Bookshelf | Reports | Community | KDP Select

Home » Amazon KDP Support » Ask the Community » General Questions

Thread: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing


This question is answered. Helpful answers available: 2. Correct answers available: 1.

Reply to this Thread Reply to this Thread Search Forum Search Forum Back to Thread List Back to Thread List

Permlink Replies: 14 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jan 4, 2018 7:07 AM Last Post By: Sally Ann Sims
Sally Ann Sims

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/27/15
Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Dec 28, 2017 8:51 AM
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Hello All,

I am interested in hearing your advice on book description formatting. I'm doing a pre-order on KDP for my second novel to start in January with the ebook and CreateSpace paperback to be launched in February.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to do the book descriptions. I'm seeing conflicting advice about these topics so would like to hear what the latest options are. I would like to use HTML formatting. So here are my questions:

1. What are the most recent HTML tags that work on CreateSpace and KDP? Are they different tags?

2. What is the best order to do the descriptions in? Should I do one on Author Central and then KDP? Or do KDP only for now since the pre-order option is coming up sooner? Advantages/disadvantages of doing these in a particular order?

3. How do I preview how my Book Description looks on either CreateSpace or KDP? I can't figure out how to access the preview option.

Thanks for any help you all can offer. Happy New Year.

-Sally
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,719
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Dec 28, 2017 10:20 AM   in response to: Sally Ann Sims in response to: Sally Ann Sims
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
The book description field on CreateSpace will not translate paragraph and line breaks into actual para and line breaks unless you specifically include the html symbols.

The book description for KDP, if you include para and line breaks, will include those in the description.

The only way to view the KDP description, as it would show on the product page, is to put the description in and then look at the product page.
Same for the CreateSpace description, I think, but it's been too long since I last did a paperback.

Here are some notes on the html that I've accumulated:

=============================================================

Detail Page Blurb Limited html:


There are some differences when you provide book descriptions (for use on the book's detail page) between Createspace and Kindle.

In Createspace, to get a line break, you need to insert specific {br} indicators (where the curly braces are replaced with the left- and right- angle brackets).

In Kindle, you just need to press Enter to get to the next line in your description.

In Createspace, at the point where you enter the description, there's a note telling you that limited html, like for italics, is supported.

In Kindle, there's no such note, but apparently at least the italics html and bold html is supported. I just verified this when updating the description for the Kindle version of my book. Looks a lot more professional than having leading and trailing underscore characters.
(I suppose the strike-thru is supported as well, but I haven't tried this.)

CreateSpace Description Codes:



For the CreateSpace description, you need to insert your own breaks, ital*ics and bo*ld commands. Any regular line and paragraph breaks you put into the CreateSpace description only help to separate things for you to look at.

In the following, replace the left and right parens with less than and greater than symbols:

(br) line break; (br)(br) leaves a blank line between paragraphs
( i) and (/i) -- italics start and end (the ital*ics start command doesn't have a space between the less than and the i, but if I used that here, I'd get (i)
(b) and (/b) -- bold start and end
(p) paragraph break; reportedly with a smaller gap than (br)(br) -- I haven't used this myself
(s) and (/s) -- strike-thru start and end -- I haven't used this myself

Note that the ( i), (b) and (s) have ending codes that MUST be properly placed. If you have an unclosed ital*ic, bo*ld or strike-thru, that characteristic might run into the Look Inside and make your product page look all weird.
(br) and (p) don't have ending codes--they're standalones. Update: html does have a (/p) close-of-paragraph code, so putting that in may be advisable.

=============================================================

Best of luck.
Notjohn

Posts: 23,720
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Dec 28, 2017 12:50 PM   in response to: Sally Ann Sims in response to: Sally Ann Sims
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Do it on Author Central, where you can use html tags to your heart's content and preview the results before publishing them. They go live in a very few hours.

Oddly, the paragraph tag is one that I have never been able to make sure. I use a pair of <br /> tags instead.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Sally Ann Sims

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/27/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 8:41 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Thanks for your response, Joseph.

Regarding the order to do this in. Can the Author Central book description go in before the CreateSpace paperback launch? (It looks like I have to have the paperback book ready to launch before I add it to Author Central.) I want to launch the pre-order for the KDP version before the CreateSpace paperback version is available. I'm trying to get clear about the best order to enter (and be able to preview) the Book Descriptions given the pre-order for KDP (January) and the future dual launch day for the KDP and CreateSpace editions (February).

Thanks.

Happy New Year,
Sally
Sally Ann Sims

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/27/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 8:43 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Thanks, NJ.

