Author Central Has Changed

CHANGES AT AUTHOR CENTRAL

If you haven’t already done so, when you next visit Author Central, it will ask you to sign up (even if you are already signed up). This part should be easy. It found my previous information and quickly transferred it over. I checked my biography and author photos, which were the same (although I noticed a couple of duplicate photos and deleted the duplicates). At first, it seemed like my blog feeds were missing, but when I proceeded to add them, I saw that they were still there.

The way that books, reviews, and sales ranks are displayed has changed, and it is not as clear how to edit a book’s information.

(With thousands of authors currently checking out the new Author Central, it’s possible that you will experience delays or that the site will appear to be temporarily down when you visit. This happened to me briefly once, but was working again just a few minutes later. The other times I visited this morning, it was working fine.)

PLUSES

I like the Sales Rank report (but see the Minuses below) and Customer Reviews report. It’s basically the same information that we have seen before, presented in a new way.

Visually, these appear nice, in my opinion.

I also like that I can scroll down to see more ranks; I don’t need to paginate my way back and forth through all of my books.

The sales ranks are displayed according to popularity.

You can also change the marketplace to see how your books are selling in other countries, or to see recent reviews in other countries.

If you are looking for a specific book, the search tool (accessible by clicking All Books) makes it easy to search for one.

Back under Profile, it is easy to visit Author Central in other countries where it is available. You can also add a biography in a new language.

MINUSES

The Sales Rank report and Customer Reviews report can only be sorted by popularity.

In contrast, when you go to the Books page, you can change the sorting to alphabetical, newest to oldest, etc. It seem an obvious “oversight” that you can’t similarly change the sorting of the Sales Rank and Customer Reviews reports. Very often, I like to see how my most recent books are doing (sales rank or reviews), without having to search for each book specifically, so such sorting options would have been useful.

The Books page has changed. I see all of my titles (without having to paginate, which is nice), but with the old Author Central, we used to be able to see the total number of reviews/ratings and the average star value next to each book. Now we just see the book covers, nothing else (without additional clicks). I liked being able to monitor review totals and averages for several books on the page without having to click on one book at a time to access this information.

When I do click on a book from the Books page, with the first click it only pulls up a minimum of information, and it may not be immediately obvious to all authors that they can click again to see more information and get more options. It is necessary to click on one of the thumbnails if you wish to edit your book description or access other fields like From the Author or Editorial Reviews. Most authors will have two thumbnails (one for paperback, one for Kindle). After you click the thumbnail (really, the second time you click on a thumbnail), you will see slightly more information: the full title, the review tally (finally), and a little product information. You will also see an Edit Book Details button. Currently, this takes you to the classic editor. Beware that if you edit your book description, you need to copy/paste the HTML of the description into the book description field at KDP, otherwise the next time you republish your book (even just to change the price or keywords) it will revert to the old description (as KDP now overwrites the Author Central description).

SURVEY

On Home page or the bottom of other pages, you can find a quick Survey.

There was only one place to enter a comment, and it was a small box. It reminded me of the joke where an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper has a tiny rectangle drawn on it, with text above it stating, “Enter your complaint in the space provided.” I partly understand that if they allow thousands of authors to submit comments, they will be overwhelmed with an encyclopedic amount of feedback. Writers love to write, after all. But if they really want to know what needs to be improved and why, the survey really needs more than the few questions it asked.

If you have specific feedback that you would like to offer, there is a Contact Us button at the bottom of the Author Central page.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you like the new Author Central better, or the classic one?

What do you like about it? What do you dislike?

Write Happy, Be Happy

Chris McMullen

Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides

33 comments on “Author Central Has Changed

    • That’s a great question. (I bet one reason has to do with the places where Author Central mentions KDP, the Kindle Previewer, and Kindle Unlimited, presumably with more to come in the future.)

      • Thanks. I wish they would address the questions that many authors have regarding delays of information we want posted, drops (or deletions) of reviews and things like that.

