How much time do you spend crafting and testing your book’s description? If you are like most publishers (especially indie publishers) it’s probably an afterthought and something composed on-the-fly when requested. But isn’t reading your book description a stop in the second stage of the buyer consideration process?
It takes just a few seconds for a shopper to scan the Stage 1 consideration factors:
- Title/subtitle: Intriguing? Relevant?
- Author: Who is this person?
- Cover: Does it look professional?
- Reviews: Number and average?
- Price: Within my budget?
- And perhaps preferred format: Audio, eBook, Print?
But Stage 2 comes right on the heels of this 3 second pause as the shopper wonders: shall I bother reading the book description?
My point is that a well-crafted, inviting book description can make all the difference in encouraging someone to buy your book.
So with that in mind I propose 5 Golden Rules for crafting compelling and engaging book descriptions. Here they are in order of importance.
1. Your description is written to sell. For most writers, writing their own book description requires a completely different mindset. The bottom line test is to ask yourself if you would read your book after reading your description. This is basic copywriting so do some homework or ask someone for help.
2. The text is edited. Put it through the same quality control process you gave your book. Look at sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, etc.
3. The book description looks inviting. Online reading is more tedious than offline reading. Many people are turned off when they see long, unbroken paragraphs of unformatted text. Judicious use of headlines or headings, bullets, numbered lists, bold and italic text, and quotes allow readers to pace themselves through your description. Each element gives the eye a break and pulls the reader forward to the next element. (Some stores permit the use of HTML to accomplish this.)
4. Your writing forms a connection. Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction you need to speak to your prospective reader in a way that touches him or her. Connect them with the story or a character. Use power words like you (considered to be #1, here are 58 more). Create a desire for them to download the sample, or view the inside pages.
5. It has been tested, and re-tested. This can be as formal or informal as you like but asking those not familiar with your book will yield the best results because these people are your target market.
Creating sales copy is as much an art as writing your book. The challenge is to give it the same attention that you (or the author) gave the book in the first place.
Final thought: the book description can be optimized for the Amazon search engine. Using HTML heading tags and incorporating keywords are as relevant here as they are on your website. Join my mailing list and get more tips and information about SEO for Books techniques to help your platform, and your book.
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