Self-Publishing Starter Tips Series: #5 –Writing Your Non-Fiction Book Blurb/Amazon Description
Many clients ask me to write their book blurbs and/or Amazon descriptions for them. Just the other day, in fact, I rewrote a blurb that my author client had written. Yes, whoever read the blurb would have picked up what the novel was about (in a nutshell) and she’d included some key elements to hook in the reader (ie, the setting, the drama, the mission and the challenges in between, etc) but it wasn’t quite cutting it.
If this sounds like you, then don’t worry. So many authors struggle to write blurbs, whether they’ve written a novel or a non-fiction book. To be honest, with the fiction books I work on, I’m always in awe of these authors because there’s no way I could write a novel. So when they tell me how happy they are with their rewritten blurb and/or how rubbish they are at writing them, I always tell them I did the easy bit. They did the impressive stuff.
Pop Over to the Amazon Bookstore if You’re Stuck for Blurb Ideas
My first top tip for you if you’re trying to write your Amazon description/book blurb and getting nowhere is to visit the Amazon store. There are millions of books for sale, each of which has their own Amazon description (some are way too small, bland and staid for my liking) and this is a great space for you to learn what a good blurb looks like. Here’s how to get started.
- If you’ve written a business book that teaches readers how to start a therapy business and grow it to six-figures in less than a year, for example, go to the non-fiction book section of Amazon.
- Find the Business books (or entrepreneurship or therapy books, etc) from there and start reading through the blurbs of the best-sellers.
- Answer these questions and make notes as you go…
- What do you like about this blurb?
- Does it compel you to buy?
- Why / why not?
- What do you dislike about this blurb?
- Does it tell you what the book’s about?
- Does it make you want to press the ‘Look Inside’ feature?
- Does it make you wonder what the heck the book’s about?
- Is the blurb easy to read?
- Is the blurb packed with long, complicated sentences or short and sweet ones?
- Are there bullet points in the blurb to draw the eye into the key messages?
- (Add a few of your own questions here too.)
- Now you know what makes you like/dislike a blurb, what compels you to read on or want to buy the book, etc, you can create your own list of dos and don’ts.
The next time you’re in a ‘real’ bookstore, take some time to read through the blurbs. If you can find a Waterstone’s with a Costa in it, then park yourself in there for a few hours (what a lovely way to spend an afternoon)… the new book smell, the words, the like-minded bookish people, the comfy sofas. Oops, sorry, I digress.
Try Drawing on These Elements for Your Book Blurb
If you’re still stuck after these two exercises, grab yourself a pen and paper and do some more mind-mapping or brainstorming. Think about the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY & HOW of your non-fiction book. Brainstorm wherever these concepts take you or use these prompts to help:
- WHO is your book targeted at? (This book is perfect for you if you’re an x business owner in need of help and advice.)
- WHAT benefits will they receive? (Once you’ve read this book you’ll be equipped to x, y and z.)
- WHERE will you take your reader? (Join me for a journey of business discovery where you’ll x, y and z.)
- WHEN will this book be useful to your reader? (If you’re just starting out in business and you want to avoid the pitfalls, this book is for you.)
- WHY you wrote this book. (I wanted to write the book that wasn’t written for me when I started my therapy business.)
- HOW you can use the tricks and techniques in this book to leverage your time, build your business and earn six-figures with ease and confidence.
Does that help?
What are you waiting for? Go write your blurb!