How to Write a Book Description That Attracts Readers

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How to Write a Book Description That Attracts Readers

Unless you are a huge fan of the book’s author, you’re first drawn to a catchy title and cover appeal–a provocative illustration or that unique cover design.

how to write a book description

The book description includes just enough about what is going to happen in the book, to make the reader yearn for answers to all the questions flitting through his or her mind…if the author has succeeded in writing a captivating description.

For self-published authors, it’s even more important to craft the ultimate book description, so that when people land on your book’s site page, they will be drawn to purchase or download your book.

Here’s how to write a book description that attracts readers:

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Helpful Tips for How to Write Your Book Description

Swimming brings back a nightmare that Rebecca Fishburn would much rather forget.

So when the gym teacher announces plans to take the class swimming for the next two weeks, Reb can think of nothing else…and she is terrified!

She must do whatever it takes to stay out of the water.

Reb is convinced that she must lie…or she just might drown!

Reb Fishburn: In Too Deep

I played around with the description for several weeks, before settling on the blurb (see above) for my back cover. I wanted to write “Reb is convinced that she must lie or she just might die.” I wanted to help the reader experience the enormity of Reb’s fear.

I took their advice and changed that single word. After all, the potential buyers of my book include teachers and parents. If they found the sentence offensive, so might many others.

You might not expect to discover gold on a country farm, but Grandpa knows just where to find this hidden treasure.

Dig into Grandpa’s Hidden Gold Farm for a sweet and yummy treat!

Grandpa’s Hidden Gold Farm

The cover illustrations and the title offer clues about the kind of hidden treasure tucked inside the book, but the description never mentions bees or honey!

It is the first day of school for a new student and she is faced with a bully. This book helps readers understand that sometimes the most bothersome people may just be needing a friend.

Sophia and the Bully

writing a book description

The person writing this description chose to offer the reader a brief main idea paragraph, without revealing any of the events from the story. The book, written for beginning readers, contains only 12 pages. In that case, describing any single event would be to give away the whole story!

Here are some tips for writing a book description for other genres:

  1. A cookbook may entice readers with delicious words and samplings from the specific type of recipes written between the covers.
  2. A thriller might show the comparison between this book and a similar tale by a better-known author–with just enough details to send chills up the reader’s spine..
  3. A romance will certainly play on the reader’s love strings, divulging the names of the main characters and suggesting a problem that could keep the two from coming together!
  4. A nonfiction book will provide an overview of what new and exciting concepts or facts the reader is going to learn. If any special chapters, illustrations or photos are included in the book, these should be mentioned in the book description.
  5. A self-help book will describe the book’s layout and explain why the author is qualified to write a new book on this particular topic. A few details or a real-life example from the chapters within will show the reader that he or she may have finally found the answer to his or her problem.
  6. A historical fiction book will place the fictional main character within an accurately-depicted time and place, when an event of great magnitude (from actual history) is about to happen–and a captivating book description will include all of these details.

write a book description

There, you’ll have thousands of books at your fingertips. You will quickly realize how one author works his or her magic, causing you want to read more, and why another author’s book cover fails to peak your interest.

Become familiar with how other writers within your genre handle the back cover book description. See for yourself how the title, cover illustrations and book description work together, to make the reader want to know what lies within the pages.