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Discussion Starter #1
Does any other author here use Amazon Connect as their primary blog? I was notified today that Amazon Connect is being changed to Amazon Author Central, but nothing else about the service seems altered for better or for worse.

"Amazon Author Central (beta) is a new service that now houses the blog feature previously offered via AmazonConnect. Visit Author Central and sign in using your AmazonConnect user name and password--within 24 hours, you'll be able to post to your blog as usual, update your bibliography, and provide a photo and biography that we'll use to build an Author Page that displays information about you and your books, as well as posts from your blog. With this change in service, posts from author blogs will be transferred from book detail pages to Author Pages automatically."

Often bemused by Ammy's mysterious ways,

CK
 

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I haven't used this before, but may look into it.  Do you know if it's possible to synchronize it with another blog service or personal website?  It can get a little crazy needing to update multiple sites with blog entries.  I like how I can synch my Twitter, Facebook, and now Plaxo accounts just by typing things up at Twitter and it shows up on FB and Plaxo automatically.  Need something like that with blog entries, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jonfmerz said:
I haven't used this before, but may look into it. Do you know if it's possible to synchronize it with another blog service or personal website? It can get a little crazy needing to update multiple sites with blog entries.
I'd had LJ as my primary blog at one time, and RSS'd it to Amazon Connect until I discovered that Amazon wouldn't permit deletion of posts originating from other blogs, or most modifications for that matter. I decided to make Connect (um, Author Central) my main blog because it ties the reader directly into purchasing links for my books, both Kindled and papered. As for my other blogs, I've simply left a hotlinked message at each one, routing the reader to Amazon.

Too right it's crazy! I addressed that subject in one of my blog posts, "The TMI Age." :D

CK
 

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Yes, I syndicate posts from more than one blog to my Amazon blog. I just signed up for Author Central the other day. If Amazon is your primary sales focus (as it is for most of us), then it's always better to have a more detailed presence on the site. It's all about getting to know your potential audience, and letting them get to know you. Even the big stars of music, television, and movies know that now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I still can't quite grasp the logic of Author Central, Greg. My Amazon Connect profile still works.

I registered for Author Central just now and found it already set up...with only the Kindle versions of my books listed, an outdated photo, my latest blog post missing, and my name given wrongly. Heh.

Email duly fired off to the powers that be, if they be.

CK
 

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I use Amazon Connect as a blog site, having all my bibliography validated by a professional third party. The blog appears over all 25 product pages. I also use Blogit and Blogger (and LJ), plus guest blog all over creation.

I was invited to the Author Central also and signed up last Firday. Th finished page, including a migrated blog can be sen here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMI6X8

I'm not sure how Amazon will connect us all up. The blog is drawn from AmazonConnect - which is still the main area for creating blogs, with more features. Creating a blog at Author Central is missing features (links to product being one). Also the book page goes by Title and defaults to the Kindle book. Has anyone noticed that the Kindle Product pages no longer link to the paperback pages. Also blogs no longer link into your profile page.

I'm in is. I am also a member of Seller's Central (for Inside the Book). How this will all work, I'm not sure.

BTW, for those wanting to make inquiries on DTP issues, the email address is @amazon.com

Edward C. Patterson
 

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Carolyn Kephart said:
I still can't quite grasp the logic of Author Central, Greg. My Amazon Connect profile still works.
My guess/presumption is that once Author Central is out of Beta, Author Central will replace Amazon Connect, or in the least the two will become more complimentary over time. They say that there are many features still to come at Author Central, so I suspect those will include Amazon Connect-like functionality.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Greg Banks said:
My guess/presumption is that once Author Central is out of Beta, Author Central will replace Amazon Connect, or in the least the two will become more complimentary over time. They say that there are many features still to come at Author Central, so I suspect those will include Amazon Connect-like functionality.
I hope the new system is an improvement. At present, authors using Connect can't upload any images save those relating to Amazon products, can't link to a lot of other blog formats, change font types, etc.

Still, Connect has been by far the best way to bring readers to a place where they can read my random reflections (I very seldom talk about writing, and almost never promote), look inside my books, go from my profile directly to my website to sample the first chapters, and then return to buy if they choose. Authors get a huge boost from all the freebies Amazon provides, and this one's grateful. :)

CK
 

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Carolyn:

If you go to any one of my current book pages you'll my current blog which has a graphic in there - and not from the prodcut page. What you do is join Photobucket (which is very handy for Kindleboards too if you want to paste a picture in, you use Photobucket), and then upload the graphic and copy the code (html in the blogs case - in kindleboard's case the graphic input line). You then witch the editor to html and paste the code it. Like a bow-wow it fetches your picture and places it in the blog.

Ed Patterson
 

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Just got my Amazon Author Central page up and working here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JP43NU but needed to add some of my other books including PARALLAX. Anyone know how long it takes for them to show up once you add them? I thought it would be immediate, but that doesn't seem to be the case. In any event, it certainly seems very cool and it took the feed from my wordpress blog, which is great. Would love to see them implement a Twitter feed as well...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
edwpat said:
Carolyn:

If you go to any one of my current book pages you'll my current blog which has a graphic in there - and not from the prodcut page. What you do is join Photobucket (which is very handy for Kindleboards too if you want to paste a picture in, you use Photobucket), and then upload the graphic and copy the code (html in the blogs case - in kindleboard's case the graphic input line). You then witch the editor to html and paste the code it. Like a bow-wow it fetches your picture and places it in the blog.

