Tuesday, March 31, 2015

IWSG: Ask PZM April 2015 and A-Z Challenge


It's that the first Wednesday of the month, which also means it's Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thanks to our noble Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh, it's time to share our fears and insecurities, or support and assistance. Doesn't matter which.


If you'd like to join Insecure Writer's Support Group, click hereBe sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Our hashtag is #IWSG

The awesome co-hosts for today are: Suzanne Furness, Tonja Drecker, Toi Thomas, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, and Donna Hole!

Please stop by and thank them for their time. Yay co-host/minions!

It's also April, which means the A to Z Challenge. Over at IWSG, we're spreading encouragement and inspiration the entire month. Should be a good one. 


ASK PZM:


Q:  I have noticed that there have been changes to the format of Amazon’s Author Pages.  What are these changes?

When I emailed Amazon recently about the Author Page for my 90-year-old father (see www.amazon.com/author/albertzimbler ) in connection with the book feed (see explanation below) of the covers of his five humorous short story books about love and sex, here is the answer I got from Amazon:

“The default edition [paperback or Kindle] reflected on Author Pages are sorted based on actual customer shopping behaviors and we're not able to manually adjust the titles shown in this feature.

“Author Pages were redesigned to be more visually engaging and to make it easy for readers to learn about authors as they shop for books on Amazon.

“Below are the updates we've made to the Author Page:

“A book feed at the top of the page with large book covers.

 “Biographies are now located below the profile image on the left column.

“Social network updates (Tweets, blog posts, image and video uploads) are ordered from newest to oldest in a new 'Author Updates' feed.

“The old Author Pages only showed the most recent Tweet and blog post. In the new design, we show up to 20 Tweets and all the blog entries in the RSS feed.

“We do hope you have a better understanding of how our system works at present.”

(Do note the words “at present” – with Amazon things can and do change frequently.)

If you’re an author in the U.S. with books on Amazon and you have not yet claimed your free Author Page, go here now to do so – www.authorcentral.amazon.com


Q. What are Amazon giveaways?

Amazon now has provided a way to give away physical products including books directly from Amazon. 

You won’t see this option on your book’s Kindle page on Amazon, although you will see it near the bottom of your book’s paperback page on Amazon:

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

What is interesting about this new opportunity is that you do not have to be the author of a book to do this.  Anyone with an Amazon account who meets the criteria for setting up a giveaway can give away your physical books.

Your giveaway type can be a lucky number (for example, every x entrant wins) or first-come, first-served (for example, the first x entrants).

Amazon says the lucky number type “lasts longer and has more entrants; works better to grow fans or followers” and the first-come, first-served type “creates a sense of urgency; rewards fast action time.”

And there is a field in the setup if you want to require entrants to follow you on Twitter.

While I have not yet tried out this option, I do plan to do so in the future.  Meanwhile, go to www.amazon.com/giveaway for more details.




Phyllis Zimbler Miller blogs on book-related topics at www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com and her Amazon Author Page is at www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller

48 comments :

  1. Hi Joylene and Phyllis - what a great A ... an informative article on Amazon, Author Pages and Give aways - helpful to many, I'm sure ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. The great thing is the Amazon A is coincidental. I'm doing the challenge with my IWSG admins. Cheers to you, Hilary.

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  2. Some really useful information here. I certainly didn't know about the Amazon giveaway facility. Sure this is going to be interesting to many folks. Thanks for sharing.

    Suzanne
    IWSG Co-host

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    1. Thanks for co-hosting, Suzanne. Happy A-Z.

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  3. I've noticed the new author pages. I actually like the book feed at the top of the page, but I miss the FB "like" button that the old pages had. Thanks for all the news, PZM! :)

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    1. You're very welcome, Lexa. Phyllis still can't comment on my blog or she'd be thanking you herself.

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  4. I didn't know you could do Amazon giveaways - thanks!

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    1. You didn't? Well, the fact you learned something new warms my heart, Captain. Happy A-Z.

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  5. It's been a while since I looked at my author page on Amazon. I guess I need to do that soon.

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    1. Feel the same way, Diane. Phyllis' post is a wakeup call.

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  6. Gosh, I haven't noticed the changes because I haven't looked at my author page in a while. Nice to know!

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    1. There are a lot of us in the same boat. Thanks for visiting, Chrys.

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  7. I have not looked at the Amazon site for a long time now. I will have to check it out now. Thanks for letting us know.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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  8. Thanks for sharing what is new with Amazon Author Pages and Amazon Giveaways. I learned a lot about both. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. That's great to hear, Jess. Thanks for commenting.

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  9. It seems just when you get used to something like Facebook and other social media, they update and improve it. I need to take a look at my author page.

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  10. Didn't know about the Amazon giveaways. Thanks for the info.

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    1. You're welcome, Ken. Thanks for dropping by.

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  11. Yep. Just when you have it all sorted out, they change the page and you have to spend more time figuring out where that thingamajig went.

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    1. I've noticed that. Wish I knew their mum's phone number. I'd call and ask her to set them straight.

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  12. I had to smile when I saw this post - I just hopped over from my Amazon author page! I appreciate the info about the giveaways. I didn't know that was an option. Like you, I think I will plan one in the future. Thanks so much for this helpful info, Phyllis. Joylene, thanks for being the ever gracious hostess. :)

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    1. Thanks for your support, Karen. It means a lot.

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  13. What a great post and helpful insight. I didn't know about the Amazon giveaway option. How cool. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Hi Joylene! This was an informative post! I found Phyllis's info eye-opening. I'm not ready for an author's page on Amazon yet, but I can dream. Thanks for visiting my blog today! Happy writing!

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    1. You're welcome, Louise. You have a wonderful blog.

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  15. Great info about Amazon! Very helpful! Thanks :)

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  16. Thanks for the Amazon info. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and Phyllis' excellent guest spot, Kim!

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  17. Thanks for the Amazon author page info. I'll need it for my 83-year-old Mom before I need it for me, so I hope I can finish the formatting soon!

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  18. I suppose if you want to get reader attention, the Amazon giveaway is the best way to go. Amazon is making so many changes.

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    1. And will, no doubt, continue to. Thanks, Dolorah.

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  19. Interesting! I didn't realize there had been any changes, so thanks for the info.

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    1. Glad you were able to stop by. T. Thanks.

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  20. This is fascinating! There seems to be so much mystery in how Amazon works that it's nice to have things clarified a bit.

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    1. So glad to hear that, Caryn. Thanks for visiting!

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  21. An interesting and informative post, thanks for sharing.

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  22. Wow, that's really awesome to know. Most helpful. When my book comes out, I'll be sure to set that up as well. I think it's amazing how Amazon keeps innovating and somehow always managing to just stay ahead of the rest! :-)

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    1. That's great to hear, Yvette. Would love to celebrate with you.

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  23. This is great information. I need to look into a giveaway, too

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