Are your books selling?
If not, it could be that your book marketing “package” needs some fixing.
First of all you need a great cover. The cover has to be readable in the smallest size shown on Amazon. Most of you will be able to read the following book titles in spite of the fact that the thumbnail size is really small. Can you read the subtitles? Probably not, so the main title and the cover design has to grab your attention and compel you to click and find out more
Once a potential buyer clicks on the cover image, they will either read the book “description,” or check out the reviews. Most people read all or part of the description first.
In spite of the fact that everyone says you MUST have a great description, many authors DON’T.
I’ve seen one-sentence descriptions. I’ve seen descriptions so riddled with typos and grammatical errors it makes me want to scream. I’ve read descriptions so convoluted, I gave up half way through.
Your description has to be easy to read, it has to flow and it needs to highlight your characters for fiction, or the problem you will solve, for non-fiction.
Writing Your Book Description May Be Harder
Than Writing The Entire Book!
One of the biggest problems with writing your description is the word “description.”
The word “description” implies many things.
What it doesn’t imply is SALES PITCH.
And that is what your description MUST be.
A potential customer has arrived at your book page. This is your only chance to SELL your book.
I know many of you are cringing over the words SALES PITCH. If you equate SELL with an obnoxious used car sales man, you need to get over it.
Think about this. Would you walk into a book store, pick up the first book you see and buy it? Of course not!
You walk in … you may browse, or you may go straight to the section that interests you. Let’s say, “home decorating.” You start looking at titles and pick one that interests you. You pick up the book and most likely look at the front cover, then the BACK cover … and read the “description.”
IF the description interests you, you will probably “look inside.”
You might go through this process a dozen times. You’ll automatically discard some. You’ll maybe choose and buy one or more.
NOW tell me … was that an OBNOXIOUS used car salesman like experience?
NO it wasn’t. The sales copy gave you valuable information that enabled you to decide what to buy.
The purpose of your SALES COPY is to give your reader a reason to download your book. It needs to give your potential buyer the essence of the book.
Home Decorating >> Painting >> How to choose colors >> SOLD!
Depending on a reader’s buying strategy, your description (aka sales page) may be all that is needed in order to make a purchase. Other buyers may “look inside” your book and many buyers will also look at the reviews.
It is the book description that keeps them on your sales page!
It is the book description that keeps them looking!
They need enough information to KNOW that they are interested. They need a hook that will lead them to the BUY button.
You have 4000 characters in your description panel. That’s over 500 words. If you need more room, you can also utilize the space provided by Author Central.
Here are a few things that need to be included in your description:
Genre: give your book context:
- dystopian science fiction with a touch of romance
- female detective mystery
- shape-shifter romance
- historical thriller
- sci-fi saga
- how to
- lose weight
In the following example from top selling author, Nora Roberts (under her pen name J.D. Robb) I’ve bolded the key elements that tell what kind of book this is: mystery, homicide cop and science fiction.
“Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer. “
Descriptions for Fiction books need to:
- Include one or two of the main characters.
- Include a plot line (solve the mystery of his death)
- Include a teaser — leave the reader hanging and wanting more.
Descriptions for Non-Fiction books need to include:
- What problem will the book solve?
- What will the reader learn?
- Answer the age old question, “What’s In It For ME?”
Finally you must have a …
Call to Action: If you are a best selling author, you can leave a call to action off your sales page. BUT, the reason publishers use a call to action is because it works! Your call to action goes right at the BOTTOM of your sales page. Presume a sale.
Here are a few live samples to look at, tear apart and model >>>
This is an example for a non-fiction book. Some of the BEST sales copy is really long and detailed, so you’ll probably be surprised at how short this sales spiel is. Does it work? Like Book Selling Dynamite! This book has been on #1 Best Seller LISTS since it was released in 2016 — That’s SEVEN years of steady #1 sales.
In addition to being a great (and simple) example, I’m going to suggest that you BUY it and get that piece of paper out. For those of you who will struggle with getting reviews … create a sheet where your new customers are the people you will approach to write a review.
Here’s a great example of a fiction book.
It has a great description, THEN a positioning sales spiel, THEN some social proof (which is added on after social proof is available) THEN sales spiel for the author’s other books and FINALLY a bit of social proof on the author (which you have to earn … or may already have in other fields).
By the way … if you love thrillers, I highly recommend this author. Read the descriptions on all his books and learn from a master!
The bottom line take away here is … the purpose of a book description is to SELL the book to your potential readers. To seduce them, entice them, convince them to keep on looking or better yet, to click on BUY.
Just so that you know …. Grammar Errors within your book description can be the kiss of death!
Here’s the full MUST DO Before Hitting the Self Publish Button list.