Previously, I kicked off a 4-part series explaining how to write an attractive book description. If your book isn’t meeting sales expectations, a common culprit is a marketing description that misses the mark.
Step 1 is the same, regardless if you write fiction or nonfiction. You should always start your book description with a marketing hook. This step is vital, because you must get people’s attention before you can tell them anything else about your book. If you fail to secure the reader’s attention, the rest of your book description will be wasted.
However, once you display a captivating marketing hook, you might think the next step is to describe your book. This is a BIG MISTAKE!
Before you tell people about the details of your fiction story or nonfiction content, there is another step that should take higher priority:
Did you know Amazon offers over 30 million books for sale? Barnes & Noble stocks more than 100,000 titles in their stores. That’s a lot of competition trying to sway readers away from your book. If your book description appears run-of-the-mill or seems lackluster to shoppers, then the competition will eat your lunch.
Therefore, Step 2 of creating an attractive book description is to differentiate your book and help it stand out from the crowd. If you show readers that your book is unique compared to the other choices, then you turn the desire to buy in your favor.
How do you differentiate your book in the marketing description? Use these two proven techniques:
1. Display Accolades
Accolades are another form of marketing text that helps sell books. In some cases, powerful accolades can be more persuasive than any clever hook, title, or book description. The problem is that accolades are usually beyond your control. You have to wait for them to be bestowed upon your book. But, if you earn a literary award, surpass a sales milestone, or receive a major testimonial, you’d be crazy not to let the world know.
Most readers respond to accolades, because they prefer to buy books that have a credible reputation. That’s why you see books tout the label of New York Times, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal bestseller. Accolades help confirm that a book should be perceived as a high-quality item.
However, you don’t have to be a major bestseller in order to display effective accolades. Any author can use these three options take to differentiate their book from the competition:
- Display the phrase: “Over 100 5-Star Amazon Reviews”
- List any local or regional awards that your book won
- Show endorsements from notable leaders
If your book has achieved an extra level of credibility, you would be remiss to withhold that information from people. Instead, do everything possible to differentiate your book from the competition. Displaying legitimate accolades at the top of your marketing description will help close more book sales for free.
2. Employ the “Like X / Love Y” Approach
Another way to differentiate your book in a crowded field is to compare it with popular books that readers already know. By attaching your book to titles that people find familiar, you can lower their skepticism and increase their interest.
Try this simple technique. Tell readers that if they like Book X, then they’ll love Book Y, which is your book. You can use more than one title with this approach. Plus, you can include popular movies or author names that readers recognize.
For example, I recently coached a self-published novelist who was launching his very first book. Notice how this little-known author used his marketing description to connect with popular classics that readers already love:
“Roman Ice is a thrilling suspense novel in the tradition of Sahara, The Lost World, and Treasure Island. If you like alternate history, archaeological adventures, and complex characters, then you’ll love this action-packed tale.”
Does this technique actually work? Yes! At the time of this writing, I’m happy to report that this first-time author is OUTSELLING one of the classic books mentioned in his description.
Now, it’s your turn to differentiate your book from the crowd. You have the power to prevent readers from viewing your book as run-of-the-mill. Use the two techniques described above to make your book description stand out.
See my next blog post for Part 3 of the Anatomy of an Attractive Book Description where I explain how to ignite reader emotion.