Amazon Book Description HTML: Making Words Look Better self-publishingschool

Amazon Book Description HTML: Making Words Look Better

Have you ever seen an Amazon book description that looked absolutely stellar? Nice big words, perfect layout, well structured? What am I saying? Of course you have!

Well, there’s a secret to how those self-publishers are making it look that way. They’re using Amazon’s approved HTML in their product description. That’s right, they’re coding it to look that way and you can, too.

By adding a little code in the editor when writing your book description, your sentences can now be bold, underlined, or even bigger in size.

Having an eye-catching book description is critical to marketing your book. After all, why would your potential buyers read your tantalizing book description and click “buy” if it’s ugly to look at?

By adding some code here and there, we can craft your book description to catch the attention of your audience and improve conversion rates.

As you can see, there is a clear difference between a well-structured book description using basic HTML and a book description that just uses plain text.

image8

It isn’t as simple as writing it in a Word document then copying and pasting it into Amazon.ope. That well-formatted beauty requires a little HTML-love in the text editor.

I’m going to show you exactly how you can tap into this, even if you know nothing about HTML or CSS. I’ll even introduce you to a free book description tool that will help you build beautiful, eye-catching summaries so that your book will stand out and get even more customers.

Amazon Book Description Tips

Lucky for us, we can use special snippets of code in our Amazon listings to access their font styles. All you need to do is type the right things around the sentences in your product description to make the words stand out and look great. 

However, there’s a limit to what we can do. Even though we can use HTML, it isn’t like eBay where you can make flashy banners, pretty tables and style your product description with your web design kung-fu. There are restrictions on what we can and can’t do.

Let’s look at Amazon’s allowed HTML tags

HTML Tag

Description

<b>

Formats enclosed text as bold.

<br>

Creates a line break.

<em>

Emphasizes the enclosed text; generally formatted as italic.

<font>

Determines the appearance of the enclosed text.

<h1> to <h6>

Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h1> (largest) through <h6> (smallest).

<hr>

Creates a horizontal “rule” or line. Often used to divide sections of text.

<i>

Formats enclosed text as italic.

<li>

Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.

<ol>

Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

<p>

Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented; creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.

<pre>

Defines preformatted text.

<s>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also: <strike>

<strike>

Formats text as strikethrough. See also: <s>

<strong>

Formats enclosed text as bold. See also: <b>

<sub>

Formats enclosed text as subscript: reduces the font size and drops it below the baseline.

<sup>

Formats enclosed text as superscript: reduces the font size and places it above the baseline.

<u>

Formats enclosed text as underlined.

<ul>

Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what all that means. I’ll show you.

To get your words to do the above, all you need to do is sandwich your sentence or words with the <fill in the code> above and end your sentence or word with </fill in the code>.

So, for instance, if you wanted to add a bit of code to the sentence, “My book is the best thing you’ve ever read,” you would type into the editor:

<fill in the code>My book is the best thing you’ve ever read.</fill in the code>

(Don’t write “fill in the code”—instead, use the cheat sheet above to see what letters will make the change you’re seeking.)

HTML Examples for Each Tag

Now that you know how to wrap a tag around a sentence and which HTML tag you can use, let’s go through each one, apply it and see how it will look on the U.S. Amazon market.

Header Font Size

To get the words to be larger, you’ll need to use the Header Tags which are <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5> and <h6>. The H1 tag is the largest; H6 is the smallest.

Let’s see what they look like when wrapped around a word:

image5

Bold

To make a sentence or word bold, all you need to do is wrap that word or sentence with <b></b>

Like this: Self-Publishing School is <b>amazing</b>.

image1

Italics

To italicize a word, you can use either <i> or <em>.

Like this: Self-Publishing School is <i>amazing</i>.

image2

Underline

Underline uses <u></u>.

Like this: Self-Publishing School is <u>amazing</u>.

image3

Horizontal Lines

If you want to separate some text with a horizontal line (also called a line break), all you have to do is add <hr> and it will look like this:

image4

Lists

There are two types of lists: ordered lists and unordered lists. Ordered lists are numbered 1, 2, 3, etc. Unordered lists use bullet points.

Unordered are denoted at the beginning using <ul> and their structure looks like this:

<ul><li>Unordered Item One</li>

<li>Unordered Item Two</li>

<li>Unordered Item Three</li>

</ul>

image6

Ordered Lists are denoted by the <ol> and their structure looks like this:

<ol>

<li>Ordered Item One</li>

<li>Ordered Item Two</li>

<li>Ordered Item Three</li>

</ol>

image7

HTML Tags You Can’t Use

So, what can’t you do in your book’s HTML description?