If the paperback isn't going live till February and I want to launch the pre-order for the eBook on KDP now, do you suggest I still put the Book Description on Author Central first?

-Sally
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,719
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 8:48 AM   in response to: Sally Ann Sims in response to: Sally Ann Sims
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
I think the ebook and CreateSpace descriptions are independent. When I've updated the ebook description, the CreateSpace description has not paralleled.

Re: NJ's suggestion: I worry about this: Suppose I set the description in Author Central. Then I have to make an edit to the book's text or price and need to re-publish. At that point, won't the description that I have in the metadata for the book not replace what I've set up on Author Central? Whenever I've had to change descriptions, I've done so in the book metadata fields and let the publishing percolate through.

I do suppose that you could use Author Central for emergency changes and as a quick way to test to see how a description will look, and then remember to make the corresponding changes to the metadata description so that you don't later unwittingly undo the Author Central changes.
writerbn

Posts: 5,623
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 9:15 AM   in response to: Joseph M Erhardt in response to: Joseph M Erhardt
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
Re: NJ's suggestion: I worry about this: Suppose I set the description in Author Central. Then I have to make an edit to the book's text or price and need to re-publish. At that point, won't the description that I have in the metadata for the book not replace what I've set up on Author Central?

Yes, the "bookshelf" des*cription overrides the AC one, any time you save and publish. That's why I no longer bother editing a des*cription through AC. It's twice the work.
Joseph M Erhardt

Posts: 4,719
Registered: 12/21/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 2, 2018 2:26 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
writerbn wrote:
Joseph M Erhardt wrote:
Re: NJ's suggestion: I worry about this: Suppose I set the description in Author Central. Then I have to make an edit to the book's text or price and need to re-publish. At that point, won't the description that I have in the metadata for the book not replace what I've set up on Author Central?

Yes, the "bookshelf" des*cription overrides the AC one, any time you save and publish. That's why I no longer bother editing a des*cription through AC. It's twice the work.


Thank you. That's what I supposed would happen. Again, if you have an emergency situation where you need to change the description very quickly, I supposed AC is a workable quick fix.
Notjohn

Posts: 23,720
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 3, 2018 3:26 AM   in response to: Sally Ann Sims in response to: Sally Ann Sims
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
If the paperback isn't going live till February and I want to launch the pre-order for the eBook on KDP now, do you suggest I still put the Book Description on Author Central first?

Alas, you can't do that. You'll have to put a placeholder description in the Book Details tab of the publishing process.

I've never experienced this override that others mention. For me, the Author Central description is the one that rules. (You do have to do it twice, once for the book and once for the paperback.)

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
writerbn

Posts: 5,623
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 3, 2018 4:28 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Notjohn wrote:
I've never experienced this override that others mention. For me, the Author Central description is the one that rules. (You do have to do it twice, once for the book and once for the paperback.)
That could be because you've never updated the book details (pricing, keywords, etc.) from your bookshelf, after making the AC changes.

The des*cription override was a couple of years ago, and it was common knowledge on the forums here, but it may have changed recently. However, at the time, it drove me nuts trying to figure out what was happening. After that one unpleasant experience, I've never bothered to try it again.
Sally Ann Sims

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/27/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 3, 2018 9:45 AM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Thanks for this information thread, everyone.

Does anyone know how long it takes to have changes to your KDP book description go live after you make the changes?
Notjohn

Posts: 23,720
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 3, 2018 12:33 PM   in response to: Sally Ann Sims in response to: Sally Ann Sims
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
If you do it on Author Central, it takes effect in a few minutes -- not as long as an hour, in my experience.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Sally Ann Sims

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/27/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 3, 2018 1:55 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Hi NJ,

Thanks.

I made the changes in the book description on the KDP book details page. It looks like KDP is relaunching the whole pre-order process again rather than just updating the book description. I didn't use Author Central because I couldn't figure out a way to do it without actually launching the paperback (which isn't coming out until February).

-Sally
Notjohn

Posts: 23,720
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 4, 2018 4:53 AM   in response to: Sally Ann Sims in response to: Sally Ann Sims
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Ah, pre-order! Sorry, I missed that dread term.

Pre-orders cause almost as much grief as does KDP Print.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Sally Ann Sims

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/27/15
Re: Advice on KDP and CreateSpace Book Description Formatting and Previewing
Posted: Jan 4, 2018 7:07 AM   in response to: Sally Ann Sims in response to: Sally Ann Sims
 
Click to report abuse...   Click to reply to this thread Reply
Thank you for your suggestions.
Legend
Helpful Answer
Correct Answer

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in all forums