Heidi Thorne is a self-publishing advocate and author of nonfiction books, eBooks, and audiobooks. She is a former trade newspaper editor.
As you’re shopping on Amazon, you may have run across product pages that include additional photos and content to help promote the product. I don’t know about you, but I was puzzled about how it all worked . . . and kind of jealous since I’d love to have that capability for my books.
This additional content is referred to as A+ Content on Amazon. It’s now available for authors who self-publish on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I’m testing the waters. Here’s what I’ve discovered about it.
What Is A+ Content on Amazon?
When you self-publish on KDP, you can’t upload more than the book cover image for the standard product description. The good news is that you can now upload additional pictures in A+ Content.
A+ Content can be images, text, and tables that will appear on product detail pages on Amazon. It helps engage buyers and offers more information than what is in the standard product description.
As with everything on Amazon, it must meet content guidelines for images and text. No videos or GIFs either. You cannot include reviews from individuals, customers, or other private people in A+ Content. However, you can include up to four quotes or endorsements from well-known publications or public figures, as long as you cite your sources. Editorial reviews are also not to be included in A+ since there’s already a place for them on the product page. As a reminder, you enter editorial reviews in your Author Central account.
There’s also a laundry list of other types of information you cannot use in A+ Content, including that which is time-sensitive, offers, discounts, shipping details, claims, endorsements… the list is extensive. Make sure your content does not include these things or your content will be rejected by Amazon and would have to be edited and resubmitted.
Note that A+ Content cannot be used for books on pre-order, but it can be added once the book is live and available for regular sales.
How Do Authors Create A+ Content?
You’d logically expect to be able to add your A+ Content to your titles on your Bookshelf in KDP, similar to how you access your KDP Select and book details. Nope. You go to the Marketing link when you log into KDP.
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On that page, you’ll see a New section for A+ Content, which offers Getting Started, Guidelines, and Examples informational links in. Because this is “new” at this point, expect that there may be changes to these access links in the future. Keep checking KDP support documentation for updates.
When you’re ready to get started, you first need to choose a marketplace in the A+ Content section on the Marketing Resources page. This will depend on what markets you target.
This will bring you to your A+ Content Manager. Clicking the Start A+ Content button will bring you to your layout modules. It kind of reminds me of platforms like WordPress, where you add modules or blocks of content to your web pages.
When you create A+ Content, you’re not assigning it to a specific title until later. This allows you to create content that you could use across book titles. That makes some sense, especially for authors who do book series. However, as far as I can tell right now, you can’t include links to those other titles. So even though you can promote related or series titles, it’s a dead-end for buyers since it requires them to proactively search for and view those other titles on Amazon.
Once you’ve created your A+ Content, you can preview and save it separate from your book titles. You can then link it to the ASIN of your selected book titles. They alert you that it may take several days to approve the content. Mine got approved in about 24 hours.
Crossing the Language Barriers
Amazon will identify the international markets that support the language of your content. Then they will copy a draft of your content to international markets, which you can edit and publish for these additional markets. Note that buyers will see content based on the language preference they set.
Since my primary marketplace is Amazon.com in the United States, and I get very few international orders from non-English speaking markets, this is not a concern for me at the moment. I also don’t have enough familiarity with non-English languages to feel comfortable creating non-English language content.
Keep in mind that just because you can use things like Google translation tools, it doesn’t mean your content will automatically be appropriate. I’ve emphasized before that localization editing is important for reaching markets that speak a language other than your native tongue.
How Effective Is A+ Content for KDP Authors?
A+ Content for KDP is too new to make any valid assessments of its effectiveness. It’s unknown how much it could impact Amazon’s search algorithms. My guess is that it would be taken into consideration due to the text in the modules. But, like using keywords on Amazon, it won’t be a key driver of traffic to authors’ book listings.
My opinion on it is that it doesn’t hurt to add it, but don’t expect it to be the reason that people visit your books’ product pages on Amazon. As with everything on Amazon, you have to proactively drive traffic to those pages in order for them to see your A+ Content. It all goes back to building your author platform.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2022 Heidi Thorne