Writing a book description is similar to going to the dentist. You know you need to do it but, for me, it isn’t relaxing or enjoyable. Try crafting book descriptions that keep attention and the dentist will seem like a vacation!
Lets set the scene: You’ve spent at least a month writing the book. First you got the idea, then you outlined the idea, and finally, you wrote the book. It took concentration, dedication, and many hours, but you have it finished.
Next comes the editing part. You read the book out loud searching for areas that make you stumble, pause, or bore you. After you write down why you wanted to write the book and then add in what you actually wrote, you begin to see discrepancies. Those are the major things you want to fix.
If it is a fiction book, you want to break up the story into scenes, making sure each scene has conflict and action. It should also contain a piece of the plot or subplot depending on what kind of fiction.
A non-fiction book should be divided up into sections and further subdivided. Make sure each part makes sense, is supported by facts, and is what you want to say.
Crafting book descriptions that keep attention is hard work!
Once you have finished the second draft, you need a second opinion. This is for an editor to review. There are two parts to editing. One is making sure the book parts and whole portray a message or tell a story. Does it work? Here you will have sections referred to where the characters or ideas need more development. Sometimes a portion of the book will need to be removed because it doesn’t fit the rest of the book.
After the second opinion, you may need to rework your book with your editor’s suggestions. You are the author and you make the final decisions. But it is important to consider the suggestions from the reader’s point of view.
Once the book is reworked, and depending on your relationship with the editor, you are ready for copywriting. This part looks at the grammar, the punctuation, and spelling errors. I’m terrible at this part and my two biggest fans are just like me. We might see glaring mistakes or random ones, but if we get into the material or story, we’ll just read right through errors. It’s important to find someone you can trust who will work to find out your meaning rather than change to their own.
Finally, your book is ready to publish and you need to fill in all the forms and make the copy for the book description!
For Non-Fiction Books
Write down the answers to these questions:
- What benefits will the reader gain by reading this book?
- List at least five benefits
- What authority do you have to write this material?
- Explain your life experience or training?
- What is a brief synopsis of this book?
- Write the 30 second, less than 100 words statement about this book
- Rewrite your description of the book until you have
- Who needs to read
- What will they gain
- When do they need it
- Why they should give your book a try
- How will it change their life
For Fiction Books
Write down the answers to these questions:
- Who is the main character and what is their problem?
- Part of the pull of a book is an interesting character they want to get to know
- Tell the reader why they want to spend time with this book
- What is the genre of the book
- Readers know what they want from a book, they look for mystery, romance, action, danger, contemporary, historical, fantasy, or science fiction. When you identify the genre of the book, it gives the reader a reason to look more closely.
- What is the plot of the book
- If your book is romance, then talk about the new man in your heroine’s life and potential problems they will face. Mystery books need to have someone investigating and hints at the complications they will find.
- Why does the reader want to get to know your character?
- For lovers of humor, we look for zany character descriptions and situations to draw us in. Romantics want to hear about the heroine and oh, so dashing hero. Mystery lovers look for questions and implausible clues.
- Write each section several times until you have at least three to five different versions of each.
- Then combine the best ones into three paragraphs.
- Use bullet points and bold text to emphasize the important pieces.
- Reduce each section down to one word or a small phrase to make your tagline.
- This is the section all readers see and read first.
- Then add the three sections under it.
- Rewrite it and read it aloud several times.
- Once you have something you love, reach out to others to see what they think.
Questions? Want comments on your book descriptions? I found a free Facebook group just for book descriptions!