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Amazon also offers free author pages on Author Central which boosts discoverability and helps customers find authors. Authors can upload tour schedules, videos, customer discussions, bibliographies, photos and more to their author page. Additionally, sales data from Bookscan is available on your author page with geographical “heat maps” by title that show where sales occur and indicates sales volume. Bestseller ratings also appear on Author Central along with historical sales data for each title.

Search Inside The Book (SITB) allows readers to browse limited amounts of material and this helps discoverability and sales.

Shelfari is Amazon’s social network and online community. Here authors can write character descriptions and plot descriptions and these efforts do eventually aggregate onto the author's book information page. Amazon Associates allows authors to sell books on their website with links and widgets to help them earn money.

During the Q & A that followed the presentation the following questions were fielded by Mr. Slater: Can authors record their own book? Yes. The information is on ACX.com What are examples of Virtual Hand Selling? Amazon helps readers with tools like Sample Chapters, Movers & Shakers, Daily Deals and “Customers who bought…”

Can Amazon email to let customers know about an author's new release? No, that is handled by publishers using co-op merchandising or a decision by Amazon. Authors can get the word out by putting release dates on Shelfari, especially by listing all titles in a series. But there is no way to access co-op merchandising opportunities directly.

Amazon recently bought Dorchester titles. What are the plans for these works? Amazon will put them out in Digital and then stage the print release.

Award-winning author, Jenna Kernan, has been nominated for two RITA® awards for her Western romances and received the Book Buyers Best Award for paranormal romance in 2010. Upcoming releases are THE TEXAS RANGER'S DAUGHTER, February 2012 and BEAUTY’S BEAST, April 2013. Connect with Jenna at www.jennakernan.com.

Business Briefs

End of an Era Move as Cokesbury Closing Stores

United Methodist Publishing House is closing 38 full-line stores and 19 seminary bookstores. They will be selling exclusively from Cokesbury.com and at conferences, meetings, etc. Recent stats showed 15% of purchasing came from brick and mortar stores. Closings begin in St. Louis Jan. 2013 and are scheduled to be completed by the end of April.

Pegasus Classics

Pegasus Books continues its partnership with Open Road with a new ebook imprint, Pegasus Classics. There will be print on demand in addition to the digital-only format. They are proposing 12 titles in 2013 in literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, sports and mystery/thriller. This will be a combination of new and older titles.

Harlequin and Cosmopolitan

Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin will have a 30,000 word count in e-originals. The shorter length is supposed to catch the interest of those downloading romances to a variety of devices. Two books will be released monthly at $3.99 with a launch in May 2013. Harlequin says for “modern young women living the free-spirited and outgoing lifestyle espoused by the international magazine”.

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