Book Descriptions

Writing Powerful Book Descriptions

Amazon says, “Your book descriptions are what customers see as they shop the Kindle store. Think of it like the inside flap of a hardcover book. The book descriptions are a reader’s first experience with the content of your book. A well-written description assures readers that the book itself is of similar quality.”

You’re allowed 2400 characters, about 480 words in your book descriptions, use them wisely. The approved HTML tags are: <b>, <br>, <em>, <font>, <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6>, <hr>, <i>, <li>, <ol>, <p>, <pre>, <s>, <strike>, <strong>, <sub>, <sup>, <u> and <ul>.

When writing your book descriptions, start with the strap-line or the hook for the story. Imagine you’re talking to someone who asks you, “So, what’s your book about?” Give them the important information. Tell them how the book will make them feel instead of telling them what it’s about. Make it exciting.

Don’t say, “It’s about a guy living on the streets of downtown Denver in the middle of the winter.” Instead say, “You’re homeless, in the middle of a bone-chilling winter. Hungry and broke, not knowing where your next meal is coming from.”

Get to the real meat of the story, right away. Don’t be afraid to be original, your book description may be your only chance to get someone interested in your story. There are literally thousands they can choose from. Let them know why they should spend the time and money on yours.

Next, write your opening paragraph. You have the reader’s interest, now don’t lose them. Give them the main elements of the story. Describe the conflict, the obstacles he has to overcome.

“The country is thrown into a devastating depression. Randall, an unemployed executive, is fighting for his life, trying to claw his way back into a society that has shunned him. Forced to steal to survive, he becomes part of the vicious underbelly taking over the country.”

Now we end it by leaving them with something exciting. Make them wonder what will happen next. “What will Randall do when suddenly faced with a life-or-death situation? Will he be willing, or able, to kill others to survive?” 

Read the descriptions of the successful books in your genre and use them as a guide. There is some disagreement about whether Amazon uses the book descriptions when determining the strength of your keywords.  I think Amazon looks at your description when deciding if the keywords you’ve chosen are “Relevant.” You’ll want to use the seven keywords you’ve chosen in your book descriptions. Amazon will compare them to your description to determine their weight.

I’ll talk about keywords another time. For now, just think of phrases people would use to describe your book. Is it an adventure fantasy, murder mystery, or a short horror story? If so, these keyword phrases should be included in your book descriptions.

Have you much success with your book? What have you done to make it more visible to readers? JimsGotWeb offers promotion and marketing help to indie-authors.  From editing your book to make sure it doesn’t have spelling and grammatical errors, to helping you promote your “Free Days” and “Countdown” promotion, we can help!

Here is a list of promotion and marketing services we offer:

  • Kindle “Free Days” and “Countdown” Promotion Help:
    I’ll help you with your Amazon promotion by submitting all of the necessary information to promotion websites and Facebook groups; including your book’s link, cover, description, dates of promotion, promotion price, and your author bio.
  • Write a powerful description:
    I will read your book and write a powerful description, with HTML included.
  • Request book reviews:
    I will contact reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads to get more reviews for your book.
  • Keyword Research:
    After reading your book, I’ll check keywords on Google and Amazon to find keywords that will bring a large amount of traffic to your book.
  • Choose Categories:
    After reading your book, I will choose appropriate categories so you’re book can rank in the top 100.
  • Manuscript Editing:
    One of the biggest complaints from readers leaving negative reviews is misspelling, incorrect grammar, and improper word usage. Let me proofread your book to make sure there aren’t any problems.
  • Book Cover Creation:
    Readers do judge a book by its cover, it’s the first thing they see. I have illustrators that can make you a new cover, if needed, or they will help improve your current cover to make sure it looks professional.
  • Social Media:
    If you need help setting up a Twitter, Facebook, or other social media accounts, I can do that for you and help you get “Likes” and “Followers” to your account.
  • Author Website Creation:
    I’ll set up a professional looking WordPress website that’s easy to maintain, so you can easily communicate with your readers.
  • eBook Conversion:
    I can convert your Word document into PDF, .mobi and .epub formats for all reading devices. This is great for sending out free review copies to readers.

If you have promotion and marketing needs, let JimsGotWeb help.

About the author


I write short stories, love to travel, install auto glass, and collect Beatles memorabilia.

Posted on by JimsGotWeb in How To, writing tips

2 Responses to Book Descriptions

  1. Crischo

    Important information for people planning to publish an eBook at amazon. I will remember your advice. Thanks for sharing this.
    Crischo recently posted…Izamal – Yucatan – Magic City in Yellow Colors – Izamal, MexicoMy Profile

  2. Lenny

    Hi Jim! Great article! I have not yet written a book (although I do plan on it), but I do a lot of content writing on various blogs. I have definitely learned the importance of catching you audience immediately. I have had some of my best work go unread for sometime due to an uninteresting title, or ‘blah’ description. It is amazing the difference when you go back and edit them giving them more life! Thanks for the tips, and happy blogging!

    Lenny recently posted…Do I Have a Rain Sensor?My Profile


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