I have written book descriptions for over 85 different clients on Fiverr.com. Furthermore, while doing this, I maintained a 5 Star rating and a 73% repeat customer rate. I think that is pretty darn good! Therefore, in this post I will share some of the tricks I have learned about writing book descriptions with my readers.
Tips for writing good book descriptions
The purpose of a book description is to get the reader to buy the book. You want to “set the hook” and reel the reader in. And, I mean this in the nicest sort of way possible. Because, that is what you are really trying to do.
In addition, as a bonus, the same process you use to write your book description should also leave you with some good ad copy for Amazon ads or for use on Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest.
Finally, again, remember that a book description does not just describe what the story is about. It should “hook” your readers and make them want to buy your book. Consequently, this thought needs to be foremost in your mind.
Writing a good book description is a different skill set than writing the book itself. Therefore, many authors do pay someone else to write their book descriptions. However, if you would like to give it a try …
Step 1: Identify your book’s primary conflict
In this post, I am dealing primarily with fiction. Non-fiction is a little different. In contrast, for non-fiction, this “primary conflict” would be replaced with the “primary takeaway” you want your readers to get from reading the book. Hence, I will write about non-fiction book descriptions in another post.
For now, let’s focus on fiction. What is your story about? For example, in Serpents Underfoot:
The son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife grows up to become a Navy SEAL. On a mission, his SEAL team uncovers a terrorist plot against the United States involving nuclear weapons. Now a SEAL K9 handler, he and his dog, Ajax, race to stop the terrorists from succeeding in their evil scheme.
Develop 15 to 20 different versions of this conflict:
This will become your “hook” and is perhaps the most important part because it is what grabs the readers attention. I have included a few examples below to illustrate what what I mean.
- Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.
- If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense.
- When a Navy SEAL K9 handler uncovers a deadly terrorist plot to annihilate the US, he’ll need every bit of his fighting skill to protect what he holds dear.
- A top Navy SEAL. A deadly terrorist plot. Can one man overcome a network of fanatical terrorists to stop America’s annihilation?
- When the US becomes the target of an inhuman conspiracy, one dedicated Navy SEAL will need more than loyalty to prevent mass murder.
You get the idea? Each of these is a different restating of the primary conflict in the story. Similarly, this can also provide good copy for a Facebook ad.
Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense. Click the link to buy the book today!
Seems like it’s not too hard. As a result, it is easy to rush through this process. Therefore, be careful not to be fooled. It can take some time and lots of trial and error to come up with 15 to 20 good versions of your story’s main conflict. As a result, you should not rush through this! Give your ideas time to simmer.
Now ask your readers!
Finally, when you have your hook ideas ready, run these 15 to 20 ideas by your target readers, and put it to a vote. It is as simple as that. The #1 choices by your target readers is your hook! Then #2 thru #5 (or maybe a few more) can be ad copy.
Now, a bit more on book descriptions!
Remember, in writing the book description, you are acting as a publisher or marketer, not as the author.
- Therefore, try to make the rest of your book description about your main character’s emotional journey. Help your readers identify quickly with the main character.
- Also, use transitional phrases at the beginning of sentences to maintain good momentum. Transitional phrases include words like before, when, after, however, rather, while, or despite.
- Another key is to include a cliffhanger at the end of each paragraph.
- Above all, remember to place a call to action at the end!
Sample book description from Serpents Underfoot.
Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.
JD Cordell believes in freedom, honor, and hard work. The son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife, the Navy SEAL is proud to serve as SEAL Team 5’s K9 handler with his dog Ajax. But when his team uncovers a deadly terrorist plot in Afghanistan, he never expected a cover-up that could reach as high as the White House itself.
As JD gets drawn in deeper, he unmasks a mastermind hell bent on detonating nukes on U.S. soil. When an assassin working for the terrorist strikes close to home, JD’s fight to save America gets personal.
Can JD protect the American way of life, or will sadistic terrorists turn America into a nuclear wasteland?
Serpents Underfoot is the first novel in a nail-biting military thriller series. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense.
Buy Your copy of Serpents Underfoot today!
Can you identify the parts as described?
If you can, you are off to a good start. Following the guidelines provided in this post can help you turn out good book description if you choose to. I hope this helps with any book description projects you have in your future. Of course, if you want help, I can be reached through Fiverr.com
Also. for more interesting post and book reviews, click here!
2 thoughts on “Book Descriptions: Can you write your own?”
Great post, I thought this line was a bit melodramatic Buy Serpents Underfoot to fight for America today! It sounds like a terrific yarn but how does buying this book fight for America?
Lol! You are fighting for America vicariously through the actions of the heroes in the story.