I always like to refer to lemonade stands when talking about Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) marketing. First, you get the brilliant idea that putting up a lemonade stand would generate some pocket money that you can spend on games, candy, or a water gun to put the arrogant cat in its place.
Next, you ask the adults to help you put up the stand on the lawn in front of your house. Soon you discover that not many people know about your product, so you decide to put flyers on the neighborhood cars. Sales increase a little, but not enough.
You decide to go even bigger. That’s when you borrow the inflatable dancing man from the second-hand car sales lot, put up a billboard on the offramp, and raise hell with your obnoxiously loud ghetto blaster.
The latter part is A+ Content on KDP. It is doing that little bit extra to stand out from the rest and lure potential buyers in the Amazon marketplace to your book, and it proves to be effective too. In fact, Amazon did extensive research and confirmed that adding Kindle A+ Content increased sales, but more about that later.
What is A+ Content on KDP?
KDP A+ Content allows authors to spruce up their Amazon book sales page by adding additional context that they couldn’t do before in the book description or editorial review section. These include tables, graphics, comparison charts, images, and more.
Some of you who have experience with Amazon might think: Hang on, aren’t you talking about Amazon Advantage? Well, yes and no.
Amazon Advantage was available to publishers and allowed them to sell books printed by any publisher. The costly media consignment program also allowed additional multimedia features, as mentioned above, but they closed their doors to new publishers in 2018.
In July 2021, A+ Content became available to any self-publisher with a published book or eBook on KDP or eBooks on Kindle preorder.
Is KDP A+ Content free?
Since Kindle A+ Content launched in July 2021, authors can now get a similar service to what they received on Amazon Advantage for free and without regional restrictions- with one exception, Japan.
Previously, Amazon Advantage had an annual subscription fee of $99, but it was region-specific. That meant that if you had a UK account, you were only able to apply Amazon Advantage in that region. As I mentioned before, Amazon Advantage stopped enrolling new publishers in 2018 already.
What can I do with KDP A+?
So what can you do with this freebie? We will have a look at some examples in the following section, but to start off, here are some of the reasons why you might want to consider going this extra mile.
- It is the ideal place to boost your branding. You will get the opportunity to show more of the real you (the being behind the books) than you normally would. This improves your credibility and enhances the potential stickiness of readers to the books, which may improve future sales.
- As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words. With Amazon KDP A+, you could use the space to show vital features of your books visually and make your KDP book more appealing to readers.
- Some authors use the space to enhance author credibility, but remember, Amazon is quite picky when it comes to what you include in this specific section.
- If you have a series of books, you could use the space to create timelines to improve clarity and guide the potential buyer to decide which book they should buy next. You can also use graphics or a comparison chart to differentiate between your books.
- There is even a carousel function where you can exhibit the characters or highlight key elements of the book that might intrigue a potential reader.
As we mentioned earlier, there are some restrictions on the content you are allowed to post. Please make sure that you read the guidelines first before getting to work on your designs.
What does Amazon A+ content look like?
To make this easier to comprehend, let’s compare these two books.
Initially, when you click on the books, you will see that the detail pages look the same. But when you scroll down, you will see that The Last Rhino has another section that The Peacemaker’s Code does not have.
The ‘From the Publisher’ section is available to Kindle A+ Content users. There are limitations of what you are allowed to put in here. For instance, the folks at Amazon are not happy when you use this space for promotions, discounts, or other pricing information. They also frown upon customer reviews and editorial reviews.
You are allowed to put endorsements up in this space, but they are limited to four. And then, these need to be from famous credible sources, and you need to cite them and prove that they are real.
So although there are limitations to what you can put up in this space, there is still a lot that you are able to do to entice your future fans. Here are some examples for you to peruse that could inspire you.
Example 1: Fantasy
Here the author only used the cover art to promote the other published books. It is pretty big and in your face, which makes the eye stop for a second to admire.
Example 2: Paranormal Romance
In this example, the author utilized the space very effectively. Firstly, she used a picture to grab the attention of the scroller. Then she also used the space effectively to tell the potential buyer more about the books and used the opportunity for brand awareness by showcasing some of her accolades.
Example 3: Science Fiction
If you are a big fan of Marvel movies, you would know that the release dates of those blockbusters do not coincide with the timeline of the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe. This author has many books in his series, and he used this space to create a roadmap that showcases the optimal way for reading the books.
Example 4: Historical Romance
Here the author used a table to differentiate between the available books. Shoppers are not only attracted to the cover art, but they also get to see summaries in the table that would assist them in making the right decision about buying a book that would most satisfy their needs.
How long does Kindle A+ Content review take?
