Is Your Book Description Killing Your Sales?

Is Your Book Description Working For You?

There are two basic promotional elements that attract book buyers. A great book cover and a killer book description.

I read a lot of book descriptions as part of my work on another blog. While some are good or maybe just ok, many are absolutely terrible.

No matter how good a book might be, if a reader’s interest is lost before they finish reading the book description or blurb, there is absolutely no hope of them reading the preview.

Let alone buying the book.


Get your cover and book description working for you.

The cover and blurb are the two primary marketing hooks that attract and engage potential book buyers.

But it seems that while most self-published authors have learned to produce or buy quality book covers, many have failed to appreciate the importance of their book’s description.

In fact, I would say that many have been written quickly at the time of publishing with little or no thought given to it at all.

A well-written book description should be around 300 words long or even a little more.

You should give a lot of thought given to how it will attract and engage readers.

Another important factor is to include keywords that are relevant to the story within the first 160 characters or about 15 words of the description.

Why is this so important?

Because a book’s description will be indexed by search engines with the title as the heading and then the first 160 characters as the description.

This enables people to find your book on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

While this will make the book description on say Amazon and Kindle more discoverable, it leads to a second conclusion.

If the exact same description is used for a book on every site where it is published, listed or mentioned, search engines will not usually add more search links, as the content is exactly the same.

This opens the door to an opportunity, however.


Have more than one book description.

Having a number of book descriptions, using different keywords in the first sentence or so, will give a book a far better chance of gaining more indexing. Therefore you get more exposure to search, or organic traffic, and this means many more opportunities to sell more books.

If a different version of a book’s description is used on Amazon, Smashwords, an author’s blog, website and Facebook Page, this should result in at least five additional search engine listings of the one book.

Finding more sites to add different book description versions, such as on book-related social media platforms, book bloggers or wherever an opportunity arises can only increase the promotional and marketing opportunities for a book.


Your book description needs to work for you.

Make your book description work for you and never underestimate its power in hooking a potential book buyer.

There are many advice sites on the Internet that offer ideas and tips related to writing a great book blurb, so do a Google search on writing a great book blurb and get some ideas.

At the same time, don’t forget about the power of search engine listings in increasing your book sales.

Spend time on researching and collecting a list of about fifty single and long-tail keywords that relate to the story and that will attract more organic traffic, and then write each new book description version around two or three keywords.

Is it time to give some more thought to your book description?


More reading: How To Make Your Amazon Book Description Stand Out With HTML


Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

One thought on “Is Your Book Description Killing Your Sales?

  • June 7, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Very helpful, thank you. There are so many angles to consider. Oh for a book-fairy/secretary?! So many of us writers, especially the ‘seasoned’ ones, just want to WRITE!


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