As creator of Publisher Rocket and someone who understands AMS ads, I receive a lot of questions.
And one of the more common ones is this:
I’m getting so many clicks, but no sales…What’s wrong? Why aren’t my sales converting?
When this happens, the most likely culprit is your blurb–or book description. And here’s the good news: There are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your blurb way more effective.
Let’s take a look at some.
1. Double check your grammar and spelling
None of the other tips will work if you skip this one.
It should go without saying, but your grammar in your book description is a huge factor to getting those precious conversions.
If your blurb isn’t written correctly, readers will assume your book is also poorly written.
You’d be surprised at how many authors don’t edit and proofread their book descriptions. Typos and misspellings are a huge credibility buster when you’re trying to market a book.
2. Get Your Audience Hooked
The first line of your book description is the most important part of the whole blurb. If you can’t get your potential customer hooked fast, it’s likely they’ll move on to the next competitor.
But writing a good hook doesn’t have to be too difficult. Use bold statements or even controversial ones pertaining to your book.
Let’s say you wrote a book about the terrifying pirate Ned Lowe. Which of these two opening statements would make a better hook?
Captain Ned Lowe was a terrible pirate from the years 1721-1724.
Terrorizing his way through piracy’s Golden Age, Ned Lowe’s policy of wanton slaughter led him to become one of the most feared pirates of his day.
3. Understand that your blurb isn’t a summary. It’s ad copy.
The main reason your book description exists is not to give readers a summary of the book.
It’s to help you sell more books.
For example, if you saw a description for a mystery book that told you how the book would end, would you buy it? Probably not. And on the other hand, if you saw a lazy blurb that just said, “my book is great if you like mysteries and thrillers,” would you get a copy? Still no.
You need to treat your blurb as a carefully worded advertisement. Movie trailers are a great example because they combine plot points and a little bit of marketing copy to tell a compelling story. They don’t give away the entire tale. They tell you just enough to hook you while keeping the mystery alive.
Look for opportunities to weave in keywords you know your reader will be interested in. Publisher Rocket can help you find those.
And remember to KISS. Keep It Short and Sweet.
4. Write your book description from a book reviewer’s standpoint.
Your blurb is not another avenue for you to show off your writing skills. You have an entire book to do that.
Instead, write your blurb from a third-person perspective. Try your best to avoid using your author voice as well. Imagine you’re the owner of a local bookstore, trying to sell a loyal customer on one of your new favorite books. What would you tell them? Chances are, many of the words you think of belong in your book description.
If you find difficulty getting into that headspace, it’s okay to have someone else write your blurb. Find a trusted writer friend to help you. You may be too emotionally involved with your book. This can lead to sloppy book descriptions. Hiring a professional copywriter (or editor) may be just what you need.
5. Avoid comparing yourself to others.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when writing your blurb is comparing your work to someone else’s.
If you’re writing a children’s tale on witches and wizardry, making a direct, uninvited comparison to Harry Potter is bad form. It conveys to your potential readers that you’re not confident in your own work. Or that you’re like those “Mockbuster” movies that use titles similar to big hits as a way to get attention.
More than that, pointing out comparisons is usually unnecessary. If you’re readers are fans of Harry Potter, and you tell them about your children’s tale on witches and wizardry, they’ll make the connection on their own. If they don’t, the connection probably isn’t strong enough anyway.
There is an exception though. If an accredited source makes a good comparison of your work to another’s, that can add some credibility. Just be sure to write it properly.
For example: According to USA Today Books, “this page turner has the astronomical acumen of Ender’s Game while blazing its own unique path in the genre of YA sci fi.”
Give Your Book Description the Love it Deserves
Just because you’ve spent weeks or months writing your book doesn’t mean you need to cut corners on your blurb. Neglecting your book description can actually lead all the hard work you’ve done for your book to go to waste.
So put a little extra time into your blurb. Rewrite it a few times and send it to a trusted friend or focus group. See which one they like best, or ask where you can improve.
And if you’ve already published, no sweat. You can totally update your description to make it more effective. I do it regularly.
Remember that the purpose of your blurb is to help you sell more books. But if not done properly, it will drive away potential readers. Be sure to give your description the time and attention it deserves.