#bookdescriptionsmatter. Yes, read that again. Let it sink in for a moment.A book description is akin to that proverbial first-date feeling; you have but a few short seconds to capture your prospective reader’s interest before they go off into the sunset and buy someone else’s book. Let's face it; no author wants that. But then, what are you to do?
1. Create a Compelling Hook
Mastering the art of writing a compelling book description is not hard. However, you need to know what to focus on so you can ace it straight off the bat and out of the park—the first time around!
After all, the whole idea of you having spent countless hours shedding blood, sweat, and tears (and maybe some colorful language, too) is for you to now send your creation off into the world and upsell the living daylights out of it.
It all starts with writing a compelling hook. But what does that mean exactly?
Crafting the Perfect Hook: A Book Marketing EssentialBy using powerful words and emotions, you will immediately command the attention of potential readers, such as using adjectives. Some strategies to use in this hook include
- character confessions
- unusual questions
- surprising observations
The key is to experiment and have fun with it.
For writers of fiction books, it could be the protagonist, who is a fireman, who starts a fire… like what? Since when do firefighters start fires?
And for non-fiction writers, it can be, “Now, you can lose weight while still eating your favorite foods.” Wow! You can’t help but ask yourself if it’s possible to lose pounds without compromising on your favorites—who wouldn’t want to know more?
Establish Emotional Connections
Embody the mind of your reader for a second. Relate to their pain points and talk in lingo that will appeal to them. All the while addressing the benefits of your book to them. Using emotions to your advantage, such as anticipation, embarrassment, excitement, fear, surprise, and sympathy, are powerful tools to help you instantly connect with your reader.
Use a Strong Voice
What is “voice” type speak in the book? It is the ability to create a beautiful symbiosis between vocabulary, tone, syntax, and point of view. It might take some practice on your part to create this balance, but once you grasp it, there is no turning back.
Steer Clear of Descriptive Scenarios
Don’t start with mundane actions such as "I was eating breakfast" (yawn). Instead, get straight to the point and in the middle of the action.
Retain Their Attention
Now that you have their attention, the key is to keep it. For example, don’t answer all the questions right away, as they won’t have any reason to read your book if you do. However, you also don’t want to leave everything up in the air since this might frustrate potential readers.
Attention-holding is a technique that requires careful balance. So, ask some questions, but answer some too.
Take your time and keep working at it until you feel you have a hook that sells the story or the solutions you want.
2. See It as an Advertisement
A book description is not a synopsis. Many newbie authors make the mistake of wanting to list everything that the book is about. We strongly advise against this! A book description is your secret weapon in book marketing.
Picture it as a teaser or a movie trailer. You can’t deny that a trailer has the determining power as to whether you are going to rush to the cinema with popcorn and slushies in tow or not even bother.
This is the unique selling proposition (USP) (a golden nugget, if you will) that will convince people to click "add to cart" and get the book (almost like swiping right... wink-wink). It will also make your work stand out from your competitors'! Remember to also list the benefits your book holds in store for your potential readers.
They must feel a sense of compulsion to buy the book. You need to leave them weak at the knees and salivating like a rabid wolf out on the prowl for their next fix! So don’t summarize; entice!
3. Get Keyword—(C)onfident
For your book to appear in Amazon's search results, you need to sprinkle it with a bit of keyword magic. It is the bow you need to make your book description pretty!
This means using high-ranking keywords. Amazon will really reward you well if you make effective use of this selling strategy. Harnessing keywords will boost your book marketing strategy.
Keywords are a set of phrases you'll be asked to enter relevant to your content and words or phrases customers will typically enter when they are looking for a specific book or browsing through genres, looking for the next best read (until they find your badass book description).
Publishing on Amazon KDP can be tricky if you don’t know what to do. Enjoy the article guiding you through the process and advising on the pitfalls to avoid.
4. Get Straight to the Point!
Did you know that, according to the International Teacher Magazine (2022), the typical human attention span (reading) is only between 10 and 15 minutes? For this reason, authors need to write in a concise manner—each word counts!
Here are 10 considerations to aid in writing more concisely:
- Write in short, easy-to-consume sentences. There's no need to fly to one continent to get to another, na' mean? It is pointless to use jargon or technical terms that your readers won't understand; keep it simple.
- Don't use unnecessary phrases and words that don't add value, and back up each claim or statement.