Well, you can’t do anything with images, like you can with normal HTML. You can’t insert images into your book description, nor set a background image. But who would want to do that? That’s what your book cover is for.

Anyone familiar with HTML will also know its cousin, CSS. You can’t use CSS with a Kindle description. So no fancy new fonts, font colors or CSS styles for any Kindle-specific summary you’re crafting.

Quick Word on Special Characters

Though it isn’t necessary, you can use trademark and copyright symbols in your book description by using the following code:

Special Character

Code

Copyright symbol ©

&copy;

Trademark symbol ™

&trade;

Registered trademark symbol ®

&reg;

Free Amazon Description Generator Tool

Hand-coding your own book description can be tedious. That’s why I designed a special free software that lets you see in real time what your description will look like. It’s called the Amazon Book Description Generator.

image10

Just type in or copy and paste your book description, and with a few clicks, you can make it look the way you want it.

Once you’ve gotten it the way you like, just click “Get My Code” button and it will automatically create the HTML code you need for Amazon.

Then take that code, go to the KDP bookshelf and update your book’s description.

Examples of Well-Formatted Book Descriptions

To get your creative juices flowing, here are some examples of other books that have used book description formatting on their product page and taken it to the next level:

Chandler Bolt’s Book Launch: It’s clean, and effectively uses the “bold” feature to highlight the most important words. That way, those who skim the description will immediately see the parts that Chandler wants them to see.

Patrick King’s Conversation Tactics: This is one of the most effective uses of underlining as well as bullet points to neatly organize information. Patrick rocked his final sentence, the call to action. It leaves a strong lasting impression—and how can you NOT see it?

Steve Scott’s Email Marketing Blueprint: Here’s another well-laid-out description that highlights the right spots and makes it easy on the eyes. My favorite part about his book description is the first paragraph, which shows up even before the customer clicks “read more.” Steve has made it so that his most eye-catching hook is featured right smack dab at the top of his sales page. Nice move.

Get Our Feedback on Your Description

Now that you know what is allowed by Amazon, how to code HTML for book descriptions and have a cool free tool that will do it for you, it’s time you get started on creating your book descriptions.

Remember, making a well-formatted book description will not only make your product listing more professional, it’ll be sure to hook your potential readers.

So get started now! Use the free tool in this article to bypass the hassle of using HTML code and make a gorgeous book description today.

Once you’ve created a savvy-looking book description, comment below with your book’s link, and I’ll check it out and respond.

kindle advertising

Kindle Advertising 101: Get Your Book in Front of Amazon Shoppers at Will!

Publishing your book on Amazon is only the first step.

The next part, and it’s the hardest, is getting that book in front of the right readers at the right time.

There are more ways to market your book than there are TV shows on Netflix, but there’s only one that can:

  • Give you results instantly
  • Is easier to use than most other platforms
  • Is targeted at where your audience are when they are in a shopping mindset

And that’s advertising on Amazon.

Thanks to Amazon’s own advertising platform, authors can now create ads that show their book to the right people either in the search results, or on the product listing of another book.

It might sound difficult, but once you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to setup your very own Kindle advertisements in less than 10 minutes.

The best part about this book-marketing tactic is that not only can it help you with your initial book launch, but it can also help to revive book sales of previously published books as well.

What are AMS Book or Kindle Advertisements?

First let’s define what they aren’t, because quite a few authors can get confused by the term “Kindle ads” which is used interchangeably by book marketers and consumer blogs.

When you purchase a new Kindle from Amazon, you have the option to purchase a standard Kindle e-reader or one with “Kindle special offers” for a lower price. For the special offers version, when your Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage or Kindle Touch is in sleep mode, your screensaver displays targeted and relevant ads. There’s also a persistent banner of ads at the bottom of your home screen on your device. On your Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD these ads come up on your lock screen and also in your notification bar. Consumer blogs sometimes refer to these as “Kindle ads”.

image3

That’s not what I’m talking about here. In this article I’m talking about advertising across the whole of Amazon. Specifically, I’m talking about using Amazon Marketing Services. Also called AMS for short, it’s a platform where you can tell Amazon that you want your book to show up in certain search results, or on the sales page of another book on Amazon.com, and that you’re willing to pay them some money for every person who clicks on your ads.

