Author’s guide to Amazon.com’s new @author feature

A new way for authors to engage with their readers is through a new @author feature on Amazon.com. So far it’s in limited beta, with only a handful of participating authors, but hopefully soon will be more widely available for published authors who would enjoy connecting with readers in a Q&A format. This @author feature will allow readers to post a question to you the author, and as the author your set of answered questions will be available to readers from within your Amazon Author Page.

Susan Orlean Facebook Profile picReaders can ask questions on a participating author’s page on Amazon or from their Kindle. What’s especially interesting here is Amazon’s move to engage readers with authors on their Kindle platform.

Currently in limited beta, there are a little over a dozen authors currently participating, including Susan Orlean (Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief), pictured here. See the @author feature in action on the Susan Orlean Amazon Author Page.  You’ll find the boxed area for this @author feature under the author photo and above the book list. Readers will initiate the process by using the “Ask a question” link to send the author their question.

How it works on the Kindle:  Using the 5-way controller, the reader can highlight a passage and type “@author” — for example, @susanorlean — followed by a question. Then, the reader selects “save & share” from the options at the bottom of the note window. On Kindle, questions are limited to 100 characters. (Readers can write longer questions from within the Amazon Author Page.)

Amazon sends the question to the author over Twitter from their @author Twitter account. When the author answers the question, Amazon sends the reader an email.

As of this article, Susan Orlean has answered this question from a reader: “Hi Susan, One of my biggest challenges is fighting an apathetic attitude after I come up with an idea. How do you keep your momentum going after you’ve come up with an idea for a story or profile? Thank you, Jason”

I’ll publish news here as it becomes available about this new @author feature on Amazon.  One way to stay connected is to receive new posts in email by subscribing – you’ll see a place to enter your email address at the bottom of this page. Also you can follow me on Twitter @cxshade where I’ll be sharing links to posts as I publish them.

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