Amazon’s New Series Pages

amazon book series
Is this really a useful tool?

Last year, Smashwords introduced a neat tool called Series Manager which allows authors to link books in the same series together for better discoverability. Well guess what? Amazon has now done the same thing. Supposedly. But not quite. Frankly – not at all.

To be perfectly honest, Smashwords outguns Amazon with this feature – by a longshot. I’ll explain why in a minute. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty first.

Unfortunately, there is a catch, the same as with Smashwords. If you have books that are in a series which are both self-published and published through a press (which uses a different KDP account), you cannot link those together yourself. You can only link the books under your control through your KDP account. To do that, go to your KDP Bookshelf (dashboard)

kdp bookshelfClick “Edit Book Details” on the right-hand side (highlighted in yellow). On the next page, you will need to enter the title and series information:

KDP Series info

If you haven’t already done this (I did them when I initially published the books, so mine were already in there), you will have to hit the “Save and Publish” button again. HOWEVER – be forewarned – make sure that your book’s descriptions and categories are how you want them to appear on your book’s page. Lately I’ve heard that republishing a book wipes out whatever changes you made to the book’s description via Author Central. We have no idea why this is suddenly happening.

Once all your books are done, you would expect to be able to go to your series’ page and look at it, so you could share the link with potential readers, right? WRONG. Guess again. Guess ten times, if you want. I’m fairly disgusted with this whole endeavor.

If you search on your books by the series name, sure, they’ll come up. But search results do not provide a valid permalink and sharing that will eventually result in an “Oops, we can’t find what you’re looking for.” That’s happened to me before. Here are my search results:

mr pish educational series

You can see the series name highlighted in yellow. So, where’s the series page? Well, without Mr. Dick Waters, I never would have even known where to look. But – don’t get your hopes up – it doesn’t exist. You will need to prove that, however, to ask customer service to add your series to the “series directory.”

From pretty much anywhere on Amazon.com, find “Books” in the nav bar and click on that. (See below.)

books

That will take you to a massive home page for books. No, you won’t find your series there. Scroll down the left-hand sidebar. Keep scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling until you get to the “Refine by” heading. Then scroll some more. Stop when you get to Book Series. Then click on “see more” (see below).

book series

Not impressed so far? *cough* Anyway, you will be brought to this ugly page listing every single series name. Let’s check for the “Mr. Pish Educational Series” since we know that exists, or is at least supposed to. Scrollin’ scrollin’ scrollin’ – everybody sing! (By the way, I tried to use the search function at the top of the page but nothing happened. Perhaps you will have better luck.)

missing mr pish

As you can see, Mr. Pish’s series is not listed. So, I contacted Customer Service via live chat. The woman I chatted with was excellent, but told me that she would have to refer the inquiry to KDP. She filled out their form, and this morning I received an email from them containing instructions less detailed than the ones I’ve provided above (i.e. how to add your series name in KDP – eyeroll). Competely useless. I’ve been working on this tutorial for over a month now. Clearly it’s not going so well.

Dick Waters had better luck with customer service. They made his page for him, and added it to the ginormous listing page. If you scroll down on that page, you will find his Scott Tucker series.

scott tucker series

If you click on that, you will see what a series page is supposed to look like:

scott tucker page

They tell you how many books are in the series in the top left (highlighted) and then you can peruse the entire series. The link to a series page is ugly for certain: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_in_-2_p_lbr_books_series_b_6041?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_lbr_books_series_browse-bin%3AScott+Tucker+Series&bbn=283155&ie=UTF8&qid=1402406522&rnid=3275128011, however, it should serve as a permalink that you can monetize. Should. And you can use the Amazon monetizing tools to change the link to appear as text, so that should solve that problem. Should.

Want to check Amazon’s series listing to see if yours is included? Instead of going through the rigamarole above, here’s the direct link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/other/ref=lp_283155_sa_p_lbr_books_series_b?rh=n%3A283155&bbn=283155&pickerToList=lbr_books_series_browse-bin&ie=UTF8&qid=1402406302.

