How to Write a Great Book Description

Draw in readers with an engaging description.

The basic question every reader asks themselves when looking to buy a new book is why should I bother? What makes this book special? What makes it different?

Some readers will look at a book's rating and reviews, but the very first thing they read is the description. If your description isn't strong, engaging, and if it doesn't stand out from the hundreds of other descriptions in it's genre, then readers won't pick it up. 

Why is a Good Description Important?

Besides your book cover, your book description is the first aspect of your book readers encounter. It's also one of the number one things that's going to be shared by reviewers and bloggers. Because of this, your description has the potential to get a ton of traction and engage the interest of a lot of readers. 

The key to writing a great description is starting with a good hook. 

A hook can be a character, a situation, a stake in the book; anything that can be organized into a short, snappy sentence. The key to a good hook is not to make it overly long or wordy. Readers looking for a new read want something that's going to grab them from the first line. Try to leave out unnecessary adjectives or background info that the reader will find out in the book itself. 

It's okay if the hook supplies more questions than answers, as long as it gives the reader a sense of what in this book is worth reading.

Think of the hook like a tagline or slogan. It tells the reader you understand what they love about the genre and that your book has it. 

Check Out the Competition

Before you begin writing the description for your book, go look at other books in the same genre. Read their descriptions, paying attention to their hooks, the tone of their descriptions, and what key words they use. 

Write down some of the hooks you found most interesting and then start writing some of your own, imitating the structure and voice of the ones you believe to be successful. 

The tone of a description will vary greatly depending on genre. If you're writing a comedy or a horror novel, then the description may take on an entirely different feel. By reading through other descriptions in the same genre it shouldn't take you long to find out what the norm is. 

The last thing to look for in descriptions are key words. These can be anything from common phrases or adjectives, to plot tropes (ex. "fake dating" or "enemies to lover") that you see crop up in multiple descriptions. If multiple authors are using the same words then it probably means readers are aware of these and will try searching for books using them. 

Incorporating Key Words

Key words are important because they are the brand of your book. Some words, like enemies to lovers, will use time and time again when people share or describe your book. They may apply to a lot of books but they will become a key part of your brand. To make that happen you need to make sure you incorporate the right key words.

Whatever key words you choose should repeatedly appear in your hook, tagline, and blurb. They should come to be synonymous with your book. It's good to pick at least three keywords you feel really strongly represent your book. Make sure to put on in the hook, one in the description, and one at the end of your description. The one at the end should be more general, something that signals to readers of that genre that they'll appreciate your book. 

For example, if you're writing a comedy maybe use the phrase, "laugh till you cry" near the end. Alternatively, if you already have some reviews, this is a great place to put a quote from a review, particularly one that contains one of these key words.

The use of relevant keywords will help put your book into search results, and ultimately help build your name into the search results too. Make sure to incorporate your name so that when people discover you on another platform and search for you your books will come up too.

Looks Matter

You want your description to stand out from the other descriptions on Amazon and make it look professional. Again, this will mean going through other descriptions and seeing how they are formatted. 

Pay particular attention to things like bold, spacing, and italics. A lot of authors will put their hooks in bold and any reviews or quotes from reviews in italics, but these things can differ from genre to genre so make sure you're looking at descriptions of books that are similar to your own. 

The book description is one of the most effective tools for marketing your book. It attracts readers and makes them interested in your book and you as an author. A description is the first taste of your writing a reader will experience so take the time to make sure it really shines. 

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