If you’re an indie author, you know that Amazon KDP is the most popular publishing venue for indies.
Recently KDP added some information about bonus content and metadata to its ebook manuscript resources.
Indie author: bonus content and metadata changes
If you choose to include bonus content (e.g., other stories, or previews of other books that are not part of your book’s title), it should be relevant to the customer and should not disrupt the reading experience. To meet these guidelines, we require placing additional content at the end of the book, and listing the bonus content in your book’s table of contents.
You can add up to ten per cent of bonus content to your ebooks
You’re probably aware that Amazon KDP is plagued by book scammers who “stuff” their ebooks with content, adding many hundreds of pages to a single book, so that they profit from the book’s KENPC.
Amazon is trying to address this, with its ten per cent limit, and new Table of Content listing rules.
There’s also the vexed topic of metadata.
Amazon’s metadata rules’ confusion
When selecting your book’s title, always make sure to follow the Metadata Guidelines.
Most indie authors do follow Amazon’s metadata rules, of course, but some books don’t — and that includes books from major publishers.
In an article from Publishing Perspectives, BIC Slams Wrongful Use of Metadata Fields for Book Promotion, and reports that:
“Some publishers and other metadata providers,” writes Karina Luke, BIC’s executive director, “are using the subtitle, and sometimes the title fields, in metadata feeds to carry marketing and promotional text. By this we mean using phrases such as ‘Sunday Times Best Seller,’ ‘Gripping read from….’ ‘The Richard & Judy Book Club thriller 2017’, ‘ The best thriller writer alive,’ ‘Man Booker Prize winner,’ and so on.”
Amazon’s algorithms and bots
Over the past couple of months, many an innocent indie author has fallen foul of Amazon’s algorithms and bots. Some authors have even had their accounts cancelled.
Unfortunately, it takes time to tune an algorithm, and self-published authors can be scooped up in the trawl nets.
Tip: going forward, document everything you do — your promotions, and so on. You need evidence showing your innocence if you get captured in a bot’s sweep.
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