The last time I added a book to Amazon (2011) things were a little different, and I had to learn to tricky, not-quite-html code.
But the situation has improved.
From what I understand (as of Nov. 2013) or so, you can login to Author Central and manage your book description, but on Author Central you can only use the html for italics, bold and lists. But if you want to go further, and add headers and call to actions (larger, “h2” text), you can only do it from the Kindle Direct Publishing page.
- KDP/Amazon/Createspace/Author Central don’t all play together nicely.
- There’s a good article about this by Suzanne of Unruly Guides HERE.
I’ve tested this out a bit: KDP let’s you use H2 tags for headings, but Author Central doesn’t.
But in the meantime, let’s assume you’d like to style your book description a bit so it’s not so plain and boring. And you don’t know how to get html code. If you’re a member, Author Marketing Club has an “Amazon enhanced description maker” that helps with your book’s html listing, but I’m going to show you a couple alternatives.
The first is the online HTML editor from quackit.com. The page is cluttered and the menu looks overwhelming, but basically just click the “source” button on the top left, and it will change your text into HTML format that you can copy+paste into KPD’s description field.
Another way you can do it if you’re using WordPress – just create a new post to type out your book description as you want it. Then look for the gray tabs on the far right that say “Visual” and “Text.” If you switch to “Text” – it will show you the HTML version. You can copy+paste that code and use it for your book listing on KDP.
Even more tips to get your summary to sell…
Even for a fiction book, you need a headline. It can be your brilliant teaser (you have one right?) or highlight of a great review.
It can be a cliff hanging phrase from the book itself: “As the molten-red melted steel flowed around her naked body, she felt herself wash away, but return as something altogether new…”
Boil down the central conflict/unique elements/(why certain readers would like this book) and serve it in an attention grabbing headline.
Then give your brief summary (that you’ve had edited by a sales pro), and a call to action:
- “grab this book right now!”
- “you’re going to love this book, get it now.”
- “Hot and steamy, just what you need right now.”
- “An engrossing tale that will change your life… start reading today.”
For non-fiction, you could have some more headlines (features/benefits) and a list of topics (focus on benefits/what they will learn).
For both, consider adding some of your best reviews in the description.
If you want to get even more creative, Michael Alvear’s book Make A Killing On Kindle has some great tips about customizing your Amazon page for maximum sales.