Book marketers call these Kindle adverts, as we use AMS specifically to advertise our Kindle eBooks. Your advert appears everywhere your target buyer is on the Amazon platform. You can purchase ads that show up on your audience’s Kindle device if you so wish, but they have to meet Amazon’s policies.

Back to AMS, the amazing part is you only pay Amazon if someone clicks on your ad, and you’re in control of how much you pay. You can set your own price which is usually somewhere between .02 cents to .35 cents per click.

And that’s it. After setting it up with Amazon, AMS will start showing your book to their shoppers on your terms.

What Type of AMS Ads Can I Create?

AMS offers two types of ads. This allows you to choose where exactly your ad will be displayed to Amazon customers.

Sponsored Product Ads

If you want to show up in Amazon’s search results for a particular keyword, you should choose a sponsored product ad. If, for example, you choose the keyword ‘gardening book’, and someone searches for this phrase, they may see your ad alongside the other search results.

This type of ad is a great way of attracting the attention of people who your book would be suitable for, but who wouldn’t otherwise come across it.

Product Display Ads.

If you’d rather your ad shows up for a particular product, rather than in the search results for a keyword, you should choose a product display ad.

Amazon allows you to specify particular products, or particular types of products, that your ad will show up alongside. If you know you offer a superior version of a competing book, you can advertise in this way to persuade buyers to choose your title instead of, or along with, their original search.

Now that you know the way that AMS operates, and the basic types of ads you can choose, let’s take a look at how to get started by creating your first campaign.

Let’s Create an Kindle Advertisement.

The only basic requirement for advertising with AMS is to have a book published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The book doesn’t need to be part of the KDP Select program.

To get going, log into your KDP dashboard. Choose the book that you wish to create an ad for and click ‘advertise’.

The exact steps you need to follow differ depending on whether you choose a sponsored product ad or a product display ad, as you will now see.

(Pro Tip: though anecdotal, many authors have reported better results from Sponsored Product Ads, so that’s a good place to start).

How to Set Up A Sponsored Product Ad.

image4

  1. Choose a name for your ad campaign. It can help with tracking and monitoring, particularly if you have multiple campaigns, to choose a unique and specific campaign title.

image7 1

  1. Select your daily budget. This is the maximum amount you are willing to pay on any given day. Generally, it’s better to start small and scale up based on results.
  2. Choose whether you want your campaign to run for a fixed time or to carry on indefinitely.
  3. Select between ‘manual’ and ‘automatic’ targeting. It’s better to pick the manual option, as you can choose the exact way to advertise your work, rather than relying on Amazon’s automated choices.

image1

  1. Choose the keywords you wish your ad to show up for. A lot of authors make the mistake of choosing a low number of keywords. To have the most success possible, the higher the number of relevant keywords, the better. You can pick from Amazon’s suggestions of keywords to target or enter your own.

image6

  1. Select the default amount someone will pay when they click on your ad, known as ‘cost per click’, or CPC. This amount will apply to all keywords initially, but you can make adjustments later on.
  2. Pick an effective 150-character elevator pitch for your ad. You need to write something that is attractive and engaging in order to have the best possible chance of someone clicking on your ad.

image2

  1. Select an existing credit card linked to your account. If you haven’t already done this, you need to add one at this stage.

image8 1

  1. The final step is to click on ‘Launch Campaign’. Amazon will review your ad to ensure it complies with their requirements and get back to you in 1-3 days. As soon as Amazon approves, your campaign goes live!

How to Set Up A Product Display Ad

  1. After clicking the ‘advertise’ option on the book you wish to create a campaign for, select the ‘Product Display Ad’ option.

image5

  1. Amazon offers two choices for Product Display Ads – ‘by product’ or ‘by interest’. ‘By product’ allows you to choose the exact products you want your ad to show up for, whereas choosing ‘by interest’ allows Amazon to select products for you on the basis of a theme or topic.

image11

  1. Decide whether or not to allow Amazon to associate your ad with similar products to the ones you have specifically selected. This is a good way of associating your ad with products you haven’t specifically heard of, but that have been bought by customers in your target audience.

image9

  1. Title your campaign.
  2. Select an overall budget as well as a CPC (cost per click) amount. Product Display Ads have an overall budget that gets spent over a longer period of time, so don’t be scared off by the larger numbers. That’s not what gets spent daily, just the pool that the ads are drawing from.

image10

  1. Produce the copy for your ad. The 50-character limit for the headline and 150-character limit for the body necessitates succinct, impactful copy.
  2. Select ‘Submit Your Campaign for Review’. Amazon will get back to you within 1-3 days depending upon whether your campaign meets their guidelines.

