- Is anyone going to read it?
- Is anyone going to like it?
- Will the interior formatting pass Kindle’s inspection?
- Will the cover be the right size and quality?
- Did I miss something that will make it not appear on the website?
- Is the ISBN correct?
- Am I spelling my name right? (Yes, I worried about this too)
- Am I choosing the right key words?
- Is my description good enough?
- Are there spelling mistakes in the description?
- Will the power go out before I complete the publishing? (Okay, that’s my worry today because of the blizzard outside.)
Publishing for the first time can be overwhelming. The goal is get the book uploaded and to not get bogged down by unimportant details. Worrying about all these things I listed gave me no mindset to focus on individual aspects of the eBook publishing process.
So I followed the guidelines—staying well within their limits—and published my first book. Six years later, I worry a lot less because I have a check list of what needs to be prepared before I hit that publishing page on Kindle. When I arrive, I’m simply plugging in the information (mostly copy and paste).
However, life is a learning journey. Recently, I learned I don’t have to settle for boring, plain text in the Amazon description. My brain knew this when I’d saw other pages with formatting but for some reason, I thought it was reserved for large publishers, not me. The other thing I learned is I’m not limited to a short description. I think Smashwords had me thinking I could use only a few short paragraphs.
Spicing Up Your Description Text
First, too much formatting—bling—creates an eyesore and looks unprofessional. Remember, a little goes a long way. Adding bold and italic texts to emphasize a small amount of information is the goal.
Making a section of text bold is as easy as using <strong> and </strong> before and after the text. In the example below, I made A Child in Need bold. There are no spaces between the formatting text and the text.
<strong>A Child in Need</strong>
This is as easy as making text bold except you use <em> and </em> on either end of the text. Here’s how it looks. Again, no spaces between < or > and the text.
<em>Isla stared at the food. She had tasted many types of biscuits in her life, but even the worse tasting ones filled an empty stomach. Her mouth watered. She rubbed the top of her legs and realised her hands trembled; they craved to hold the food. </em>
4,000 Character Limit
You read that right. You have 4,000 characters to describe your book and inspire someone to read it and/or follow you. So don’t limit yourself to one or two hundred words. Take advantage of that free ad space.
The second book in the Castle Keepers Series will be releases this spring, and I need to get the word out. What better place than Amazon. Here’s what I added beneath my new description to let readers know.
<strong>SCATTERED STONES: RELEASE DATE MAY 6, 2016</strong>: Continue the journey started in “Shadows in the Stone” with the second book in the Castle Keepers series.
Connect With Me
Let readers know you’re happy to be followed and how they can do that. In some instances—such as in Canada—there are no Amazon author pages. One way readers can find out where you are on the web is to see your website in the description.
Here’s what I added to help them.
Follow Diane Lynn McGyver into the Land of Ath-o’Lea and live the fantasy. To learn more about her books and future adventures, visit her website (dianelynnmcgyver.com) or follow her on Twitter: @DLMcGyver.
To see what the formatting and the description upgrade looks like, check out Shadows in the Stone Amazon page. In the near future, all the descriptions of my eBooks will be updated to promote the release of my next book. While I’m doing this, I’ll tweak the text with bold and italics.