No, this blog post headline is not the title of my next fiction book. This is a real mystery that I, as well as other authors, are trying to unravel.
You can check out my Miller Mosaic blog post “Bits and Pieces of Changes in Social Media” for the first mention of this issue.
The saga begins a few days ago when I asked a question on an Amazon book publishing group of which I am a member. At the time the response was that I was incorrect about the changes I thought I had observed. (The biggest change was no longer being able to create via Author Central the orange Amazon headline using Amazon html code for an h2 headline.)
Two days later the same person posted a link to a discussion on a Kindleboards forum, and the forum discussion thread confirmed what I had noticed.
Fast forward to a phone conversation I had with an Amazon Author Central representative today — a very nice person who could not answer my questions.
And before that, when I went onto authorcentral.amazon.com to arrange for the phone call, I got this announcement:
Did You Know?
Some Author Pages may display features that are unavailable through Author Central, such as a name banner. These features are by invite-only.
First, I have no idea what “name banner” refers to. Second, “by invite-only”? So Amazon is not an equal opportunity book retailer?
I have no answers for the above puzzle, but I will share what I have been able to put together from my own experiences and the comments of others about the changes to Amazon html. (Remember, though, that Amazon continually changes things without warning authors.)
In the past:
When you uploaded a new book to KDP you added a book/product description at that time in the KDP dashboard. Then you went to Author Central and claimed your book. Later you could edit the book/production description in Amazon Central.
And when you used Amazon Central to do this, you could use Amazon html to create attractive orange-colored headlines in the description.
Recently the Amazon html coding in my Author Central book descriptions has been removed. Other authors have confirmed that no Amazon html can now be added via Amazon Author Central.
Others have commented that changing anything in an Author Central book description will automatically remove the previously existing Amazon html in that description.
(This is what appears to have happened to all my descriptions. I switched a long URL for free Kindle apps to a shorter one, accidentally removing all my Amazon html code in the descriptions.)
But, also, I am not allowed to go back and add Amazon html coding in the KDP book description.
Hold on — there is more:
There appears to be only one time that you can add Amazon html coding to your ebook:
If you do it in the KDP dashboard when you first upload an ebook BEFORE you claim the book on Author Central. I have just done this with a client’s new ebook and the Amazon html code did appear.
But I am not sure whether, if the client wanted to remove the Amazon html, she could or could not do it once she has claimed the book on Author Central.
A big problem with all this confusion is that there are several good ebooks about marketing on Amazon that include large sections on using Amazon html code. Much of this information may now be obsolete.
I have just checked my own book TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK and have found only this reference: “Advanced tip: At this time you can use Amazon html formatting only on the Kindle book description and not on the physical book description.”
This sentence is actually still correct, although where you can use Amazon html formatting, which I do not say, has changed.
In the comments below I welcome information on this complicated topic. We authors need to help each other find our way out of this tangle.
© 2013 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy story CIA FALL GUY.
She also has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com