In the midst of going from writing your book, hiring an editor, and formatting it, sometimes other details can get less attention than they need.
One of the tasks in the self publishing process that often gets overlooked is the book description. You know, the paragraphs under your book’s price on Amazon that is read before a reader decides to buy or pass on your book.
But the difference between your book selling through the roof and flopping can come down to your book description.
That’s why it’s imperative that you understand how to write a book description that convinces readers to buy your book.
Besides your book title and cover, your book description is the third most powerful aspect.
So you’re about to learn the method behind writing a persuading book description with the steps below.
1. It’s all copywriting
Copywriting, text that’s designed to persuade for marketing purposes, is a uniquely different skill than writing a book. Since your goal is to persuade your audience to buy the book, you want strong copywriting in your book description.
Some authors make the mistake of trying to summarize their entire book. And what results is a boring mess that doesn’t entice a single reader. Repeat: don’t make your book description a summary of your book.
Instead, you want to describe the key information without telling too much. State the purpose behind your book or the problem it solves, and why they should get your book to learn more about how to solve it. Now the reader has a clear reason to purchase your book.
Just as you wrote the chapters with your audience in mind, write the description with them in mind.
They’ll know what your book is all about once they buy it and read it. But if you don’t have effective copywriting, few will take the chance on your book.
2. Hook them from the beginning
Good copywriting or advertising always makes the reader care from start to finish. The start is where you grab their attention, and you want to do exactly that here.
How do you do this? I don’t like to beat around the bush. So I hit the reader with the problem my book solves in the first line.
For example, check out the beginning of my book description for my first book The Golden Resume:
If they are struggling to in the job search, you can bet I have their attention and they will continue reading. When a reader can tell that you know where they’re coming from, they’ll trust you have the answers to help them.
3. Explain why they should read it
Now you have their attention with the introduction, it’s time to deliver. Be crystal clear in communicating how this book is worth it for them.
Create an emotional connection, explain how their life will be different, or tell them how they will feel after implementing the ideas in your book.
Honestly, readers only care about themselves. So use this to your advantage to tell them the major benefits they will gain from your writing.
Tell them they’ll be happier, healthier, stronger, richer, or smarter after reading it—of course, in a more convincing way than I just did.
Narrowing down the specific benefits will also help you explain your book in interviews, guest posts, or word of mouth. Again, don’t rush through this process or your book sales will suffer.
4. Make it easy to read
You want readers to stay engaged with your content, whether that’s a blog post or a book description. But it’s hard for them to do that when they’re presented with a huge block of text with seven sentences in it.
The intimidating chunk of text looks difficult to read and overwhelming.
Instead, write short paragraphs with a few sentences in each to encourage their undivided attention.
And what’s better is to include bullet points in your Amazon description. Bullet points put your book’s key features into juicy, bite-size pieces for the reader.
In the screenshot above from my Amazon page, I’m showcasing the key components of The Golden Resume, without telling them the exact steps or method behind these ideas.
My goal is for them to want this powerful knowledge. And based on book sales, this description seems to be working well.
5. Use keywords to increase search results
Similar to Google’s search engine optimization for your blog posts, Amazon has its own search engine algorithm that determines what books show up through search.
Be smart by using long-tail keywords with regular traffic so readers find your book when they type a phrase into the search bar. To get an idea of high popular a search term is, use Keyword Planner from Google. I know Google and Amazon are different, but this tool gives you a good enough idea to work from.
Just don’t make your description sound awkward because you’re trying to force a keyword. The goal is to add keywords that also make your description more compelling.
6. Include positive reviews (optional)
Tip #6 is optional, but some bestselling authors like to put reviews that praise their book at the bottom of their description. The idea being that it’s one final argument to convince the reader to buy it.
I personally haven’t done this for my books because I believe most readers are familiar enough with Amazon to scroll down and read the reviews if that’s important to them.
But it could help sell your book when praise comes from someone different than yourself. And if you’re a new author, you could do this to gain credibility when your name isn’t well-known.
7. Imitate book descriptions you love
The best way to learn this, and everything else, is to study successful author’s and pick up how they do it. Although you’ll find that most of them follow the steps above, that’s not to say you can’t learn something new.
Once you find a few really good ones, try to mimic them with your book’s details. Imitating will put you in the right mindset to create a convincing advertisement.
Of course, don’t copy a description word for word when you publish. Just get a few ideas to use in your own way.
It might take you a few tries to get that winning book description. But the effort is worth it. Because your book description is a major selling point for readers.
Is it hard or easy for you to describe your book? What step in this process do you need to work on? Please comment below with your thoughts or questions.