2021 has been a huge year for changes at Amazon for authors. We’re all still feeling our way around Kindle Vella, and now they’re rolling out the new-to-us Amazon A+ Content program. It’s all part of some changes that should help authors – especially indie authors – boost their bottom line and have a lot more control over their presence and revenue streams on the site. Let’s explore what’s available with Amazon A+ Content for Authors.
So what is Amazon A+ Content?
If you’re an Amazon shopper, you’ve probably already seen it. You know how when you go in to buy yoga leggings or a new cell phone charger, the product pages have all these additional photos and layout elements that you don’t see for your own books on KDP?
That’s Amazon A+ Content!
It’s a program rolled out in 2016 and made free (and thus more ubiquitous) in 2019, and it allows sellers to control the layout of the product page more, allowing things like additional, interesting product photos with accompanying texts, graphics and comparison charts. However, the program wasn’t available to the average author.
Now all KDP books can take advantage of this feature at last!
Why would I want to use A+ for my book?
Setting up Amazon A+ Content for your books allows your Amazon sales page to turn into something that looks a lot like a landing page. While you cannot add links or encourage anyone to leave Amazon as part of the terms of the program, as you might do in a landing page, you can tell a compelling story for why readers need to buy YOUR book. Plus you can take advantage of the links already on Amazon – after all, clicking your author name takes readers to all your books, and if your book is part of a series, it will already have that set up, too!
While the stats for books are still emerging, Amazon has made the claim that A+ Content can increase sales by 5.6%, as reported by The Hot Sheet, but we have also seen claims elsewhere on the Internet that the boost can range anywhere from 3-10% in sales. Regardless, there’s no question that using this new format and content option just makes sense to build your book’s brand and your author profile!
What can I do with Amazon A+ Content for Authors?
Right now, here are sixteen kinds of “module” options, which is what they call each block of formatting you can now use. You can stack them, as long as you don’t let your description get too long, to create the best look and impact for your book.
Some of the format options that stood out to me were:
- Including your company/publisher logo – great opportunity for imprints to shine, whether you’ve got your own or you’re working with a smaller publishing company.
- A few formatting options to pair images with text – justified to the right, to the left, in an image carousel, in a row with images above and text below – all of these seem perfect for both fiction and nonfiction. Whether you’re introducing characters or places; adding a map of the world in which your book takes place; using aesthetic images to establish your mood; or adding a prettier, on-the-sales-page “About the Author” section, there are SO many options here.
- Comparison charts – this is one you see in Amazon’s consumer goods pages all the time. You can only include your own “owned in KDP” books in this chart, but if you have multiple series and want to get readers interested in cross-pollinating them, this could be a useful tool!
- Images with text overlaid on them – these offer a great opportunity to being some really mood-establishing images to your book’s page. What a great place to put a book quote over an evocative image, or to make an almost Instagram-style collage of images and words that speak to your brand/book’s mood!
There’s a few things you CAN’T do within the rules of the program – and Amazon does actually have to approve everything that goes into these modules before they go live – and the biggest thing is that you can’t redirect anyone out of Amazon. The full rules are worth a read-through before you get started.
And while it’s not against the rules, I’d say it’s a definite no-no to use images that are any less than crystal clear – getting that best resolution image will elevate your book’s sales page, but a fuzzy one might create an impression worse than not having A+ Content at all.
How do I get started with Amazon A+ Content?
Go to your KDP dashboard and select the book – yes, you have to do this for each of your books! Click the “Promote and Advertise” button, and scroll down to A+ Content.
Now you can go through the options for different modules and come up with a combination that represents your book’s “personality” and that gives readers a compelling reason to press the “buy” button.
So are you ready to try Amazon A+ Content for authors? I’d love to see what you create! I’ll be starting a thread in our WPS Mentorship Group inviting members to show off what they’ve been able to do, so if you’re not already part of it, now’s a great time to join. I’m hoping to see some really cool ideas! You can join us here!