Your Book Description Sells!
Updated: Jul 25, 2019
When you’ve finished your novel, don’t neglect the marketing aspect. Once you upload your ebook to Amazon, you enter the description, or what is referred to as the blurb. It’s very important you get this right, because it’s the first thing your potential buyer will see. If it’s dull and uninteresting, you’ve lost them. But if it's crafted and formatted well, it'll draw them in and hopefully have them clicking on the buy option.
So why are you neglecting this simple skill?
Compare the Market
Take a look at a few book descriptions on Amazon and compare to yours. Are there big, bold headings? Are there nicely spaced paragraphs? Take a look at this description from my first novel as an example of it being done badly:
There are no bold headings or well spaced paragraphs. This was my first attempt at publishing and I’ve learnt a lot since then. But it’s not that easy to create the description because Amazon uses HTML, the language of the Internet. If you don’t know what codes to make words bold, or create headings, you’re going to be stuck.
But it’s okay, because there is a great tool out there I’ve found. It’s a free to use program that lets you write out the description how you want it to look, and gives you the HTML code for you to paste into the Amazon description section of your book in KDP. Check this website:
Below is an example of how easy it is with your layout on one side and the HTML coding on the right.
Now take a look at the book description on one of my later books, which sold far more copies than that very first one:
I plan on going back to Father’s Song and redoing the description using this technique, but the lesson here is simple: make your book stand out. Don't neglect this part of publishing.
Writing a Killer Description
It’s not just about how the description looks, but you need to write it well, too. There’s a simple way to do this and it’s all about structure. First, make sure you have a strong hook, a one line that draws the reader in. In Dead Again, I use a quote from the main character about how she’s trying to figure out who killed her. Next, introduce your character and what’s happening to her. Pose questions for the reader so they want answers and they'll only get them by reading the book. Then write the concluding paragraph that summarises the book for the reader. in Dead Again, I wrote:
A dark story of a woman returning from the dead a year later to solve her own murder brings a number of exciting twists. Can anyone be trusted in this tale of murder, betrayal and secrets? Is the woman who returned really Neve and what’s her link to a murdered woman twenty years ago?
I like to make a comparison to what the book is similar to, making it easy for the reader to decide if they’ll like your sort of book. I'll add this part to the end. How about adding a few good quotes from your review at the start of the description? People hearing opinions before they commit and if you've got some great reviews, quote them at the start in case they don't get as far as the reviews. Keep the reader enthusiastic to read the book.
Make bold headlines. Space your paragraphs. Engage your readers and never underestimate a good description if you want to sell lots of books and climb the charts of your chosen genre.
Kevin Grover is an indie author of supernatural thrillers. His books are on Amazon and his website, Indie Bookshelf, shares various tips and experiences about his indie career.