RECENT CHANGES AT KDP
There have been several changes to Amazon KDP recently. Have you noticed?
SERIES. One interesting change is the introduction of the series page and the series manager. It seems like this new tool isn’t 100% complete yet, but it’s a giant step in the right direction. From the publishing end, it makes it easier to manage series. Now you get a series landing page and you can even write a series description (by default it uses the description from the first book).
From the customer’s perspective, there is a change I would personally like to see. When I shop for sci-fi books to read, for example, I see every volume of a series as a separate search result. Sometimes a really popular series has several volumes and these volumes take up a great deal of space when I’m looking for a new book. Seriously, if I didn’t want to read Volume 1, why would I get interested in Volume 6 and read that one? I wish these would show up as a single series in the search results. They should show the first volume of the series unless I’m logged in and the system realizes that I’ve already read one or more volumes, in which case it would be really helpful if the search results put the next volume in front of me (but, please, not every book in the series). I run into the same trouble when I’m looking for t.v. shows to watch on Amazon Prime, though it is much better now than it had been a few years back.
SPONSORED BRANDS. AMS introduced a new feature: Sponsored brand advertising. If you have three or more similar books (with the same author name) that you would like to advertise, you can put them together and make a special landing page with them. This makes it easy for the customer to find a set of related books, which is really handy if you’ve published a variety of books where grouping would be convenient. Of course, advertising costs money, and not all ads are cost-effective, but I like the concept, and it is benefiting some authors.
EXPANDED UK. Expanded Distribution is now available in the UK. If the UK price of the paperback edition is high enough to enable this distribution channel (and earn a reasonable royalty for it), this offers a little added visibility.
BETA REPORTS. For several months now, there has been a KDP Reports Beta option on the Reports page. This has changed recently. For authors of multiple books, tracking the performance of multiple books is a little easier in a couple of ways.
AUTHOR CENTRAL. Amazon Author Central received an overhaul. It seems like it is more mobile friendly now. Perhaps that was the main reason for the update. There are a few things that I like about it, but a couple of things I liked better the old way. The sales rank page makes it easier to keep track of the ranks of several books. It appears that whichever edition (paperback, Kindle, audio, etc.) has the best sales rank shows by default, which is convenient. For the most part, my better selling books are at the top of the page, but I note that it isn’t ordered perfectly by the better sales rank (maybe it averages the ranks of the different editions?). We seem to have lost a feature or two, such as the option to rename the url of the author page. But other features, like From the Author, are just harder to find (this seems to work for paperbacks, but not consistently for Kindle anymore).
UNIFIED AMS. If you advertise in multiple countries and would like a unified view, create a manager account or click the option to manage your accounts by clicking your account name at the top right corner.
KDP COMMUNITY. A few changes have been made to the KDP community, including the occasional presence of a KDP representative. I’ve seen an occasional post from a KDP representative. It’s nice for them to have at least a small presence in the community.
KENP AT AMS. Finally, estimated KENP royalties are included with AMS reports.
NOMINATIONS. You can nominate a book for Kindle Deals or Prime Reading. It’s not easy to get a nomination accepted, obviously, and these may be more helpful for some kinds of books than for others, but it’s nice to feel included by being able to nominate books. I actually had my astronomy book included once before these nominations were made possible (in the past, you would receive an invitation by email to nominate a book, if you were so lucky, and then you would wait again to see if they accepted your nomination). Now the nomination part is easy, but the acceptance part is rare. For me, when my astronomy book was accepted, the experience had been great for me. For books that get accepted in popular categories, you probably also need to get a little lucky not to get buried in the back of the list.
CANADA/AUSTRALIA AMS. It’s now possible to advertise KDP books in Canada and Australia (in addition to the US and Europe).
Which changes have you noticed at KDP or Amazon?
Write Happy, Be Happy
Author of the Improve Your Math Fluency series of math workbooks and self-publishing guides