Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Writers Gotta Read, Right? – Halloween/Samhain/Día de los Muertos

It seems to me that the end of October and first of November are just crammed with holidays/celebrations. Wonder why? Not sure if that applies to other parts of the year as well, but just saying, I was struck by this as I settled in to write this post. So, without further ado (but maybe a “Boo!” or two), here is some lists of reading lists as the months turn (with a special non-book-related link at the end).

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

Halloween (Oct. 31)

Samhain (Oct. 31– Nov. 1)

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead (Nov. 1–2)

Finally—bonus! bonus!—not books, but for the musically inclined (thank you, Washington Post): The 50 best Halloween songs of all time 

Plenty here to choose from. Pick a book, grab your favorite cuppa, and snuggle up under a cozy blanket. Also, please share in the comments what books you’re currently reading.  

Ann Parker authors the award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press, an imprint of Sourcebooks. During the day, she wrangles words for a living as a science editor/writer and marketing communications specialist (which is basically a fancy term for "editor/writer"). Her midnight hours are devoted to scribbling fiction. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Author Central Page and Foreign Markets

When you upload your book to Amazon, you have the option of distributing to foreign markets and third parties. I have been surprised and delighted to see my books, which I don't market much, sell internationally. I have sold books in Germany, the UK, Canada, even India. Amazon continues to increase the number of countries to their roster. They currently have eighteen sites: 

Australia (45 million customers)

Canada (231 million customers)

Brazil (115 million customers)

France (251 million customers) 

Germany (605 millions customers)

India (295 million customers)

Italy million customers)

Japan (646 million customers) 

Mexico (89 million customers)

Netherlands (33 million customers) 

Poland (70,000 customers)

Saudi Arabia (4.62 million customers) 

Singapore (7 million customers) 

Spain (198 million customers)

Sweden (10 million customers)

Turkey (data not available)

United Arab Emirates (21 million customers)

United Kingdom (569 million customers) 

United States (31 billion customers)

Amazon also had a marketplace in China that was discontinued in 2019.

It is fun to search for your novels and find them located in a foreign store. Try it!

Do they all sell your book? Yes and no.

Your book is available for purchase, but their algorithm may never suggest your book. In the United States, newly published books fall off Amazon's recommendation algorithm after 90 days unless your book goes viral, you are a prolific writer, or you continually aggressively market your book with direct buy links. There may come a time when your name or title alone does not generate a result. 

One of the best things about self-publishing is your books are never taken off the virtual shelf. The more you write and promote, the more traffic you are likely to have. The more people search for your books, the more likely they are to remain relevant. I have searched for title alone for well-known traditionally published authors and were not able to find their books or all of the books in their series. Luckily, KDP has added a "claim your series" tool so that when one book in the series comes up, the search algorithm suggests the rest.

You can create an author central presence on some of the foreign stores too. Create a sign-on and password on the US Amazon Author Central platform. Fill in your bio on the US site as well as a few others. You can get really creative and have someone translate your biography for you or use the English to (Language) tools available online.

United States ( 

United Kingdom (

Germany ( 

France ( 

Japan (

Make sure you have claimed all of your books and removed any that aren't by you. Sometimes authors have the same name as you. There were a few children's books by another author with my name that populated. I removed them from my roster. 

You can add photos and videos. Did you have a book trailer made? You can add that. Do you have a blog and/or website? You can add those, though the blog option is not available on all sites.

For more on Author Central Pages, check out:

Posted by Diana Hurwitz, author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.