Book descriptions can be an effective marketing tool, but they can also be tricky. Here are three keys to writing a good one:
- Show, don’t tell: Much like an online-dating profile, if you toot your book’s horn too much, it’s a turnoff. If your book is funny, don’t write, “This is a laugh-out-loud story!” Instead, write something funny to describe it. Another downside to the overselling approach is that if the reader doesn’t laugh out loud when reading your book, he/she is going to feel cheated. (This unfortunately has happened to me as a reader several times, which is why I decided to write this post.
- Don’t go into too much detail: When I’m perusing potential books to read, I want to know what the story is about, period. I don’t need to know all the details, or all the minor characters’ names, or exactly how the book ends. None of that matters to me before I begin reading it. Plus, when my eyes start glazing over because there are simply too many words in one massive, overly descriptive paragraph, I question how good the writing in the actual book is, and I usually move on without making a purchase.
- Watch your grammar and spelling: As in the above example, if the book description is well written, I assume the book is well written. The reverse is also true, so make sure you don’t have any grammar or spelling errors in your description.
There are literally millions of books out there competing for attention, so the description is a great way to entice potential readers to choose YOURS. It may be just a paragraph or two, but it’s worth taking the time to make it shine.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2015 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.