The Ultimate Guide to the Best Book Descriptions To Sell Your Book
A professional book description gives literal meaning to the phrase "judging a book by its cover." You might’ve learned about attracting people with the best book titles, and you probably took our advice on designing the best cover too.
You might even have polished your Amazon author’s page to maximize your sales, but your book is still missing a key element. The book description is the final piece of the puzzle that allows the reader to judge the story, writer, and quality.
Your cover description is what sells the book, whether it’s an ebook or a printed version. Visual effects are certainly a form of magic on their own, but the words you place in the description are what make a reader purchase the book.
Being among successful self-published authors means that you must market your book in every way possible. An expert book description can add one more marketing tool that helps readers decide to choose your book above all the hundreds available in the Amazon ocean.
The description tells us about the person whose words we’re about to submerge ourselves into and gives us insight into the beautiful mind of a writer.
You can either hook your readers from the first word and make them click on "read more," or you can bore them senselessly with utter jumble. This guide will help you write a book description that's different from the robotic ensemble people avoid.
What Are Book Descriptions? More Than Short Paragraphs!
If you've been wondering "what is a book description?" you're not alone! Most authors think that it's enough to turn a compelling idea into a book, and the writing will sell itself. This isn't true, of course, as all bestselling books sport a great book description.
Whether you're writing descriptions for fiction books (book blurb) or you've been writing nonfiction book descriptions, rest assured that this short piece of writing is an invaluable part of your book marketing.
If you wish the reader to go past the first book page, you need a good book description to help them depict your book's genre, theme, and hook. Hook readers with a compelling book description, and you'll significantly increase your book's chance of success. Let your book cover, back cover, and book description all speak to the reader together.
If you're ever confused about how many amazing authors manage to write a great book description, rest assured that they weren't writing spontaneously. They wrote their book description by following a plan, and you can find some inspiration if you take any Amazon book description sample from bestselling books.
Book Description Examples
Some of the more prominent book description samples, include the Cameron Herold's "Vivid Vision," although you can quickly search best-selling books to find so many examples. The same goes for a book blurb.
Book Description 101: Write a Book Description That Sells
The description of a book does more than explain what the book is about. Other than the book cover, it gives the reader insight of what is to follow, and leaves them with more curiosity than before.
If you're writing a description of the book that you're about to publish, it's only fair that your book description attracts the audience and drives more reads and sales.
When figuring out how to write a description for a book, remember the fact that book descriptions have the primary role in selling your book.
In self-publishing, writing your own book description has both advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you have full control over the content of your book's description. You can be certain that it will represent your title well. Fail to hook readers, and you might miss out on all the publicity that you worked so hard for.
In order to get readers interested in a book, it's necessary to write short descriptions that won't have the reader struggle to understand what the book is about. Remember, a potential reader immediately drops books if they don't find book descriptions interesting, so why take the risk?
Your author voice matters more in advertising your book and especially in a book description. You only have seconds to drive the reader to create their own vivid vision of the book and develop interest. A vivid vision creates curiosity about the book, which is precisely what you need for a successful book sale.
How to Write Descriptions for Books
A book description serves two main purposes: It is a major part of your marketing strategy, but it also says a lot about you as a writer. As much as it introduces your book, it also introduces your author brand.
A book description provides your reader with an answer to a question without revealing the entire solution before they buy your book. It can also show them that you’re a respected authority on the subject, which helps to build a trusting relationship before your readers part with their dollars.
Not-a-Sales-Pitch That Sells
Readers know that your description is a sales pitch. They liked your cover and want you to convince them to buy your book. Your description is the tool you use to convince them.
Randall Beard, a marketing guru, explains that we have a 20-second window to convince our readers to buy our book. Online shoppers look for convenience and speed because their lives are too busy to take the slow-thinking road.
Tease, Not Tacky
Of course, there is a fine line between intriguing copy and overselling your book to the point that readers fear you may be hiding something. To achieve that delicate balance, follow this guide to take your work from amateur marketers to the talk of the town.
