Thursday, January 01, 2009

Other Shoes Dropping

Way back in the year eight, I linked to a start-up company, filedbyauthor, that was entering a beta phase, announcing itself to the public, and starting to provide free homepages to any authors who wanted them.

I said, at the time (paraphrased) "this is nice, but there may be other nice things that will be nicer."

And on Tuesday -- hey, it's taking me a while to keep up with news; I'm on vacation -- GalleyCat announced that Amazon had launched its own "free homepages for authors" program. Amazon Author Stores launched at the beginning of the week with what looks like several hundred pages, with a plan to eventually have a page for every author. (And Amazon has some experience in this area: they've had Artist Stores for CDs for some time now.)

So far, Amazon only seems to be asking authors to upload photos and biographies of themselves -- and, if you're an author and Amazon has a page for you, go do that right now -- but I expect things will get more content-rich from there. (Authors can already put blogs, videos, and other stuff on their book's pages through Amazon Connect; I imagine this program will link up with that eventually.)

Again, this doesn't mean authors should avoid filedbyauthor, or abandon Facebook, or end their standalone blogs -- if something is working, or shows a reasonable chance of working, keep doing it. But Amazon is a bigfoot online, with massive traffic. They can be a tremendous platform for sales if you can figure out how to use them to reach the right people.

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