The book description is a crucial part of your book’s marketing strategy.
It’s the first thing people see when they look through your book online on websites like Amazon or Goodreads, and it’s what they’ll read if they click on your product page.
Five Pro-tips for writing an effective book description
Your book description aims to get readers to buy your book—but how do you do that? What makes a good description? And what are some common mistakes that authors make when writing them? Below are five tips on how to write a book description. Learn how to do it as the expert writers do it.
Summarize the plot.
To write a book description, you must start by summarizing the plot. This is essential because customers will read it and decide whether or not they want to read more.
If the summary isn’t compelling enough, they’ll click away before seeing the description.
A good way to start an excellent summary is by coming up with three sentences that describe: who your main character is, what happens in the most crucial chapter, or at least one specific event from each chapter, and how it ends.
Introduce your main character.
One of the most common mistakes authors make in their book descriptions is failing to describe their characters well enough for readers to understand who they are and how they relate to other characters before getting into plot details.
If your main character isn’t clearly defined in this description section, many potential readers will never get hooked on reading more.
Therefore, it’s essential to introduce your main character early in the description because readers want to get a sense of who they’ll be following in the book.
The description of your main character should be clear and concise but also detailed enough to give the reader a clear sense of who this person is and what they want.
You can briefly describe the character’s appearance, personality, and backstory—whatever seems most relevant to their role as protagonists in the novel.
You can ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is the character?
- What’s their story?
- What makes them tick?
- What are their motivations?
- What are their goals?
Once you have the answers to the questions listed above, you can create a description or introduction for your main character.
Set the mood for your book.
Have you ever been in the middle of reading a book and then suddenly felt like the book transported you to another time and place?
You may have even felt like you could smell the air or feel the texture of the character’s skin—that’s because great authors know how to set the mood for their books.
Book descriptions are no different. It’s essential to set the mood for your story when writing one.
So think about what kind of feeling you want readers to have when they finish reading it. Is there a specific tone that you want them to remember?
Do you want them to imagine themselves as part of the story? Or do you want them to feel like they’re standing in a summer field listening to the birds chirp as they read?
Again, the more specific and clear your description is, the better chance it will engage readers.
Setting the mood will allow you to paint a picture for readers with just one or two sentences, so be sure to spend some time thinking about how you want the reader to feel when they read your book description.
Here’s another example, if you’re writing a horror novel, you want to ensure that people feel like they’re in for a good scare. If you’re writing an inspirational self-help book, you want to ensure that people think they are about to get some helpful information.
Include a few choice details about the structure of your book.
It would help if you gave them an idea of what they’re getting into and what they can expect.
The best way to do this is to use short sentences or phrases that give an overall summary of the story and then provide a few examples of anecdotes throughout the book.
For example, if you’re writing a novel, let them know if it’s going to be a trilogy or just one book. If it’s non-fiction, let them know how many chapters it has and how long each chapter will be.
If you’re writing in a genre that people are familiar with, this shouldn’t be too hard—they’ve probably heard of similar books before, so they’ll have an idea of what to expect. But if you’re writing something unique or outside the box, this will be harder for them to predict.
So ensure that you include enough information to make them comfortable buying the book without reading it first.
Flaunt your most impressive advanced reviews.
A good review can make or break a book. But if you’re starting, it might be hard to get those first few reviews.
And even if you have a few, they might not be that impressive—maybe they came from people who aren’t in the industry, or perhaps they’re just friends and family.
Here’s a tip: don’t shy away from including these reviews in your book description.
Not only will it make the reader feel like they’re getting an inside scoop on how great your book is and thus make them more likely to buy it, but it will also give them an idea of what to expect from your writing style and tone.
This will help them understand what kind of stories you write and whether or not their interests align with yours—and when that happens, everyone wins!
Readers are busy people constantly juggling their own lives with their reading time or lack thereof.
They don’t want to spend 5 minutes reading an entire novel synopsis when they’re trying to decide to buy a book.
Keep your description concise and focused on the most critical aspects of your story so that people can quickly decide whether or not it’s worth their time and money.