March 2022 - Getting To Grips With Amazon A+ Content
How to make the most of this extra space on your book's Amazon page
Hello, and welcome to my March Business of Writing newsletter.
If you’ve self-published a book on Amazon, have you made the most of your A+ Content?
Don’t know what A+ is? Then check out the image above. That’s a screenshot from my Amazon page for my book The Complete Article Writer.
A+ Content is free to use, and it gives writers the ability to add further information to a book’s page on the Amazon website. Because we can use graphics, it’s a great way to grab a reader’s attention as they scroll through the page.
While we work hard at getting the text right for the book’s Book Description (or blurb), some readers skip over this bit because it’s all text.
For fiction writers, particularly those of series, this extra space to explain or promote other books in your series can be extremely beneficial. While Amazon offers a ‘Series’ page and link, that’s only useful for those books in that one series. But what if you’ve several linked series? You need Amazon A+, as Canadian author Eric Thomson explains:
“All of my books (24 over 5 series) are in the same universe, albeit two of the five are in different eras. There are links between them since my overarching narrative covers the rise, collapse, and rebirth of humanity’s interstellar empire over the course of many centuries, and the moment I understood what A+ could do, I knew here was a perfect way of joining my five series into a saga that might attract more readers or give existing readers more information.”
Here’s a screenshot of his A+ Content from his Ghost Squadron series:
For non-fiction books, this extra space gives authors an opportunity to explore in more detail what the book covers. Rather than simply relying on reader to check out the Contents page of the ‘Look Inside’ feature, this space can be sued to explain to the reader what they’ll find in the book.
Some authors are uploading images or drawings from the book’s contents, while others are explaining how the book’s content can be used.
Formatting A+ Content
You can access your A+ Content settings from the Marketing Tab of your Amazon KDP Dashboard…
And then you’ll find the A+ Content about half way down the page …
It’s worth thinking about what you want to include on this page first, before going ahead and simply uploading anything.
Firstly, unsurprisingly, Amazon has strict rules about what you can and can’t put up there. (Check out: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GHL7P99B7AA543CN)
Secondly, Amazon prefers the space to be filled by a series of modules:
As you can see from the image below, for The Complete Article Writer, I used the Standard Three Images and Text module, which allowed me to use some icons in the same style as the image on the front cover, and then add some more text allowing me to expand upon what else the book covers.
Frustratingly (in my opinion), you have to set your A+ Content for one market place at a time (eg: .co.uk, .com, .au. etc.). There are 12 marketplaces you can chose from. I’ve uploaded A+ content to all of the English-speaking markets.
Once you’ve submitted it, you then have to wait while it is vetted, to ensure that you meet Amazon’s strict requirements.
To give you some idea, I spent half a day producing my A+ Content for The Complete Article Writer, The Positively Productive Writer, and Photography for Writers, and also for my novels, Blooming Murder and Foraging For Murder. (If you click on the book titles you can see what I’ve done for A+ Content on each book.)
All of my A+ Content was reviewed and approved within 48 hours. It can take a few hours for it to appear, once it’s been approved.
Here’s Eric Thomson’s top tips for completing your A+ Content:
“I’d say the first thing one must do is figure out the goal in using A+. How should it help sell books? The content can take up a lot of real estate on a book page and get in a buyer’s face. Something that seems aimless and not well thought out could easily have an adverse effect and turn buyers away. Once you figure out what you want the content to do, keep it simple. A few images, a few lines of text. Things that’ll catch the eye and inform at a glance. Too crowded, too much info, too many images, and the eye turns away. If you write a series, use A+ to market the series instead of just the book in question. And don’t feel compelled to use A+ just because others are loading content. It’s a tool, and like all tools, it won’t work the same for for everyone.”
And here is some advice from psychological thriller writer Maria Frankland:
“1. At the point of your cover design, ask your designer for the ‘layers’ of your book, including the lettering.
2. Look at how other authors have presented their A+ content, especially those with lots of reviews who are selling well, and make notes about what you feel works.
3. Bookbrush have pre-made templates for A+ content. You can export your cover layers into Bookbrush, design your slides, export them again and upload them into Amazon. I highly recommend Bookbrush.
4. Keep what you add simple – less is more, as with most marketing. Ensure that the reader can take in what you’re presenting at a glance. They are then more likely to go on and read the book’s description.
5. Ensure the content offers something extra to the product description. Use a fresh tagline or present a different element of your cover.
6. Keep consistency in mind. For each of my books, I stay on brand by matching my A+ content to the elements of my cover. (Colours, fonts and graphics,) and I keep the way I present my content similar across my entire catalogue.”
If you haven’t made the most of your Amazon A+ Content yet, then have a look at what other writers are doing on their book pages for inspiration.
I’ll be writing more on this topic in the July 2022 issue of Writing Magazine.
Until next month …. keep writing!