Imagine shoppers on Amazon seeing your book description and feeling drawn to make a purchase.
Imagine spending money on Amazon ads or Facebook ads and having a book description that helps convert a sale in less than 10 clicks instead of taking 20 – 30 clicks.
Imagine showing your book description to your mother, and she no longer worries about your decision to become an author.
The bottom line is that your book description has a major impact on your overall sales. If your book is struggling to sell a lot of copies, it’s probably because the description is too bland. When people land on your Amazon page or pick up your book in a bookstore, their attention isn’t captured. Therefore, a lot of potential sales are lost.
Would you like to fix this problem?
Allow me to walk you through the anatomy of an attractive book description. Why should you trust me? I’ve helped write the book descriptions for multiple New York Times bestsellers. In addition, my Author’s Guide books convert new sales in less than 9 clicks when I buy Amazon ads, which is way better than average.
Don’t let your book sales flounder due to a boring description. It’s possible to improve your marketing copy, upload a new version for people to see, and start selling more books tomorrow. If you want to create a more attractive book description, let’s begin with Step 1:
The Marketing Hook
Regardless if you write fiction or nonfiction, Step 1 is the same. Always start your book description with a marketing hook. Make it stand out as a separate sentence from the rest of your text. 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.
A marketing hook is a statement or question designed to generate immediate curiosity and make readers desire to know more about your book.
Why is a hook important? Language is the power of the sale. You’re not selling books to machines. You’re selling books to humans who make decisions based upon the language they read or hear. A hook harnesses the power of language to naturally make people feel more interested in your book.
How do you create an attractive hook? Use these two techniques to generate ideas:
1. Imagine your book is turned into a movie.
Every author dreams of their book being turned into a movie, whether it’s a fiction drama or a nonfiction documentary. But, if that opportunity actually came true, you would need to think like a screenwriter. Every day, screenwriters pitch movie ideas to the Hollywood studios in order to win bids for major motion pictures. To be successful, a screenwriter has to boil down the essence of an entire movie into one provocative sentence.
For example, if you write fiction, picture your novel as an upcoming major motion picture, such as a thriller, a romantic comedy, or a horror film. How would you grab the reader’s attention in one sentence?
If you’ve written a memoir, imagine your book as a dramatic tale on the silver screen. How would you make people curious about your story using one question or statement?
If your genre is nonfiction, such as history, education, religion, or self-help, imagine your book turned into a documentary. How would you make that documentary sound interesting using just one sentence?
To create an attractive marketing hook, think like a screenwriter to get yourself in the right frame of mind to develop a book hook.
2. Use the question: “What if I told you ____?”
Here’s another effective technique to create a book hook. Start with the question, “What if I told you ____?” and then fill in the blank. For instance, ESPN promotes their popular “30 for 30” sports documentaries on TV using a narrator who boldly asks, “What if I told you ____?” For each documentary, the blank to that question is completed with a provocative statement that grabs your attention. (Watch a video example here.)
Every great book hook has this quality in common. It makes readers want to know how the fiction story or the nonfiction advice will play out.
If you struggle with creating hooks, read my trusted guide, Mastering Book Hooks for Authors. Click here to get it for FREE on Amazon.
To help you understand the goal of a hook, below are 10 effective examples (1 – 5 apply to fiction and 6 – 10 apply to nonfiction):
- Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
- The first man to walk on Mars is sure he’ll be the first to die there.
- Could you let thousands of strangers die in order to save your family?
- Intelligent machines have calculated the best source of energy is…humans.
- Turning a corrupt Congressman is cheaper than you think. Will America pay the price?
- You can train your brain to win!
- Rare rainforest land…equal to 31 million football fields…is destroyed every year!
- Learn how to say “No” without feeling guilty.
- Everyone speaks…but not everyone is heard.
- Why get mad or try to get even? Instead, learn how to get what you want.
Now, it’s your turn to write a compelling hook for your book. Use the two techniques described above to spark your creativity. I know you can do it!
Next, read Part 2 in my Anatomy of an Attractive Book Description – Differentiation.