Frequently Asked Questions

Please consult our FAQ before contacting us for support.  These FAQs answer the common questions people experience when publishing their Better Book Description Tool to Amazon via KDP Bookshelf.

In KDP Bookshelf, I get the error - Your book description contains invalid HTML markup. Please make sure that your book description is entered in plain text.

Issue 1: Limited HTML Tags

If you used the tool prior to May 2013, Amazon didn’t restrict HTML tags when using the Amazon HTML code.  After May 2013, Amazon indicated:

We’ve recently restricted the types of HTML tags allowed in product descriptions, which is why your formatting isn’t displaying like it was before. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this may cause. You’ll need to update your content using only the tags noted above. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

The approved HTML tags are: “b”, “br”, “em”, “font”, “h1”, “h2”, “h3”, “h4”, “h5”, “h6”, “hr”, “i”, “li”, “ol”, “p”, “pre”, “s”, “strike”, “strong”, “sub”, “sup”, “u” and “ul”.

I have updated the Better Book Description Tool to support these tags under the Kindle Bookshelf option. You will need to regenerate the book description using the Kindle Bookshelf option in the Better Book Description Tool editor.

As Amazon makes changes to their editors, I will also make adjustments to the Better Book Description Tool.

Issue 2: Did you write your draft description in Microsoft Word or another editor? Did you paste it directly into the tool?

If you wrote your book description in another tool, you need to paste it as Plain Text into the Better Book Description Tool.  Word processors like Microsoft Word, Google Docs and even WordPress like to include additional formatting tags that KDP Bookshelf won’t accept.

Please follow this tutorial to correctly paste your description as Plain Text.

Issue 3:  Amazon’s support for <BR> and <BR /> tags.

Amazon has an error in the error message checking.  They do accept <br> tags.  However, when you re-display your book description, Amazon likes to convert the <br> tag to a <br /> tag.  When this occurs, Amazon displays the Invalid HTML markup error.  The simple fix is to just ignore it and save your book description.  It works.

The better fix is to remove an single line breaks from your description.  Some people will use the <br> tag to create a new line directly underneath the paragraph without a new line space.  That’s what the <BR> tag will do.  However, a better fix is to simply press the return key and let a new line be created.  This generates a <P> tag which is support by Amazon without throwing an error message.

My code isn't displaying correctly on my Amazon page.

In order to generate the correct HTML code, please ensure you are using the correct editor based on where you edit your book description.  The KDP Bookshelf editor supports different codes than CreateSpace or Author Central.  In May 2013, Amazon changed the KDP Bookshelf editor to only support a limited set of HTML codes.

Before you format your book description, remember to answer the question :

Where are you editing your book description?

Select either Kindle Bookshelf Editor or the CreateSpace menu item.

Once you have selected your editor, different options will load.

Best Practice: Pick the editor where you publish your book description and then format your book description.

I wrote my book description in Microsoft Word. How should I properly paste it into the editor

Pasting the description from Microsoft Word, Google Docs or another rich text editor will often add additional HTML codes that are not supported by the editor.  Please read the article How to Properly Paste Your Description into the Editor for instructions on how to paste as plain text.

Is there a description length limit?

If you are editing your book in Kindle Bookshelf Editor, you have a 4000 character limit. The more formatting you add to the description, the more code is required which affects the amount of text displayed.

You’ve already written a book, so don’t write a large missive on your Amazon product page.

The tool will tell you when you’ve exceeded your limit and it will display the code that can be produced by the appropriate editor.


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