How to Get the Most From AMS

You can skillfully use AMS to reap benefits beyond increased book sales alone (although they are, of course, awesome.) There are three advanced approaches to AMS that allow you to get a lot more bang for your buck.

Promote Other Versions of Your Work

Offering multiple formats of your book effectively allows you to get several adverts for the price of one. When someone clicks on your ad, they are taken to your book’s Amazon sales page. If you offer various formats, such as a paperback from CreateSpace or an audiobook for Audible, browsers will be exposed to those options and this leads to more sales.

Introduce Readers to A Series

If you’ve ever become hooked on a book series, such as Harry Potter, you know that reading the first book alone is never enough. Readers who love the story and characters in the initial installment can’t wait to get their hands on the next editions.

If you use AMS ads to draw a browser’s attention to the first book in a series, you stand a great chance of creating a fan who will willingly buy the other books in your series without further prompting.

Nathan Van Coops even goes as far to use AMS to promote the first book of his series In Times Like These, which is permafree. The amount of money he ends up making from the subsequent book sales, and other forms of book, outweighs the ad cost for the free book.

Get More Email Subscriptions

If your book offers a content upgrade like a free book, or checklist, then AMS can help to increase your email optins by increasing the number of people who get your book.

Pat Flynn, of Smart Passive Income, used his book ‘Will It Fly?’ to generate email optins. By offering a free course to go along with his book, Pat saw 33% optin rate. Although Pat has a large following, AMS has allowed him to increase his reach, create continuous sales, and grow his email list daily.

Market Other Products & Build Blog Traffic

You can use AMS to create funnels towards other products and services you offer apart from your books alone.

Some books encourage readers to visit the website or blog of their author. If you advertise a book which has this purpose, you can drive relevant customers to your external work that may never have otherwise found it.

Ryan Cleckner’s  ‘Long Range Shooting Handbook’ is a perfect example of this concept in action. By advertising it through AMS, he drives more people to his book, which in turn drives traffic to his post on how to get an FFL. This results in increased sales for his courses – all for the price of an AMS click.

How to Improve Your AMS Ad Skills

AMS book advertising can be a wonderful skill for authors to use in order to sell their previous, current and even future books.

And while I strongly believe that AMS is a great opportunity, the more you know, the better your ads can be. The better the ads, the more profit you’ll gain.

So, to help you improve your AMS book ad skills, here’s a completely free course on AMS that will not only show you what we discussed above, but will also go deeper into creating profitable long term ads, that will continuously bring you book sales.

Kindle Advertising Summary

Hopefully by now you understand the immense potential of AMS and why I love it so much. After all:

  • Only AMS lets you advertise to the most relevant and profitable people possible – interested Amazon customers.
  • Setting up a campaign is quick, easy and affordable.
  • You can show your ad in Amazon search results through Sponsored Product Ads.
  • Product Display Ads allow you to reach people interested in particular products.
  • AMS can generate income through more than just book sales. You can increase traffic to your external offerings and generate additional revenue as a result.

As with all advertising platforms, earlier adopters often have better results. If you delay getting started, you will have increased competition, your conversion rates will go down (as shoppers get used to adverts) and prices will go up. You’ll have a tougher time if you delay taking action.

If you want to delve deeper into the best strategies and tactics for Amazon advertising, check out my free Kindle advertising course. It contains hours of high-quality video, as well as notes and quizzes, to help you understand the full potential of AMS and put the best ideas and strategies to work for your books.

I’d love to hear your experience with Amazon Marketing Services in the comments!

Write a Book That Sells

Find a Book Idea That Sells: 3 Things You Must Check Before You Write Your Book

If you’re about to write a book, and you want a book idea that sells, there are three things you absolutely must check before you spend a minute writing your book.

Researching these three things will help you write your book more confidently because you’ll have firm reason to believe readers will love and buy your book.

Once you have your book idea, and before you begin writing, you need to check that there’s:

  1. People looking for your book idea
  2. People willing to pay for your book idea
  3. Competition you can beat

There are two ways to complete each of the following steps: an easy, low-cost way and a time-consuming, free way. I’ll explain both. No matter which method you choose, just choose one of them so you can embark on your book writing journey with confidence.

1. Are there people looking for your book idea?

Before you spend weeks, months, or years laboring to create your book, smart authors validate that there are people searching for your book idea on the internet first.