I really had high hopes for this program, but it doesn’t seem that it’s going to be more user-friendly any time soon.

UPDATE: Literally two minutes ago I received this email from KDP Customer Support:

Hello,

I hope you’re having a great day! Thanks for reaching out to KDP Support and providing me the opportunity to help you.

I understand that you wanted your 3 titles of the series “Mr. Pish educational series” to be in the series landing page In order to solve your problem, I manually did this for you, you can verify this at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B00KWBJJ0O

In order to find your series you must paste the ASIN of “Mr. Pish educational series” which is B00KWBJJ0O; at the end of this URL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/PASTEHERE.

You might want to know that a series page displays all of your books within a series in order by volume number on Amazon.c . This improves the discoverability of all the books in your series by showing customers who click on the series page all the books part of that series. Series pages are currently only available on Amazon.com.

In case you need anything else, do not hesitate to contact us back, we are here to help and we will gladly assist you.

I hope truly this helps! Thanks for using Amazon KDP.

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist and photographer, author of over 30 titles, and administrator (AKA Fearless Leader) of Indies Unlimited. Brooks’ feature articles, poetry, and photography have appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and other publications both in the U.S. and abroad. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page

22 thoughts on “Amazon’s New Series Pages”

  1. Thanks for pointing this out, as I hadn’t thought Amazon did anything with the series information after you filled it out. Apparently, the Amazon gods are on my side. Even though I’d checked mine off as a series when I uploaded the books to KDP, I thought I might have to republish or contact KDP to get the series stuff to take effect. But, I went ahead and checked the series link you provided, and mine was listed. So, there’s proof that, at least sometimes, it just works as it’s supposed to. πŸ™‚

  2. Thanks for this information, Kat. I just went and checked mine, and nope, not in the Book Series section on Amazon. I emailed KDP; it’ll be interesting to see what they say.

    1. Nope. Me either, Melinda. Emailed. Thanks, Kat. I assumed since the Zon had asked us to make sure things were uniform when they were doing this months ago that it would be fine. Or not. Sigh.

      1. I figured the same thing. I kept checking and checking but never saw where they were adding these “series pages” – I better be quiet now before the wrath of Zon befalls me. πŸ˜‰

    1. I’m going to reply to that email asking about how to proceed in the future – I have 2 more series which need to be added and – what happens when you add new books to an existing series? Do they get added automatically? *sigh*

      1. That’s a good question about adding books. At Smashwords, it’s all self-serve. I added Scorched Earth to my series page as soon as it went live there last night.

        But I have to say, KDP was very responsive when I contacted them. I emailed them about both of my series at once, and they had the whole thing resolved within a few hours.

  3. Sounds great, but a headache to do! Will see if mine have crossed over because I set them up a long time ago.

  4. Thank you for going through that, Kat (and Rich), but mainly so I won’t have to. Sounds like a complete waste of bloody time. Especially since, if someone is really interested in a series, they can click on the author page and get everything there.

    1. I agree, mostly, Chris – but once you have 25 books on your author page, it may be worth having things sorted by series. Sometimes I respond to queries from parenting magazines, and I’d prefer to be able to send them a link to just my children’s books, and not all the other stuff.

      1. If I live long enough to be that prolific, I’ll certainly agree with you then πŸ™‚

  5. My response from KDP:

    Hello Melinda,

    I’m very sorry for the inconvenience you experienced in this case.

    We are currently working on the rollout for the series titles information to begin appearing in the new format in the Kindle Store. You should see the updates appear on the Kindle store in the coming weeks or by June 16. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you in the interim.

    You have two choices on how to handle your series information between now and the launch of the format change:

    You can update the information now and it will automatically start appearing correctly when the format change launches in mid-May, or
    You may wait until the format change is live in the Kindle Store and make your changes then.

    I regret the inconvenience we’ve caused.

    Thanks for using KDP.

  6. I am thinking of taking my books of Amazon. They still haven’t price matched my books to free but I might as well ask customer support before I take such a drastic action.

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