      • Hi. I’d say you probably hit the nail on the head. What I liked the very most was that as a blind screen reader driven computer user, I could handle most everything concerning my bio, and adding some author pics and stuff myself. That’s a big plus. It’s one thing to get help with formatting and uploading books, but I don’t want to have to ask for help with every little thing.
        When I signed in on the new page, I was able to edit my bio, and add blog feeds with no problem. It’s not always been that way.

      • You’re welcome. Lots of times the writing community forgets that there are visually challenged and print disabled writers out there.

        Things like photos, memes, infographics, and publishing sites that aren’t compatible with screen reader users can be and are nightmarish.

        I write with the goal of bridging the gap between the disAbled and the Non-disAbled. And so when things work or don’t work I like to let people know of them whenever possible.

        Once I wrote a post about the challenges disAbled writers face. I didn’t think anything much about it. It got picked up and shared, and next thing I knew there was a conversation going on and I learned right then and there that there are many ways that people have troubles. Coloring of font and background, and all sorts of stuff came to light.

        It’s very important to remember those who might do things just a bit differently.

        I’ve had many conversations with KDP since they came on the scene but they do seem to be listening.

        Thanks for a great post. The way you broke things down has created a sort of checklist for me to go and look at. Some of the things you mentioned, I’ve not investigated yet. Now I must do that. If something doesn’t work for me they must know of it especially if there are more things to come.

        Patty L. Fletcher

        Self-Published Author and Social Media Promotional Assistant

        Email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

        Website: http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com/ .

        Food For Thought

        We all are the Light, automatically. So we really don’t have to go too much further than that. We all have a Light within us – it is the Soul; it is that spark of God, of the Divine, that activates our consciousness.

        -John-Roger, DSS

        Source: New Day Herald website

      • Hi Chris.

        I don’t want to high-jack your post here, shoot me an email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

        Or, check out “Challenges of a Disabled Writer” on my blog archives.

        If memory serves me correctly, and that is a scary thing, I believe The Story Reading Ape is who picked it up and reblogged it which generated huge conversation.

        Thanks and have a great day.

        Patty L. Fletcher

        Self-Published Author and Social Media Promotional Assistant

        Email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

        Website: http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com/ .

        Food For Thought

        We all are the Light, automatically. So we really don’t have to go too much further than that. We all have a Light within us – it is the Soul; it is that spark of God, of the Divine, that activates our consciousness.

        -John-Roger, DSS

        Source: New Day Herald website

      • My to read list is bigger than your to read list.

        LOL.

        Remember when we used to say “My dad’s bigger than your dad?”

        Yes, The Story Reading Ape is amazing.

        Patty L. Fletcher

        Self-Published Author and Social Media Promotional Assistant

        Email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

        Website: http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com/ .

        Food For Thought

        We all are the Light, automatically. So we really don’t have to go too much further than that. We all have a Light within us – it is the Soul; it is that spark of God, of the Divine, that activates our consciousness.

        -John-Roger, DSS

        Source: New Day Herald website

  1. Thanks for the heads-up and the very helpful information. I haven’t been paying enough attention to my Author Central, so I guess it’s time!

  2. Pingback: Repost: Author Central Has Changed | ARMAND ROSAMILIA

    • The more I read from others about the trouble they have with such things, the more glad I am that I use keystrokes rather than the mouse for navigating.

      When a site is accessible I can zoom right through.

      I think people would have less navigating trouble and more understanding if they went back to the way of keystrokes, of course some computer users have never done that as it is the old way.

      Patty L. Fletcher

      Self-Published Author and Social Media Promotional Assistant

      Email: patty.volunteer1@gmail.com

      Website: http://www.campbellsworld.wordpress.com/ .

      Food For Thought

      We all are the Light, automatically. So we really don’t have to go too much further than that. We all have a Light within us – it is the Soul; it is that spark of God, of the Divine, that activates our consciousness.

      -John-Roger, DSS

      Source: New Day Herald website

      • When we changed library software from a msdos programme to a windows-based one (around the turn of the century, I think it was – doesn’t that sound ancient?) the staff complained that having to pick up the mouse to navigate slowed them down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s