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Paperback Metadata Guidelines

We aim to provide the best tools for independent publishers and the best experience for readers. We have a zero tolerance policy for metadata (including cover image text) meant to advertise, promote, mislead, or that doesn't accurately represent the contents of the book. Please follow the guidelines below to ensure that your paperback's metadata doesn’t impair readers' ability to make good buying decisions.

Video: Discovering Metadata

Video: Entering paperback details

Note: Books are linked automatically if the author name and book title of both formats (eBook and paperback) match exactly. During the publishing process, KDP tries to match book details like title and author name to other editions available in the Amazon catalog. Linking these formats provides the ideal browsing experience for customers, so make sure the title and author name you entered for your eBook and paperback match exactly.

Guidelines for all metadata

We can't accept the following:

  • Keywords, search phrases, genre descriptors, advertisements, promotions, physical properties (e.g., trim size) in the title, contributor, subtitle, or series fields
  • Phrases like "boxed set" or "bundle" that lead the customer to believe they will receive physical materials other than a single paperback book
  • Title, series, and contributor information that doesn’t match what you entered into the metadata during title setup
  • Headers or footers that list a contributor name or title that doesn’t match what you entered into the metadata during title setup
  • Written language that doesn’t must match the language you entered into the metadata during title setup
  • Unnecessary repetitive words (e.g. cookies, cookie recipes, how to make cookies in a small kitchen)
  • Only punctuation (e.g. "!!!!!!!!")
  • Spelling errors
  • URLs

Note: Your metadata should not change after publishing. Significant changes require a new edition of your paperback.

Title, subtitle, series

Your title must be listed on the cover (on the spine or front cover). It must also match the metadata you entered during title setup. Title information doesn't need to appear in your manuscript, but it must match the metadata if it does. The subtitle, series, and edition information don't have to appear on the files. If included, however, they must match the metadata you entered during title setup.


Contributors are people involved in creating your book. Use these fields to identify editors, illustrators, translators, and anyone else you want to give credit to, as long as they worked on the book. You can enter multiple contributors. You are required to list all contributors to public domain content. Don't add anything (e.g. search keywords) other than contributors here. You can use a pen name, as long as it doesn't impair readers’ ability to make good buying decisions.


Entice readers with a summary of the story and characters. Don't give away anything that adds to the suspense or surprise. Let readers know what makes your book interesting, and give them a sense of what kind of book it is. If you’re stuck for ideas, research the back cover or inner dust jacket flap of books in your genre. Ask your friends or other authors to describe your book. Think of your book description as a 30 second elevator pitch to persuade a casual browser to buy your book. 

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
Because your book description is being rendered on the Amazon website, your description must 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.

This page includes a complete list of HTML tags supported in the book description field, along with an example of how you can use them in your book description. To avoid formatting errors, ensure you close your HTML tags. For example, to close this tag for bold text <b>, you need to add </b>, which prevents the rest of your content from appearing as bold text.

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

If you want a gap between your sentences, add two line breaks:<br><br>.
<p> </p>Defines a paragraph of text with the first line indented. Creates a line break at the end of the enclosed text.<p>This paragraph would be indented, and there would be a line break after the closing HTML tag.</p>
<b> </b>Formats enclosed text as bold.This is how you <b>bold</b> a word.
<strong> </strong>Formats enclosed text as bold. See also <b>.This is also how you <strong>bold</strong> a word.
<em> </em>Emphasizes the enclosed text. Generally formatted as italic.This is how you <em>emphasize a phrase</em>.
<i> </i>Formats enclosed text as italic.This is how you <i>italicize</i> a word.
<u> </u>Formats enclosed text as underlined.This is how you <u>underline</u> a word.
<h4> </h4> to <h6> </h6>Formats enclosed text as a section heading: <h4> (largest) through <h6> (smallest). <h1>, <h2>, and <h3> aren't supported.<h4>This would be formatted as the largest header.</h4>
<h5>This would be formatted as the medium header.</h5>
<h6>This would be formatted as the smallest header.</h6>
<q> </q>Encloses text in quotes.<q>Learning HTML is fun,</q> said the author.
<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:
<li>List Item 1</li>
<li>List Item 2</li>
<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:
<li>Bulleted List Item</li>
<li>Bulleted List Item</li>
<li>Identifies an item in an ordered (numbered) or unordered (bulleted) list.See above.

Search keywords

Search keywords can be words or phrases. For the best results, use phrases that are 2-3 words long. To figure out the right search keywords for your book, think like a reader browsing for a book. What are your target readers searching for?

When a book has search keywords that don't accurately describe a book or are unrelated to its contents, it can lead to unexpected or confusing search results and a poor customer experience. We don't tolerate search keywords that mislead or manipulate our customers. We cannot accept the inclusion of keywords in other metadata fields or references to:

  • Other authors or books by other authors (e.g. "for fans of E.L. James")
  • Sales rank (e.g. "best-selling")
  • Advertisements or promotions (e.g. "free")
  • Anything unrelated to your book's content
Learn more about keywords.


An ISBN isn't required in your paperback manuscript. We'll automatically add the 13-digit ISBN (EAN) to the barcode on the back cover. If you include your ISBN in your manuscript, it must match the ISBN you entered in the "Paperback Content" section during title setup. Learn more about ISBNs.

Cover image

The title, subtitle, author name, and series information on your cover should match the corresponding metadata fields. Covers that may be misleading because they closely resemble another book's layout, color scheme, fonts and/or images aren't allowed.

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