Book descriptions give readers a sense of what to expect from your story, whether it’s a thriller, romance novel, or something else entirely! In this post, we’ll look at what makes up a good book description—and how you can write one that sells your story.
1. Select a Striking Headline
The headline is what first catches the eye of potential readers. Think of it as an elevator pitch — the sort of thing you’d use if you were trying to sell your book at a cocktail party.
The headline should be something that captures the essence of your book in a single sentence or phrase. It should also be short, sweet, and compelling enough for readers to continue reading.
It’s important to remember that the headline should be exclusive. Readers are looking for something new and different, so make sure you’re offering them something unlike anything else.
Read more about writing a captivating headline.
2. Lure Readers in With a Hook
Once you have the readers’ attention, the next step is to reel them closer with a hook or the first two lines of book descriptions.
The best hooks usually include an intriguing quote from the protagonist or other characters from the book, a question, a surprising statement, or a promise of something interesting.
Hooks work by giving a tantalizing glimpse into what happens next — without giving away too much of the plot or ending of your story. These teasers also create anticipation in the reader: If you’re intrigued by what you’ve read so far, chances are good that you’ll keep reading until you get all the answers.
The more tempting you make your hook sound, the more likely people will click on it and read more of the description! If you can use a catchy word or phrase that gives readers an idea of what they’ll find inside your book, do so — but only if it fits with what’s in there!
3. Write a Short Paragraph
It’s tempting to try to fit all details into a single paragraph but resist the urge. You want people to read your description, not skip it because they’re overwhelmed by information overload.
Shorter descriptions for eBooks are more likely to attract attention from search engines like Google and Bing because they’re easier for those engines to scan and understand. Technically, the Amazon book description guidelines highlight that book descriptions should be approximately 150 words.
Focus on one main story aspect that will grab people’s attention. This means keeping it short and sweet while providing enough information for potential buyers. Think about why people would want to read your book. What does it offer them? Why will it make their lives better or easier? What can they gain from it?
Remember, a book description is not a summary. You should consider it as a way to advertise your novel.
4. Add Another Hook
You’ve already captured your reader’s interest with your promise of value, but now it’s time to catch them in by offering even more information that will make them want to buy your book now!
You may consider adding another hook at the end of your description so that readers who scroll down can be tempted again by something interesting at the bottom of the page.
This can be as simple as adding a line that says “and here’s why this book will help you,” or it could be something more substantial, like including a book excerpt.
Remember, this second hook aims to give readers another reason why they should read your book now instead of later.
Most fiction book descriptions have cliffhangers or an open loop at the end to intrigue potential readers and make them wonder what happens next.
On the other hand, non-fiction book descriptions have a CTA (call to action). This is an effective way to encourage people to buy your book by presenting them with an offer related to its topic or title in exchange for more information — either by visiting your website or signing up for your newsletter.
Book Description Tips per Genre
It only takes a few seconds for readers to decide whether or not to read your book. If you want to increase your chances of making a book sale, here are components of compelling descriptions for each book genre and some writing tips.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to sell your novel.
The self-help genre is one of the most popular and profitable non-fiction books. The market is flooded with books on every topic imaginable, from weight loss to spirituality. But how do you write a book description that stands out in a sea of similar titles?
When writing a book description for a self-help book, it’s important to focus on the benefits of the book and why your reader should buy it. Focus on how your book can solve your reader’s problems or answer their questions.
If you’ve written a non-fiction book on losing weight fast, you might want to focus on how your readers can lose weight fast with your method.
Fantasy novels often take place in different worlds or dimensions, so it’s important to include the setting in your book description so that readers know what kind of world they’ll be entering when they open up your book.
Books in fantasy categories often have multiple characters who play essential roles in the story. In your book blurb, give a glimpse of these characters so that readers know what to expect when they read your novel!
Sometimes fantasy books take place over several years or even centuries, so be sure to talk about this aspect of your novel to give readers an idea of how long it will take for their favorite character(s) to develop over time!
The thriller genre’s primary goal is to capture and hold your reader’s attention. That’s why it’s crucial to write a book description that will intrigue readers enough to want to buy your book.
