From Blah to Wow: Transform Your Nonfiction Book Descriptions

book marketing May 16, 2024

Have you ever picked up a book solely because its description was irresistible?

That’s the power of a few well-chosen words! Writing a great book description is an art form, and it can make a big difference in how well your book sells. But how do you turn a blah summary into something that will draw readers in?

Let’s look at the essentials of writing a book description to make readers want to learn more about your nonfiction work.

Think about it: Your book description is your sales pitch. When people browse online or in a bookstore, they’ll decide in a few seconds if your book is worth their time. A good description will pique people’s interest and set the stage for what readers can expect.

An essential recipe for helping them make that all-important decision to buy.

The Do’s of Writing Book Descriptions

  1. Start Strong: Hook readers right away by asking a thought-provoking question, sharing an interesting statistic, or making a bold statement.

Example: Instead of ‘This book discusses marketing strategies,’ try ‘How can a single marketing strategy boost your sales by 300%? Discover the secret within!’

  1. Be Clear and Concise: Nonfiction readers appreciate clear and concise writing. Make sure your description is easy to read and gets right to the point, highlighting your book's main themes and benefits.

Example: Replace ‘This book offers an exploration into the various aspects of human psychology’ with ‘Learn the key principles of human psychology to improve your interpersonal relationships.’

  1. Emphasize Benefits: What will your readers get from your book? Whether it’s a solution to a problem, new skills, or deep insights, make sure you clearly communicate the value.

Example: Rather than saying, ‘This book covers financial planning,’ specify, ‘Master your finances: from saving for retirement to reducing debt, gain the skills to secure your financial future.’

  1. Use Bullet Points: Bullet points are great for breaking down longer descriptions into key points that are easy for readers to digest. This format is especially effective for outlining what the book covers.

*Strategies for effective time management

*Techniques to enhance productivity

*Tools for setting and achieving personal and professional goals

  1. Include Credentials: Why should people listen to and trust you? What qualifications, experiences, or unique perspectives make you an expert on this topic?

Example: "This book brings you expert insights into wealth building" by Jane Doe, an economist with a PhD and over 20 years of experience in financial consulting.

  1. Call to Action: Wrap up with a call to action. Tell readers what you want them to do next, whether it’s to read a sample chapter, buy the book, or sign up for your email list.

Example: ‘Dive into the first chapter now for free, and begin your journey to becoming a successful investor.’

The Don’ts of Writing Book Descriptions

  1. Avoid Overpromising: It’s tempting to make big claims about your book, like calling it the ultimate guide or saying it will change your life. But readers will be disappointed if you can’t deliver on those promises. So, it’s essential to keep your claims realistic and credible.

Example: Avoid ‘This book will change your life forever!’ instead, use ‘This book will equip you with new perspectives and tools to enhance your daily decision-making.’

  1. Don’t Be Vague: Don’t just say your book covers everything about a topic. That’s too vague. Tell readers what they’ll specifically learn from your book and what makes your book unique.

Example: Instead of ‘This book discusses many aspects of health,’ be specific: ‘Explore tailored diets, personalized exercise plans, and mental health strategies that cater to your lifestyle.’

  1. Skip the Hard Sell: It’s great to be enthusiastic, but sales language that’s too pushy can turn people off. Try to find an inviting and persuasive balance rather than being forceful.

Example: Instead of ‘Buy this book now! Don’t miss out!’ try ‘Join thousands of readers who have gained valuable insights from this book.’

  1. Avoid Jargon: Unless your book is for experts, make sure it’s easy to understand for everyone who might read it. Don’t use complicated words that will confuse people.

Example: Replace technical terms like ‘cognitive dissonance’ and ‘heuristic processing’ with more general explanations such as ‘the inner conflict you feel when your beliefs are challenged’ and ‘the mental shortcuts we take to solve problems quickly.’

  1. Don’t Forget SEO: If you’re selling your book online, you should consider search engine optimization (SEO). That means using keywords that potential readers might use to find books on your topic. But make sure the keywords sound natural in the text.

Example: Depending on your book's content, use terms like ‘easy vegan recipes’ or ‘beginner’s guide to yoga,’ ensuring these are naturally included in your description.

Writing a great book description for a nonfiction book doesn’t have to be complicated. Just focus on clarifying it, highlighting the benefits to the reader, and starting strong. That way, you’ll create a compelling and exciting summary that will grab the attention of potential readers.

Remember that you want to intrigue and inform, not overwhelm. With these tips, you can write a description that’ll stand out. 

So, what are you waiting for? Transform your book description into a reader magnet!