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Monday, June 17, 2013

Update: You CAN Post Images in Kindle Sales Page Descriptions - But ONLY if You Use Author Central!

In this post last week I wrote that Amazon had stopped users posting images in the description area of Amazon sales pages.

This information came direct from Amazon KDP help, and I reproduced their message to me in the post concerned.

It turns out this wasn't the whole story, though. According to this blog post by Andy Makar, you CAN still put images in your Kindle e-book descriptions, but ONLY if you do so via Author Central. To quote from his post...
"...if you are looking at adding images for graphical appeal or for conversion tracking, you’ll want to continue to use Author Central. Author Central also provides additional features to augment your book description and further help sell your book. Editorial reviews can be added in Author Central rather than your entire book description."

One important point to bear in mind is that if you edit your book description in Author Central even just once, all future updates will have to be made there as well. Any updates you make via the KDP Bookshelf editor will not show up on your book's sales page. You will have crossed the Rubicon!

I'm not sure whether Amazon will be closing this "loophole" as well, but for the time being I've checked myself and it definitely works. So if you want images in your descriptions, you can still have them (for now).

I do find it bizarre that Amazon has two different sets of rules about what you can put in your e-book descriptions, according to where you edit them. It really is a bit like Alice in Wonderland, isn't it?

I should maybe also clarify that if you are working in KDP Editor you don't have to use Amazon HTML any more. The following standard HTML tags can be used: "b", "br", "em", "font", "h1", "h2", "h3", "h4", "h5", "h6", "hr", "i", "li", "ol", "p", "pre", "s", "strike", "strong", "sub", "sup", "u" and "ul". The h2 tag gives the familiar bright orange heading, incidentally.

In Amazon Central you DO have to use Amazon HTML. This is where you enter the ASCII code equivalents of the angle bracket signs (< and >), so the browser interprets the code as HTML tags. Andy Makar has another useful article about this here.

Incidentally, Andy is also the creator of the excellent Better Book Tools software, which provides an easy method for formatting and updating your Kindle sales page descriptions. Andy says he will keep updating Better Book Tools to address the "moving target" Amazon creates for writers. If you want to take advantage of the formatting opportunities offered by Amazon sales pages, in my view Better Book Tools is well on the way to becoming an essential resource.

I hope you find this update helpful and it dispels any confusion caused by my post last week. If you have any comments or questions, as ever, please feel free to post them below!

* Don't forget - my original Kindle Kash course on how to write, edit, format, publish and promote a Kindle e-book is available at half-price until the end of June! This post explains how the offer works and includes the necessary coupon code. This is a special offer for KindleFever, although you don't need to be taking part in this to take advantage of the discount.

Photo by kodomut on Flickr. Reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 licence.

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