Writing a Nonfiction Book Description for Book Sales
You can call this a recipe of sorts. We’ll teach you what secret ingredients to add to your book marketing campaign to make your readers’ jaws drop in the crucial-window phase.
1. Write a Book Description That Catches Attention.
A great book description should be no less than 150 words. The sweet spot is 250 words. This can be broken into short paragraphs for easier reading. You can also add bullet points where you give a brief insight into some questions, practical wisdom, or business lessons. Be sure to use bold lettering for the more important bullet points.
2. Open with a headline that screams “Bestselling Books”
The first line of your description is your hook. Never write a description as a book report, where you simply lay out the plot. You’re guaranteed to lose your reader’s attention if your hook is as transparent as cellophane.
Write a book description that starts with a bold statement, a famous quote, a relatable question, or a compelling sentence. It might be difficult to compare it to the “wife-stealing horse,” but you can certainly give the horse a run for its money.
What is the critical problem your book solves? The answer can give you a one-liner that knocks people’s socks off. Browsing on Amazon will show you one or two sentences where you get to click on “read more” if you choose.
No one’s going to click to read more when the first sentence says: “Hi, I’m Amy and I’d like to help you.” What does this even say? What can Amy help me with? Instead, let’s look at some simple opening sentences. Think about a dieting book.
“Learn how to lose 20 pounds in your sleep!” Honestly, who wouldn’t want to lose weight in their sleep?
Let’s think about a psychology book. “Licensed therapist, Amy Collins, shares her unique secrets to overcoming your deepest fears.”
An entrepreneur could use a different approach. “Mike Jones, the pioneering founder of #suitsup, winner of the Rags to Riches Foundation Award, shares his guaranteed techniques for success.”
That first line is the hook that will attract your ideal audience. Strike a chord with your reader with the first line, and leave them with no choice but to read more.
More Nonfiction Books Examples:
"Learn 100+ delicious recipes for your keto fasting."
All you did was mention the solution in a brief point. Now you have the reader curious. They want to know more about these 100+ recipes that you have.
But what if you could add more? Here’s another example:
"Discover easy-to-prepare and healthy muffins, pizzas, salads, and so much more!"
You have now introduced another hook. You have revealed that they are now able to prepare healthy muffins and pizza with this information. Who doesn’t want to do that? Who thought they could? While at the same time, you added in the word 'salads' to let your reader know that you are not only discussing fast food and snacks in your book.
3. Utilize Book Marketing and Optimization to bring more traffic to your description.
Keywords are used as a marketing ploy to allow search engines to find our articles online. Amazon is also a search engine and prioritizes keywords, among other things. Learn about keywords to turn your description into a sales conversion for browsers.
4. Write an Artistic Book Description
Your headline alone isn’t going to keep someone reading to the end. You need to convert a regular pitch to an art form of words that hit the emotional and subconscious cores of your readers.
Imagine reading a killer headline and the second sentence is, “I stubbed my toe on Monday morning at eight sharp.” The reader will move along and won’t even feel bad for the person attached to said toe, who actually sounds like a stick in the mud.
Learn to write with emotions in mind. We can use certain words and sequences to keep people on the edge of their seats. This is one of the foundations of an excellent book description.
"Cristina Gutierrez-Brewster is an English teacher who helps us understand the connection between writing and emotions. "
5. Use plain and Simple language for readability.
It’s tempting to spruce up our descriptions with a thesaurus at our fingertips, but this reduces our overall readability. The first word a reader doesn’t understand will make them skip your book. The language you use in your description should also be a reflection of the language you use in your book.
6. Give your readers confirmation that they’ll find an answer in your back Cover Description.
Break your story up by promising to solve a problem by the end of the book. We recommend using bullet points where you list questions the reader will typically ask about a certain issue.