The best way to write a description for thriller novels is to be descriptive. What makes your story terrifying? Are there ghosts? Werewolves? Vampires? If so, mention them in your description! Give readers an idea of what they can expect from your story.
You should also use action verbs such as “chase” or “hunt” to describe how your characters feel and act throughout the novel. This will help draw readers into the story and make them feel part of it themselves!
Write about what your main character wants most in life (romance, wealth, fame) and how they get it—whether through good deeds or bad ones! It’s important to show readers what motivates their actions throughout the book so they can relate to them deeper.
When you think of romance novels, you probably think of hot, steamy love scenes and happily-ever-after endings. However, a book description for a romance novel should be more than just the bare bones of the plot.
This means your descriptions must be tailored to the romance you’re writing —contemporary, historical, paranormal, or some combination thereof. It’s also important to remember who your audience will be: Are they looking for something steamy? Or do they prefer sweet love stories with happy endings?
Focus on your characters’ emotions rather than their actions. Describe how they feel in this moment or what led up to it so that readers can relate to them emotionally before they even start reading your novel! You can also describe the setting in detail.
You should provide enough information that readers can picture clearly in their minds will help keep them engaged with what’s happening next on page two!
People love to read about how to make their favorite foods and learn new recipes. If you are writing a cookbook, you want to ensure that your description is just as enticing as the recipes.
Give readers a taste of what they’re going to learn. Instead of just listing all the recipes or telling them what’s in the book, give them a short list of what they’ll learn and why it’s essential. This is especially important if you’re writing about a specific niche like baking, cooking with herbs or spices, etc.
You should also mention why your book differs from others in its genre. For example, if you have a cookbook for diabetics, you should say that the recipes are low in fat and sugar.
Amazon Book Description Tips
There are a lot of books on the market, and few people have time to read them all. That means that authors compete for attention and a good book description is one way to get it. Here are some Amazon book descriptions tips on how to write a book description that sells.
Read through the description and ensure there aren’t any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. This can turn people off from reading further if they see a mistake in an otherwise well-written description.
Keep It Brief and Clear
People don’t have time to read long descriptions, so make sure you get right to the point and don’t include unnecessary information that will only distract them from what they’re looking for – your book!
Focus on Benefits Rather Than Features
Don’t just list what your book is about — explain why it’s worth reading. A benefit-oriented approach is more likely to grab a reader’s attention than a feature-based approach.
Instead of saying, “this book contains 100 recipes,” say something like “100 delicious recipes you can make at home.” It’s much more exciting and engaging for your reader, which means they’ll be more likely to click through!
Include Keywords That Describe Your Book
Keywords are important because they help search engines like Google and Amazon find your products in their databases. They’re an essential part of your book’s visibility on the site. Ensure you include them in your description — but don’t overdo it with keywords stuffed into every sentence!
Book Description FAQ
How Long Should a Book Description Be
There’s no hard-and-fast rule here, but if you want to get the most out of your description, it’s best to keep it short and sweet. Amazon recommends up to 150 words for your book description.
Remember, your description should contain enough information to convince the reader to buy your book.
What Is the Importance of a Good Book Description?
Book descriptions are so important because they represent the first opportunity you have to sell your book—and sell it well. If you want people to buy your book, they need to know what it is and why they should care about it enough to read it.
If you’re trying to get noticed by readers who don’t already know or like your work, or if you’re writing something new that doesn’t have a strong fanbase, a good description is critical.
Should You Write Your Own Book Descriptions
If you know the story inside and out, the characters and their motivations, the plot twists and turns, and how it all came together, then yes, you should write your own book description. It’s impossible for someone else to truly understand what you’ve created unless they’ve lived through it with you.
However, if you’re unsure about writing a book description or don’t have time, consider using a book description generator instead. Some
Good book descriptions are more than just a sales pitch. It also gives readers a clear and vivid mental image of the story. Think of it as your book’s first impression, and treat it as such.
You want to get into the reader’s head, understand what they want, and give them what they need to feel compelled to buy.
By following the tips listed above, you’ll be on the right track to leaving your readers itching to buy your book and start reading as soon as possible! And once you have a good description, the next step is to get your book published.