“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!” That’s what we’re told, but people do it anyway. Most readers will not only judge the cover, but read the book description to find out what type of book it is. That is why the book description is important.
To sell your book you need a great cover and an even better book description. People want to know what the book is about before they buy it and read it. The description is where you get to tell people about your book and why they should buy it. The description is your lead-in. So it’s important to spend some time on it and get it done properly.
Here are some tips to writing a good book description:
- Look at the ten best seller’s book descriptions on Amazon or your favorite book store’s site. Look at what the pros write. These are great examples because you know these descriptions are successful and are selling books.
- Look at the top ten best seller’s book descriptions of the same genre. Now it’s also important to get examples from the same genre. Look at book descriptions in the same genre to get a better idea of what you will need to write for your target audience.
- Be concise! This is probably what makes writing a good description so hard. You need to tell the reader about the story without spoilers or going into too much detail. I’ve seen sources that recommend keeping your word count from 150 to 400 words.
- Don’t get into subplots. This is part of be concise, I know. Subplots are great in that they add flavor to the main plot, but you don’t need to get into it in the description. Remember, be concise!
- Introduce your main character and, if possible, main villain. You should definitely include the main characters in the book description. This tells your readers who the book is about. If you also include the villain, you should also tell your reader why they are after your main character(s).
- Write in third person and in present tense. It doesn’t matter if the book is in first person and in past tense or not. Most book descriptions are written in this tense.
- Write with a target audience in mind. This is also a good tip for writing the novel. You want to keep in mind who you are writing to when you are writing your book description. If its a children’s book, your audience will be younger. It it’s a romance novel, your audience will likely be women.
- End your description with a bang! It is important to finish your description with enough action and suspense that the reader will then want to buy your book to find out what happens.
- Try to include a testimonial or review. This is something you will see the best sellers include as well. A testimonial indicates to potential customers that this is a good book and worth the money. Being an independent author, you can use fellow indie author’s to write a testimonial or even friends and family.
- While writing your description, try to answer these three questions: 1) Why should the reader care? 2) Who should read your book? 3) What makes your book unique?
These tips should help you write a good book description. It is important to take your time on this and write a good one. This is what readers will read before deciding if they want to buy your book.
If you have any other good sources or tips you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below. Keep writing!
Other good resources:
- CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1462
- Indie Writing Blog (also includes examples): http://indiewritingblog.com/2012/07/02/how-to-write-a-book-description-that-doesnt-suck/
- mira publishing: http://www.mirasmart.com/how-to-write-a-compelling-book-description/