Give readers insight without providing the solution. Why would they need to pay for a book when the solution is on the cover? Stir curiosity and interest by showing them how you asked the same questions.
By the same token, be sure not to overpromise. Words like 'guaranteed' or 'instantly' have no place in a book description unless you can stand by them being applicable to everyone.
7. Introduce yourself in a third-person Objective Voice.
“Toe stubber” was a little arrogant in talking about his typical Monday morning experience; however, explaining that the author is all too familiar with how Monday mornings are as blue as the sky for many people, is a better start.
You want to relate to the reader, but you also don’t want to focus on yourself. Readers’ intentions are to find answers from someone who has been there, and done that, but they don’t know you personally.
Chances are that they don’t care too much about your particular story. They just want the content in a practical and easy-to-read format. Reading first-person descriptions sends the wrong message.
Your focus should be on your content and not yourself.
8. Legitimize your Back Cover authority.
Keep the third-person mode in mind as you show the reader how you relate to their story. “Mike Jones wasn’t happy with his lack of wealth and knew that it was a viral problem in society. His vision was to uplift himself and the thousands of people he met.”
This businessman has legitimized himself as an authority figure in the industry without using the word ‘I’ once. Authors with a degree could mention this as the reason why readers can trust them.
People without professional experience of their own can also use numbers, figures, studies, and statistics to support their claims. They can show readers that their information isn’t thumb-sucked, and that they rely solely on authoritative data to compile their books.
Add a testimonial or endorsement from someone who has read your book at the end if it’s been available for a while. Make sure you add someone who praises your book.
9. Hit your reader with a cliffhanger of sorts.
You want jaws on the floor as the reader nears the end of your description. Their desire to know more must leave them hanging from a cliff. For example: “You won’t believe the lengths Mike went to, to put crisp suits on these ambitious, young gentlemen.”
10. End with a call-to-action to entice readers to purchase your book.
The truth is that some people need a push, and calls-to-action can do this. You could say: “You’ve visualized the wealth. Now, all that’s left is to take the leap of faith!” You can also say: “Click on [buy now] if you have what it takes.”
Meeting the Technical Requirements
Amazon Kindle self-publishing has a few requirements for their professional book descriptions. These aren’t hard to meet if we learn how to write in HTML format.
Amazon expects us to use HTML guidelines to insert italics, bold, and certain characters if we wish to make a statement stand out. You can learn all about HTML writing in this video tutorial.
The second option is to use a book description generator. It becomes as simple as copy and pasting when you need the right format.
Write a Fiction Book Blurb
Not all book descriptions are the same. Your fiction book blurb will require a different tone, style, and format. Here's our guideline for writing successful fiction book descriptions:
Create a Compelling Header
Remember, in order to write a book description that sells, you need a hook. This isn't a process of reiterating the book, but instead of catching the reader's attention by showing them why they should care.
Make sure that your header isn't a long, run-on sentence, and that it doesn't contain too many details.
Introduce Your Protagonist
Months spent writing a novel won't save your book if you don't have a likable protagonist. Make sure that your audience starts to care about your main character's journey.
Set the Scene
You can't have too many ideas for introducing the reader to your universe. Give a sentence or two explaining the feel that your scene gives out.
Introduce the conflict
Every New York Times bestselling author puts their protagonist at the center of an impossible conflict—either with someone else or themselves.
Order the Best Book Descriptions at The Urban Writers!
After spending so much time writing your masterpiece, the last thing you want to do is turn readers off with a dull, poorly-written book description. Have your description written by experts!
Let’s face it, you’re probably skilled enough to handle the wording of what you think will sell your book at first glance. However, small mistakes, even making your first sentence appear dull, can ruin even the most compelling idea for the reader.
If you prefer to leave this task to expert copywriters with years of experience in writing descriptions for bestselling books, The Urban Writers should be your next stop.
You can also book a video call with our team if you prefer to meet face-to-face. Our team is ready to start you on your journey to a best-selling book.