- Avoid repetition or word redundancy. This can make your book description appear bloated.
- Try not to write in passive voice. There are some free tools, such as AISEO, that can help improve passive voice and other issues, such as readability.
- Employ the grammar police! Check your spelling and grammar! Nothing destroys credibility like terrible spelling and improper grammar. Free tools, such as Grammarly, can be used to this effect.
- To get your point across, make use of strong verbs and avoid weak ones.
- Write in paragraph style, where each paragraph is focused on a single concept. Again, keep it short.
- Make use of lists for items or to break up long paragraphs; it makes reading easier.
- Do a sense check by reading your description out loud.
Retain the audience's focus at the heart of the writing by addressing their interests. And don't forget that "click to add to cart" call-to-action. It will compel them to buy your book immediately!
5. Keep It Short
By now, this phrase should be imprinted into your writing! We can't emphasize the importance of this enough.
Books on the Amazon bestseller lists have book descriptions featuring 200 words on average, where the majority are broken down into two-to-three paragraphs that are keyword-rich.
The easier your book blurb is to understand, the better gains you will enjoy!
6. Be the Publisher, Not the Author
With this, we mean to write from a third-person point of view. In short, be objective and always write as if you are someone else describing your book. Channel your inner publisher and sell that book to the world. You can do it! After all, you know your book best!
7. Leave Insecurity at the Door Navigating Insecurity in Book Marketing: Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome
Without realizing it, if you feel threatened by other authors, then it will immediately reflect in your writing and make your inferiority complex come to the fore!
Ah yes! The dreaded imposter syndrome will rear its ugly head at least a few times in your author stint. But don't be too hard on yourself; it is completely normal for a new writer to feel inferior to established writers, especially in the same niche.
We have seen this time and again with our customer base, but we do have some tips to help overcome those feelings:
- Focus on your own journey and set achievable goals. Each writer is on their own path, and everyone's perception of success is different. Celebrate the small victories; they go a long way and will keep you motivated.
- Remember that even published authors started somewhere.
- Cultivate a growth mindset and continuously improve your writing skills.
- Seek support and feedback from like-minded people and beta readers. Not only will you get a confidence boost, but you will also get feedback on areas for improvement before publishing.
- Be proud of your achievements and focus on your unique voice and vision.
- Keep Learning: The book-writing hemisphere is ever-changing, and with the advancement of AI-writing tools for nearly every piece of software, such as Canva, Grammarly, and even ChatGPT, you need to remain on the ball about the latest developments and how you can use them to your advantage. Stay in the loop about industry trends, attend writer conferences, and continue honing your craft.
Remember that writing a book is a significant accomplishment, regardless of how it compares to other authors' works. Be proud of your achievements and keep writing, focusing on your unique voice and vision.
8. Avoid Claims and Comparisons
Is it not our human nature to compare ourselves to our closest competitors? Never compare your book to other writers' works by making unsupported claims. Each statement or fact listed needs to be backed up if used.
Your book description is your unique opportunity to build credibility with your prospective audience.
9. Remind Them Who It Is For
Always bring it back to your target audience!
It is a great way to incorporate phrases that resonate with your reader. Here are some examples.
- "This book is a must-read for anyone who loves [topic or genre]."
- "Perfect for fans of [similar book title or popular author name], this [insert topic or genre] will captivate you from page one."
- "If you enjoy [theme or subject matter], you don't want to miss this gripping [genre] story."
"If you are looking for a page-turning [genre] book, look no further than this thrilling read."
10. Hire a Professional Writer
If you embrace your incapability and struggle to write it yourself, use The Urban Writer's professional copywriting services. It is normal, and sometimes the author is the worst person to write a book description, especially if the writer is emotionally invested in their book. After all, it is your pride and joy, your baby of sorts.
The Urban Writers will treat your book descriptions with the same value and bring your book marketing it to life! We offer a range of one-stop-shop services, such as formatting, cover design, editing, and illustrations.
The Word's Out!
In summary, penning a nifty and compelling book description is undemanding, barring a bit of finesse and je ne sais quoi. By simply following our tips, you can hook potential readers with some well-chosen words and entice them to submerge themselves in your book.
Your book description is your global elevator pitch, so each word counts! With the right words, you can find yourself on the Amazon bestseller list faster than you can say "book deal."
If you have enjoyed this article, read our blog post on "All you need to know about scams as a self-publisher" for more self-publishing tips.