Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TUESDAY TIP #Shelfari #BookExtras Editing a Book's Description #pubtip #selfpub #howto #indie

Last week I began a little miniseries on Amazon/Shelfari's "Book Extras" feature for Kindle books. These handy little enhancements are only applicable through the Amazon Kindle Store (your book's page), the Shelfari web site and of course, inside the Kindle eBooks themselves.

Click here to review how to create your Amazon Author Central account, a prerequisite to setting up a Shelfari Author account. Then let's dive in after the jump-break and start setting up sections of your eBook in Book Extras. I'll start with the Description field, since that's the first one on the page (and since it'll already be populated from when you entered your book in the KDP Dashboard).

As I said, you must already have an Amazon Author Central account in order to setup any of your Book Extras on Shelfari. You have to log into Author Central first and get to your Book Extras through Author Central. For some weird reason, whenever I go directly to the Shelfari site and just log in and go to my book page, the changes don't propagate to the book's page on Amazon.

It's easy enough, though, just log into Author Central and click the link for the "list of your books" (see screen shot below)

You should then see a list of your books with their basic stats (sales rank at the moment--isn't mine hilarious? I never give out the URL for the book so it's amazing it's sold even one copy never mind one a week which is about what it does right now in the completely absence of promotion beyond the occasional link from this blog)

Assuming your book(s) appears correctly, click on the one you want to work on (in my case, just the one shown here). I click on the title for Dicky's Story to get to the next screen.

NOTE: If the book(s) shown are not yours, then your Author Central account might not be correctly set up. Be sure you logged in with the correct email address (the one you attached to your Author Central account and the one that is attached to your KDP account, which are hopefully, the same email address).

The next screen shows me my book with 3 tabs:
  1. Editorial Reviews (which yes, you can actually edit here from Author Central)
  2. Book Details (which no, you cannot edit from anywhere)
  3. Book Extras

On the Book Extras screen at Author Central, you'll see your Book Extras, but NOTE: You cannot edit Book Extras here.

For some reason Amazon prefers to have you do the editing of Book Extras content over on the Shelfari web site. They will link you directly to where you need to be though. Just click the link shown in the following screen shot:

The first screen you see on Shelfari will be your book's page already clicked to the Book Extras tab. You'll already be logged in (because you logged in at Amazon's Author Central and the two accounts are linked) and your book's sections might already have some fields populated--such as, the description.

Now here's an exciting and convenient little trick. You can edit the description here, without having to republish your book on KDP! Such a pain to have to "republish" (and wait the 12 to 48 hours for it to propagate through) when instead, you can just tweak the text right here and it will appear, if not instantly, in less than 12 hours. Usually about one hour, I've noticed.

To edit the description, just click the "EDIT" button next to the section heading. The content will now appear in a text box, which you can edit. After you make the changes you'd like, I suggest you tick the checkbox to be notified whenever this section is updated (e.g., by someone else, not you)  and then click "save changes."

That's it. The changes you've made should just show up on the book's page in the Kindle Store. Because this was the "Description" field, the new text will also show up anytime someone browses the Kindle Store and runs across your book. Quick, easy, and best of all, side-steps republishing the whole book just to tweak the text.

What's Next....
Next Tuesday I'll go over how to create (or edit) a "Character" field for the people in your book. Hope to see you then!

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