How To Write Captivating Book Descriptions


You’ve written your book. The cover design is coming along nicely and your edits are back. But you still need to convince readers to buy it.


More than just a summary, a captivating book description should do just that


It’s how readers decide if your book is the one for them. Your reader should be left in no doubt that your book is a must read from its blurb. Here are some top tips to help you craft a book description that sells.


Read your book

Why would you need to read your own book? Once edited, your story is complete and ready to be published. Reading it again before writing your description allows you to step back, focus on structure, narrative and tone. How readable is your book and how can you convey this to your potential reader? Never underestimate the value of your book description, give it proper thought, time and attention.


Know your audience

Getting the book description right means tapping into the needs, wants and desires of your audience. At this stage, you should already know your genre and who you think will read your book. Do some research. Look at bestsellers in your genre. Read the descriptions. Take away any inspiration and guidance you can from them. If it helped others sell books, it could help you.


Tell a story

Your description should follow a simple formula which gives the reader just enough information but leaves them wanting more. Start with a situation, followed by a problem, then introduce a twist. End with a sentence which underlines the mood of your story. 


Short and sweet

Book descriptions for back pages and online listings are usually only 100-150 words long. It can be tempting to cram your entire story into a blurb. Keeping it simple, using words targeted to your audience and short, sharp sentences will grab attention rather than lose it.


Use your voice

This is your book. The description should act as an advertisement for it. Try not to think of this as a summary but as a chance to tease your audience. Make sure they can hear your voice. This way they’ll know what to expect once they begin reading.


Re-write, re-write, re-write

It’s just as important to draft and edit your description as it is your manuscript. Don’t leave anything to chance. Make multiple versions and show them to friends, family or peers. A fresh set of eyes will help you consolidate your description into something that sells.


Add a quote

Asking famous authors and critics to read your book could provide useful selling points. A quote from a prominent voice on your book jacket will give it an extra boost and significance.


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