After you go through the steps of populating your Kindle A+ section, you need to click “Review & Submit”. Your page will not be sent for approval yet; it only allows you to see it the way the buyers would, which will enable you to decide whether you are happy with the outcome.
If you are satisfied, you need to submit it for approval by clicking on “Submit for Approval.” After submission, it could take up to seven business days to receive approval, but many authors testified to receiving approval within a matter of hours.
After approval, the specified ASINS need to be applied, and this may take up to 24 hours additionally.
Does Kindle A+ Content increase sales?
There are many benefits to adding Amazon A+ Content, as we mentioned in the “What can I do with KDP A+?” section before. But would it actually improve sales? Amazon did extensive research and proved that it worked for many authors.
In fact, during the first 90 days of launch, Amazon monitored 100,000 Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) and found that users with A+ Content enjoyed a boost of sales of approximately 5.7%.
Are you guaranteed an increase in sales figures? Certainly not; there are many other cogs in the sales machine that needs to be considered. But given the fact that it is free and not difficult to set up, it might be worth giving it a shot anyway. Especially if you are a new author and you are still in the process of upping your street creds, this is a great tool that would help you build your credibility as an author.
How to design your Kindle A+ section
Amazon Kindle A+ comes standard with specific modules that you can select to best suit your specific needs. These are basically empty templates that you can populate, as the authors did in the section above. The procedure to select a module and populate it is quite simple, and Amazon posted instructions on how to create A+ Content to assist authors.
As for the content, herein may lie a challenge if you want to make it really stand out to shoppers. Most of us writers are not graphic designers. The closest most of us get to editing images is applying a built-in filter on one of our photos before slapping it on a social media site.
You probably noticed when you scrolled through the examples above that there are some pretty darn nice things to look at. But how do you keep up with this Jones’ in this competitive market?
Your first option is to approach a graphic design company to create the customized material for you. However, this option is only available to the select few with deep pockets. Luckily for the rest of us, other more lucrative opportunities are available.
Miblart is a one-stop shop for indie authors when it comes to branding and design. Although the experience won’t be on par with hiring your own graphic design studio or marketing company, their service is still at the higher end of the spectrum. They have highly skilled designers, but because they are a Ukrainian company, the favorable exchange rate makes their designs more affordable
They won numerous awards over the years for book cover designs and have pretty affordable bundled packages to choose from. They specialize in cover, spine, back, and interior design for print, ebooks, and Kindle Vela. By the way, if you would like to learn more about book cover design, be sure to check our article dedicated to book cover design options.
Apart from book art design, they also have additional services such as a logo and branding service and a marketing materials service. Just as the case with the cover designs, these services are also available in bundled packages at reasonable prices.
They offer quick turn-around times on all their services and allow authors a 30-day review period to have enough time to decide if they are happy with the design. On top of that, they offer unlimited revisions at no extra cost, making sure that you are as happy as a clam when you leave.
Fiverr is a very well-known platform that hosts freelancers across a wide range of industries from all over the world. It is a goldmine for Indie authors as there are freelancers offering anything from beta reading to editing and cover design. You would easily find a designer specializing in multiple disciplines that could also help you with your designs for Kindle A+.
Although it is a gold mine of talent, you need to remember that Shakespeare was right when he wrote: All that glitter is not gold. You need to make sure that the freelancer you employ has sufficient reputable experience and is well vetted.
Also, remember that you pay for what you get. There might be some scarce diamonds in between that offer exceptional service at a very low price, but finding and experimenting with them could be a risky decision that might end up consuming more time than you anticipated.
If you are a hands-on creative with a budget as tight as an 80s Arnold Swarzen’gger’s top shirt button, then Canva is a place to create content for your From the Publisher section. The free version has plenty to play around with, but you’ll find a greater variety of features and free content when you upgrade to the premium option.
Canva has plenty of themed templates that you customize to create something unique that could stand out and attract readers. Mind maps, infographics, graphs, photo collages, social media templates, and much more are available to free users and premium subscribers.
Premium users pay $9.99 per month on a yearly subscription and get access to over 610,000 templates and over 100 million stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics to use without infringing copyrights.
- KDP A+ Content is a free option available to authors who have books that are published on Amazon.
- In short, it opens extra space in a section called ‘From the Publisher’ where writers can publish content to improve marketing and possibly improve sails.
- KDP A+ is fitted with modules that can be populated with content to inform, educate and entice buyers, but there are limits to what writers can put in this section.
- KDP A+ is free and easy to apply. Amazon’s research showed that including KDP A+ improves sales by 5.6% on average.
- It is an easy way to help improve writer credibility and improve brand awareness.
- There are companies such as Miblart and Fiverr that could assist you in creating fabulous eye-catching content for KDP A+.