As the creator of Publisher Rocket and someone who understands AMS ads, I receive a lot of questions about selling books on Amazon.
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.
I know this sounds obvious, but we need to start here because none of the other tips will work if you skip this one.
If your blurb isn’t written correctly, readers will assume your book is also poorly written. And that’s a huge conversion killer.
Also, 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 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.
To further hook interest, look for opportunities to weave in keywords you know your reader will be excited to see. Publisher Rocket can help you find those.
3. Don’t Give Away the Whole Story.
The main reason your book description exists is not to give readers a summary of your book.
It’s to help you sell more books.
So you need to treat it as an advertisement.
Just think of your book description as your book’s “movie trailer”. There’s no need to give the entire story in your blurb. Keep the mystery alive.
Tell readers what’s at stake and why they should care. Then let them buy the book to find out what happens at the end.
And remember to KISS. Keep It Short and Sweet.
4. Be Effective. Not Clever.
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, and 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 your 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 a famous alternative, 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.