Thursday, March 15, 2012

Novel Descriptions

I've been picking up quite a few free books on Amazon for the Kindle lately, and my method has taught me something that should help me in my own writing career. And it could help you, as well. I'm talking about the description of the novel. This is basically all the readers have to go on when deciding whether to read your book or not. Yes, covers do sell books, as well, but in my view, a good description is a much bigger selling point.

I've found that if a description is too long or too short, I'm probably not going to go with the book. Yes, there are exceptions, of course, but these are few and far between. The sweet spot for me seems to be a single paragraph of about five or six sentences. Think about a cover blurb on the back of mass market paperback books (remember those?). There's not much room on there, so each sentence, each word, has to carry weight. Back cover blurbs are not overwritten; they get to the heart of the story and tell exactly why you should read that book. Even though Amazon lets authors create much longer descriptions, the best keep theirs short.

Your novel took many months, sometimes years, to complete, so don't sabotage it by not taking the time to craft an impressive description. Spend time crafting every word; don't just dash off a quick intro to the book and be done with it. You want to sell the thing, be it for money or for the advertisement of free so you get good word of mouth. Make it easy and worth their time, and readers will download your book. I know I'm going to follow this advice for my next venture into ebook marketing, and you might want to give it a try, as well. After all, I came up with this with my reader-hat on, not my writer-hat.