Your book description is your third most important Amazon book marketing feature after your cover and your title.
And there’s really no room for error because marketing your book on Amazon means doing things better than the competition. So while I can’t write a piece that speaks directly to your title and content, I can give you some Amazon book marketing tips that are guaranteed to make your page look professional, and encourage shoppers to keep reading.
#1: You’ve Lead with a Seriously Enticing Opening Sentence
No pressure, but your opening line is your shining moment and it sets the stage for whether or not you’re going to draw a potential buyer in.
Think movie trailers. They’re pretty incredible right, and really convincing? That’s what you want to go for, an opening line and a book description that delivers in writing, what a movie trailer delivers visually.
Say just enough without saying too much, have a cliffhanger, tease them, convince them you’re offering something no one else does, you get the idea.
A major flaw I see in a lot of fiction descriptions is giving away too much information about the book, it gets tedious to read that much and it loses the exciting edge that makes people want to buy it to find out more. And for non-fiction I see a lot of missed opportunities for the emotional connection people need to spend their money—what can your book do to improve their life?
#2: You’ve Used Bolding and Italics Smartly
I say smartly because there’s a lot of psychology involved in marketing your book and that includes how you use bolding and italics in your description.
Bolding draws the eye, it should be used sparingly but to draw attention to your very best features, be it the perfectly described character traits, or the problem you’re solving.
Italics create dramatic emphasis, use these to really drive a point home, like, “she was the only woman left of her kind…” or with longer phrases like, “…he knew there was only one choice left.”
#3: You’ve Used Multiple Paragraphs
Big blocks of text are scary. One of the worst offenses I see with Amazon book descriptions across all genres is using one long block of text.
I can tell you right now no matter how great your cover and title are, you will lose almost all your potential buyers if they’re faced with what seems like one long run-on sentence.
Keep your paragraphs to no more than 3 sentences, and let some sentences stand on their own. This is another way to create emphasis and draw the eye to your strongest, most intriguing language.
#4: You’ve Used Bullets If You Write Non-fiction
If you write non-fiction you really should figure out how to work in a bulleted list. And if you have one, are you sure you’re using it to its potential?
Your list should include what the reader will learn, the problems you will solve, what benefits or new skills they’ll walk away with, you get the idea.
Remember, your Amazon book description is there to sell your book—and the best way to sell your book is by ensuring its benefits jump off the page and demand attention. Bullets can help you do this.
#5: You’ve Included a Stand-out Review Excerpt If You Have One
Strategically adding review excerpts to your Amazon book description is a really great way to up your credibility.
95% of books are read based on personal recommendations, meaning, we put a lot of weight on what other people think, so don’t waste this opportunity if you’ve racked up some well-worded reviews.
Just be careful to not overdo it. Unless you have a glowing review from a household name, just use the best of the best, less is more in this case. They should complement your book description, not take it over.
#6: You’ve Mentioned Any Awards You Have
Shoppers like a sure thing and awards are another way to add credibility to your Amazon book description because generally, they mean you’ve already done something to stand out from your genre peers and have been recognized for it.
But where to add them? It kind of depends, but I’d encourage you not to underestimate the importance of balance.
Meaning, if your official award name and category takes up two full lines of your book description, that’s a lot to throw at people right out of the gate, so if that’s the case, try to work in “award-winning” near the beginning of your book description, and list the full award name at the end.
#7: You’ve Mentioned Your Series or Complimentary Titles
It still shocks me how many authors miss opportunities to make it very clear when a book is part of a series.
If you haven’t worked the series delineation into your title or subtitle, you definitely want to make it very clear in your description.
And as your series develops, list the individual book titles at the end of your description for each title. If you’re kickass enough to have multiple series in the same genre, go ahead and give those series names a nod as well.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, readers love a sure thing. And we want to assume they’ll love your book, right? So listing your series or referencing another they can start on just proves you’re in it for the long haul and they can count on your for hours of additional entertainment. This is a good thing!
This also applies to non-fiction, in a slightly different way. While you likely won’t have a traditional series set up, you might have a companion book or another title that very much compliments the current title’s topic, that’s worth drawing people’s attention to.
#8: You’ve Incorporated Your Keywords
Using keywords in your book description is a killer way to improve your searchability.
No, not every keyword string is going to fit seamlessly into your description, and you definitely don’t want it to seem forced, but every little bit helps so if you can work any in, definitely do it.
Bonus #9: Your Bio Makes Sense for Your Genre and Topic
So I couldn’t stop at just the description checklist because I have two really important tips for your bio as well!
If you write fiction, be entertaining. A fiction author’s bio should not be a resume. No one cares where you went to high school or college unless it also appears in your book. And no one cares if you’re an attorney if you’ve chosen to write dystopian cowboy romance. Be relevant and think about who your audience is and what interests them!
Use this opportunity to be likable, to be unique, to be funny. Tell them why you love your genre, who your favorite authors are, and where your inspiration comes from!
People usually love to know the names of your pets as well, because again, it makes you human and relatable.
If you write non-fiction, then yes, your resume likely matters because you want potential buyers to feel confident you have the background and the chops to really speak to your topic. But this doesn’t mean including something personal won’t earn you some points as well!
Bonus #10: You’ve added Your Website and Social Media to Your Bio, with Clean Links
Now this may seem pointless because the links won’t be active, but believe me, it still makes an impact. And by clean links I mean, you don’t need all the https:// nonsense, it can be as simple as saying: find me on Instagram @therealbookgal or visit my website at amarketingexpert.com.
On a very basic level, it’s a quick way to communicate that you’re on social media at all or have a website, and I assure you people will go and find you on their platform of choice. There’s a level of commitment and professionalism that comes with having a website and social and readers do take note of this.
Fine-Tuning Your Amazon Book Description Means Marketing Your Book for Free
Marketing a book is challenging enough, you really can’t afford to overlook or undervalue the things you can do for free.
Ensuring your Amazon book description is meeting and exceeding the above parameters will dramatically improve your sales potential, and you’ll be even prepared for your next release right out of the gate.
Resources and Free Downloads
4 Common Amazon Book Marketing Complaints Demystified
Boost Your Amazon Book Promotion with Pre-Order Strategies
Master Amazon & Sell More Books Video Series
Check out our Podcast for more Amazon Book Marketing Tips!
Check out the Alliance of Independent Authors for news and resources