Ed Patterson
Why, Ed, thank you! :) I'll do that.

CK
 

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Discussion Starter #12
jonfmerz said:
Just got my Amazon Author Central page up and working here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JP43NU but needed to add some of my other books including PARALLAX. Anyone know how long it takes for them to show up once you add them?
They got my name wrong, I emailed them at once, and they said the change would occur 'within three business days.'

CK
 

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How do you think Betsy shows us her hat collection. ;D

Viva la Photobucket.com

All you need to do here is copy the Image code and paste it in and voila - a picture of The Forbidden City in Bei-jing in 1984 (just after a snowstorm):



You can also do the same thing with you video trailer code. Harvey has set-up YouTube support.

Edward C. Blatherson, of what you will
 

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My author central pages were completed yesterday and today my blogs disappeared from the visible world and I have been quietly hidden from the customer world at Amazon. com. I have written the following to Amazon.

"A few questions:

1 - Now that I have an Author's Page, how do readers and customers find it on my product pages?

2 - I have 12 published works in both Kindle and Paperback, that is 24 product pages. Why does my author page only include one format or the other, and usually the Kindle version?

3 - My AmazonConnect blog appeared on all my product pages and was my principal and most visible blog. Why has that disappeared and hidden in Author's Central where no one on earth can see it. Why has my original blogs been removed from my profile? Why has my original blog been removed from my 24 product pages?

4 - Since I've signed up for this program and don't find much benefit in it, could you please explain to me how this is an improvement over the older system, because so far I am not served as well by it.

5 - Is there anyway for me to reverse the process and return to just a normal, viable, visible author on a normal profile page with normal blog and customer contact?

Unless I've missed the point and Amazon intends to make these hidden and remote pages visible to the world (which would make sense if Amazon wants to sell our books and make money), please let me know what the point is? There are numerous authors discussions going on now on dozens of forums discussing this new feature and initiative as a "trap." Please convince me otherwise.

Thanks you
Edward C. Patterson"

Perhaps others could unconfuse me.

Ed P
 

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Discussion Starter #16
edwpat said:
My author central pages were completed yesterday and today my blogs disappeared from the visible world and I have been quietly hidden from the customer world at Amazon. com. I have written the following to Amazon.

"A few questions:
... [etc.]
I figure Greg's right, and there's some beta-related glitchery going on. I'll just wait it out. In the meantime I'll revise my website and my profile to direct Googlers to the Author Central page.

It's piquant that Central offers me the chance to include reference books I'm mentioned in or have contributed to as my publications. I'm tempted to add 'em. :D

CK
 

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Here's the reponse from Amazon.com to my inquiry, and actually I'm acquiecing in it as the answer is polite and like all things contain trade offs. I have already had some of my product pages linking frm my name to the authors pages.

Edward C. Patterson

"Thank you for contacting us. We appreciate you taking the time to provide such
detailed feedback on this beta version of Author Central.

Author blogs that previously showed up on book detail pages and profiles have
been moved to our new Author Pages, which we believe are the best place for
customers to read author posts.

Today, customers can find Author Pages by searching by author name within the
Amazon bookstore. Soon customers will also be able to reach the Author Page by
clicking on an author's name under the book title on each book detail page. We
intend to find more ways to surface Author Pages across the site over time, and
we appreciate your feedback as we continue to invent new ways to help customers
discover authors and their works.

In order to make Author Page bibliographies simple and easier for customers to
browse, we display only one edition of each work. For example, the paperback
edition may be shown although hardcover, Kindle, and audiobook editions of the
same work also exist. Editions are chosen based on a set of rules designed to
provide the best customer experience. For example, newer editions are generally
preferred over older editions. We are checking your titles and will verify that
our systems are working properly, and delivering good results.

We regret that your experience with these changes have not yet met your
expectations, and we hope that it will soon. Author Central is a beta service
that will continue to expand. Author Pages are a brand new part of our store,
and we are excited and dedicated to adding more features and making them more
visible to customer across the site.

Thank you again for contacting Author Central.

Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

If yes, click here:
https://authorcentral.amazon.com/hmd-yes/haxrrfhg3287097890
If not, click here:
https://authorcentral.amazon.com/hmd-no/haxrrfhg3287097890

Please note: this e-mail was sent from an address that cannot accept
incoming e-mail. Please use the appropriate link above if you need
to contact us again about this matter.

Best regards,

Michael F.
http://authorcentral.amazon.com"
 

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What has happened, I fear, is essentially that Amazon has killed the Amazon Connect blog. Apparently too many authors were using it to spam the product pages, so Amz has pulled it off the product pages (as of today or yesterday, to judge by my experience) and restricted it to the personal profile page, where it's basically useless. Too bad!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now that my Amazon Connect has been all but shut down (no blog, no books, no sales numbers) and Amazon Central is only minimally functional (no hit counter, only Kindle versions listed, no sales numbers, no friends list, no website link, wrong name), I surfed a bit just now and found a site that purports to provide ranking data and updates of same absolutely free: http://www.ranktracer.com/. Anyone else know about this and/or using it? I'm going to give it a try.

Mildly frustrated,

CK
 
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