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Write a Book Description

Your description appears on your book's Amazon detail page and is often a reader's first experience with the content of your book. A well-written book description is important for enticing readers. This is often the first impression readers have of your story's content and your writing style.



How to write your book description

We recommend following these three simple steps for writing an effective book description. Make it simple, compelling, and professional.

Simple

Describe the main plot, theme, or idea only. Avoid details that may overwhelm or confuse a reader who’s only taking a second or two to decide whether to find out more about your book. Also, keep your language short and simple. Aim for a 150-word paragraph with sentences that are easy to scan.

Compelling

Avoiding overwhelming and confusing details will help make your description compelling, but also consider how to grab readers' attention. For example, write a first sentence that draws them in. This sentence may be a reader's first impression, so make it special. Also, set expectations by showing what genre your book belongs to.

Professional

Again, this might be your reader's first impression, so make sure your description is polished--no misspellings or grammatical errors. It may be hard to edit a text you've looked at several times, so show it to others to get a fresh set of eyes.



How to enter your book description

To add or update your book’s description:

  1. Sign in to: https://kdp.amazon.com
  2. Go to your Bookshelf and click the ellipsis button ("…") under the Kindle eBook Actions, Paperback Actions or Hardcover Actions menu next to your book.
  3. Select Edit eBook DetailsEdit Paperback Details or Edit Hardcover Details.
  4. Under Description, make the necessary edits. Note that we have a limit of 4000 characters for the description.
  5. Go to the bottom of the page and click Save and Continue.
  6. On the book pricing & promotion page, click the Publish button at the bottom of the page.

Formatting your book description

To format your description, you can use the text editor or basic HTML With the text editor, you can bold, italicize, create lists, and more. These options are available at the top of the Description field, to switch between them, or to check all the characters within your description, you can click on the Source button.

As you write your description, the text editor will count all characters used, including any HTML tags. This is regardless of whether you use the text view or source code view. For example, the word test will count as 4 characters. If you bold test, it will then count as 10 characters, because we’re counting the <b></b> HTML tags.

Additional formatting considerations:
  • If you use double or multiple spaces between words within the editor, this will not be reflected on your detail page.
  • Single, angled brackets can be used after text or in conjunction with their opposite. Multiple brackets used alone are also not supported. Here are examples of what’s supported:
    • Allowed:

      <text>
    • Allowed:

      text>
    • Not allowed:

      < text
    • Not allowed:

      << OR >>

Supported HTML in your description

Because your book description will show on the Amazon website, it can include formatting such a line breaks, bolding, and italicization using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). HTML uses pairs of angle-bracketed tags to provide display information text they surround.


HTML TagDescriptionUsageExample
<br>Creates a line break.This is how you add a line break after a sentence.<br>

If you want a gap (empty line) between your sentences, add two line breaks:<br><br>
This sentence has one line break after it. This sentence has two.

See space created above this sentence.
<p></p>Defines a paragraph of text. Creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.<p>This indicates the start of a paragraph, and there would be a line break after the closing HTML tag.</p>

Start of the paragraph with a line break here.

Next sentence after “p” tag.
<b></b>Formats enclosed text as bold.This is how you <b>bold</b> a word.This is how you bold a word.
<em></em>Emphasizes a phrase. Generally formatted as italic. This is how you <em>emphasize a phrase</em>.This is how you emphasize a phrase.
<i></i>Formats enclosed text as italic.This is how you <i>italicize</i> a word.This is how you italicize a word.
<u></u>Formats enclosed text as underlined. This is how you <u>underline</u> a word.This is how you underline a word.
<h4></h4> to <h6></h6>Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h4> (largest) through <h6> (smallest). <h1>, <h2>, and <h3> are not supported. <h4>This would be formatted as largest header.</h4>

<h5>This would be formatted as medium header.</h5>

<h6>This would be formatted as smallest header.</h6>

Large Header

Medium Header
Small Header
<ol>Creates a numbered list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.Here's how you create a numbered list:

<ol>
<li>List Item 1</li>
<li>List Item 2</li>
</ol>

  1. Numbered List Item
  2. Numbered List Item
  3. Numbered List Item
<ul>Creates a bulleted list from enclosed items, each of which is identified by a <li> tag.Here's how you create a bulleted list:

<ul>
<li>List Item 1</li>
<li>List Item 2</li>
</ul>

  • Bulleted List Item
  • Bulleted List Item
  • Bulleted List Item


Finished example description with HTML

Here is what a description looks like in your KDP account with HTML:

<b>Part 10. THE ADVENTURE OF THE NOBLE BACHELOR </b><br><br> The Lord St. Simon marriage, and its curious termination, have long ceased to be a subject of interest in those exalted circles in which the unfortunate bridegroom moves.<br> <p>Fresh scandals have eclipsed it, and their more piquant details have drawn the gossips away from this four-year-old drama. </p> <i>As I have reason to believe, however, that the full facts have never been revealed to the general public, and as my friend Sherlock Holmes had a considerable share in clearing the matter up, I feel that no memoir of him would be complete without some little sketch of this remarkable episode. </i>

--------------------------

This is how it will look on the Amazon detail page:

Part 10. THE ADVENTURE OF THE NOBLE BACHELOR

The Lord St. Simon marriage, and its curious termination, have long ceased to be a subject of interest in those exalted circles in which the unfortunate bridegroom moves.

Fresh scandals have eclipsed it, and their more piquant details have drawn the gossips away from this four-year-old drama.

As I have reason to believe, however, that the full facts have never been revealed to the general public, and as my friend Sherlock Holmes had a considerable share in clearing the matter up, I feel that no memoir of him would be complete without some little sketch of this remarkable episode.


Common troubleshooting steps

Can’t get your description to look right with the HTML? Check the following things to ensure you have all your bases covered before contacting us.

  • Do you have both the opening tag and the closing tag? Example: <b>bold</b>
  • Have you included enough line breaks? Remember – to have an empty line, you will need two line breaks : <br><br>
  • For lists, do you have the <li> tag in addition to either the <ol> or <ul> tag? See table above for an example of how to use both tags together.

Book description restrictions

We cannot accept any of the following information in the description:

  • Pornographic, obscene, or offensive content
  • Phone numbers, physical mail addresses, email addresses, or website URLs
  • Reviews, quotes, or testimonials
  • Requests for customer reviews
  • Advertisements, watermarks on images or videos, or promotional material
  • Time-sensitive information (for example, dates of promotional tours, seminars, or lectures)
  • Availability, price, alternative ordering information (for example, links to other websites for placing orders)
  • Spoiler information for Books, Music, Video, or DVD (BMVD) listings
  • Any keywords or book tags phrases

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