How to add HTML to your Kindle book description the easy way

If you’ve been using old versions of HTML tags on your Amazon book descriptions you need to change them now for the simple versions as Amazon are no longer recognising the old type of tag.

Writers and publishers use HTML to make their Kindle book descriptions stand out but the problem was that until May this year Amazon didn’t recognise the normal form of HTML with tags such as <h1> and you had to use some confusing tags such as &lt;h1&gt; to get the opening tag equivalent of a simple <h1> heading.

If you’re running a WordPress website, you might be familiar with those sort of complex tags as you can see them if you switch from visual mode to text mode in the post text editor, although the & will be spelled out as amp (for ampersand).

Amazon didn’t recognise the angle brackets, hence the lt, standing for less than, and the gt, for greater than, to define the angle brackets. They’re called character entity references, if you want to get technical.

But a welcome change in May saw Amazon accept a range of ordinary HTML tags, making it easier and much less confusing to style your book description.

The headline tags include: <h1></h1> which is the biggest font, <h2></h2> which will give you text in the same orange colour that Amazon uses, through h3 to h6 for varying sizes of text.

For bold, use the <b></b> tags, for italics it is <i></i> and if you want a line break use <br></br).

Obviously you would need to place your text between the opening and closing tags shown above.

Bulleted lists are also available now, using the usual tags of <ul><li></li></ul> and numbered lists using <ol><li></li></ol>

Make sure you paste clean, plain text into the text description box, don’t use Word as it can add some odd formatting which will foul up your HTML. Use TextEditor or anything else that produces plain text.