to check out more of your stuff. People who read Kindle books want more books, so Steve sends them to his Amazon page. He does this to turn browsers into buyers.
Steve’s author page explains how he can help people with their habits. It also includes links to blog posts and Twitter content. If a buyer isn’t sold on one particular book, buyers can see all of the books in his catalog. As an author, you don’t want people to buy just one book; you want them to buy all of your books. His URL forward is another entry point into his sales funnel.
It’s a lot easier to have a URL than it is to say “Go find my books on Amazon.” If people have to search for your books, they’re less likely to take action. If you give them a one-step process to follow, they are more likely to take action.
Steve’s blog doesn’t always have pillar content because it is a work in progress, so sending people to his author page makes the most sense for him right now.
Leslye is using her platform to promote works by other authors, which can confuse her readers. Having your own author page can help you make more sales. Steve has a few other recommendations for Leslye:
- Add more purchasing opportunities to your blog (e.g. at the bottom of blog posts).
- Create an email offer with a free short story for a particular universe.
- Offer a permanently free short story on Amazon. This can lead to more sales.
There’s really no right or wrong answer here. Steve’s strategy runs counter to the strategy many people use. Generally speaking, he wants people to buy his books, so he doesn’t worry about sending potential buyers to his Amazon author page.
Resources and Links
SPQ 017: Steve explains how to set up URL forwarding to make it easier for readers to find you
Respecting the Psychology of the Platform: Gary Vaynerchuk explains why it is important to consider the psychology behind each social-media platform