The free method is to type in www.KWFinder.com and use their free tool that currently allows you 3 searches per day, and type in your book idea. One piece of information this site gives you is the average times per month people type and search for your term. The higher the number, the more people actively are looking for the information you’re thinking of writing about.

This tool does not tell you how many people are searching for your idea on Amazon, however, which can make your results a little dicey. Sometimes people are just looking to learn free or quick information, and not actually looking to read an entire book.

When people search for a topic on Amazon, however, they are there to buy something. That’s why doing this research using a software that specifically gives you Amazon data is the best option.

Enter KDP Rocket. When you search for a book idea using KDP Rocket, it gives you the estimated number of times people search for your idea on Google and on Amazon each month. And there’s no limit to how many ideas you can search per day.

Here’s the results for my fictitious book idea about ‘habits’:

Once you’ve verified people are searching for your book idea, the next step is to make sure they’re willing to pay for the information.

2. Are there people willing to pay for your book idea?

Unless you’re planning to give your book away for free, this step is crucial.

If you don’t have KDP Rocket, you’ll want to head over to Amazon.com and search in the Kindle Store for your writing idea. Look at the search results that appear on the first page. For each book, scroll down to find the Amazon Best Seller Rank. You’ll probably want to create a spreadsheet now if you haven’t already to keep track of the numbers.

Once you have the Best Seller Rank for each, you should put each number into the Amazon Best Seller Rank Calculator. The calculator will tell you how many books are selling each day. If you multiply this number by 30, you’ll get the estimated money per month that book makes.

Kindle Best Seller Calculator

If you do this for all 14 of the books that show up on the first page of your search, you can find the average your book idea makes per month. This will give you an idea if it’s profitable enough for you to pursue.  

If you’re looking for the fast and easy way, you’d already have this information right at your fingertips from doing step 1 (verifying people are looking for your book). By clicking ‘Analyze’ on KDP Rocket, you can immediately learn the average earnings per month.

Book Idea Rank

Wow, ‘habits’ is a money-maker! Look at that second column!

So people are looking for your idea and they are willing to pay for your idea, but can you compete with the big dogs?

3. Can you beat the competition for your book idea?

Terms like ‘habits’ are popular and profitable, but the competition is intense. You may have noticed the column called “Competitive Score.” This gives you a score between 1-100 on how hard it would be to get your book to appear when people search for your term. A 1 is easy-peasy and 100 is near-impossible.

I’m guessing like me, you’re not a famous author, so you’ll want to find book ideas that have lower competition. Scores in the 20s or below are my usual target.

This doesn’t mean you can’t write a book about habits. This just means you might have to keep searching to refine your idea to be more specific so you can better compete.

When you search in the Kindle Store for your idea, you’ll want to take note of the number of results that appear.

KDP3

This tells us there are 8,055 other books that rank for the term “habits” on Amazon.

Next, click on the top 3 results and write down their Amazon Best Seller Rank. Find the average of these 3 numbers to find the average Best Seller Rank of the top 3 books. You should aim to get your book to rank #1 since it gets the most clicks, and definitely be able to compete with the top 3.

Then, look at the book covers, book descriptions, and reviews. Give each book a score 1-100 based on your opinion of its professionalism, design, clarity, and happiness of reviewers. If it looks like a book you could easily beat, it’s a 1. If it’s perfect and virtually unbeatable, give it 100.

Having all these numbers in an excel spreadsheet will help you analyze the competition of your book idea.

If that seems like a lot of work, or you don’t know how to score the competition, you’ll love what KDP Rocket can do for you.

When you click on the ‘Analyze’ button to discover how much money the book idea makes, a Competitive Score was also automatically generated.

Book Idea Research

For ‘habits,’ the competition is 73…pretty tough.

Rocket will also give you a bunch of other recommended terms to consider, so by simply scrolling down, I found ‘healthy eating habits.’

KDP Rocket Results

Lower competition…but people aren’t paying for that idea.

How about ‘how to break bad habits’:

KDP6

See how you can still write about what you’re interested in, but simply checking the popularity, profitability, and competition can help you refine your idea from an “I hope this works idea” to “Let’s write this book already idea!”

Book Idea Validated

Once your book idea passes these three checkpoints, then you’re on your way to confidently writing your book. Now you have reason to believe it won’t be a waste of your time and you can proceed with more assurance that you’re writing a book that will sell.

To learn more about how this product can help you profitably launch your book to success, check out KDP Rocket here!

Like what you read and want to learn more? We’re holding a FREE online workshop where Chandler is revealing the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row… and use them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years. Click here to save your spot now!