Search engines (like Google and Amazon) see small variations as big differences. If you have tiny variations in your name and title on your book sales pages they can cause big problems and hurt your Amazon sales.
What kind of variations?
- For instance, one of your books lists you as Martin Smith.
- Another of your books has your name as Martin L. Smith.
- And a 3rd book has you down as Martin L. Smith PhD.
Why is this a problem?
According to Amazon’s search engine, these are 3 different names. Your name, title, and subtitle all must be the same for Amazon (or any other search engine) to assume that your different formats are indeed for the same book. Or, that 3 different books with these variations are actually by the same author.
Here’s what happens:
If your Author Central profile name is Martin L. Smith, your other 2 books that list your name as Martin Smith and Martin L. Smith PhD don’t show on your profile. Someone looking for one of your titles may not find it if he’s searching by your name and it’s a different variation than the name on your book.
If a single title has more than one variation of your name – say you have your title, PhD under your Kindle account and your print book just has your name – Amazon generates two book pages for your one title. You have your print book page and your Kindle book page.
Why is this a problem? It makes it more difficult for your potential customers to find the format they want. Someone may only see the Kindle book and wants to buy a print version. They might assume there is no print version and buy another title instead. Multiply this out and there go your Amazon sales!
Too many book pages also messes up your reviews. If a buyer reviews your Kindle book, their review will only show on the Kindle page – not on your print book sales page.
Variations in the title can cause these problems, too. When listings have typos or don’t include a subtitle, they are assumed to be different titles and are assigned a separate book page. Take a look at this example where the title and the author are different for 3 different formats:
In the hardcover listing, the author’s title (Jr) is before his name.
In the softcover version, the subtitle is missing. So is the Jr after the author’s name.
In the Kindle listing, there’s a typo in the title and the author’s title Jr is at the end, like it should be.
How to fix problems like these.
- Before you publish, decide on how you want your name to show on your book cover, website, and social media. It could be John Smith, John Smith Jr., John S. Smith, or John S. Smith Jr – but not more than one version.
- If you’ve already published one book, make sure book 2 uses the same version of your name as the first book.
- If you have multiple books out with variations like above, contact Amazon through Author Central and have them change the names to one version. Make sure they all show up on your Author Central page.
- Make sure your website and social media all use the same version of your name, too.
Learn more about how to optimize your Amazon sales. Check out my video class, Amazon for Authors.