No one reads walls of text anymore. If your copy isn’t in scannable chunks, you’re doing it wrong. So, here I am with Brian Meeks and Robert to learn how to write effective Amazon book descriptions in Episode 2 of something I like to call…Book Rescue!
If this is your first time here, make sure to have a look around and familiarize yourself with what Book Rescue is and how it can help you sell more books! You missed Episode 1, you can find it here. I’d love for you to subscribe if you find my content helpful and inspiring.
Why Are Amazon Book Descriptions Important?
If you manage to reel in a potential buyer with your amazing book cover, you’re going to need some amazing words to back that up.
If you’re getting clicks to your book, but no sales, your description is probably the culprit. That’s why your Amazon book descriptions are so important.
At its most basic, this is copywriting, and copywriting is a specialized form of selling through words. The difference between copywriting and something like this blog post or an email is that copywriting intends to persuade you to buy something. I might intend to persuade you to check out this Episode of Book Rescue, but I’m using more conversational and casual language to do that.
Hopefully, that makes a little bit of sense and helps you understand more what copywriting is.
Enter, the Copy Snobs. As I said, copywriting is specialized. There are people who only write copy and they’ve studied long and hard to do it effectively. Most of them would probably tell you that you can’t and shouldn’t write your own copy, but these are also the same people who will charge you thousands and a percentage of your sales to provide you with the copy.
We’re independent authors, not corporations, so we’re going to write our own effective copy for our Amazon book descriptions using a simple template anyone can duplicate.
Gone are the days 5+ line paragraphs. It’s a couple of sentences, tops, and Enter. People are looking for the point, not the fluff. You’ve got less than 2 seconds to hook them.
Then you have to intrigue them and keep them reading. Don’t reveal the story outright in your book description. Show, don’t tell. Got it? Good.
How to Write an Effective Amazon Book Description
In this Episode, Brian Meeks essentially lays out a template for Amazon Book Descriptions. This is a simple formula to follow, so let’s have a look.
Brian begins every book description with 5 lines: 3 lines of copy with 2 blank lines in between them like this:
When he learned that magic was real…
…he began to trust the old man.
But was he ready for the Knight Academy?
The last line should always be a question because as humans, we naturally want to find the answer. These 5 lines are all that show above the Read More link on your Amazon book page.
Keep this as concise as possible. Think movie preview. You know when the narrator comes on with his deep voice describing an upcoming movie?
Depending upon your genre, in the next paragraph, you want to show the potential reader the elements of your book that might interest them. In Robert’s case, as a Young Adult author, he has included the age of his character, a brief idea of what’s going on in their life, and the potential for a romance twist which is something a lot of YA readers are interested in.
In Robert’s book, the main character’s mother has been put into an enchanted sleep. This is a detail that doesn’t need to be conveyed in the description, but you would want to convey that there’s a problem with the character’s mother as a means to create intrigue. In this case, Brian says, “We don’t need accuracy, we need to convey there’s a problem with mom.”
Brian’s entire description contains 5 light paragraphs, some of which are only 1 line. Then, he wraps everything up with a compelling call to action.
Brian goes on to explain the methods he uses to get engagement on Facebook using these same techniques. He’s getting 300 engagements on a 1,500-word Facebook post with these tactics:
- Thin paragraphs
- Open loops – For example, “Had a good workout at the gym yesterday, but this horrible thing happened…I’ll tell you about that later.” <– That’s an open loop.
Brian says these Amazon book descriptions when created effectively convert at 1 in 8 to 1 in 10 people buying.
If you’d like to grab his template for yourself, you can do that here.
If you’d like more information from Brian regarding how to write effective Amazon book descriptions, you can grab his book here.
The Tragic Turn
Some of you may not know this about me, but I have a HUGE soft spot when it comes to animals. If you’ve read my bio pretty much anywhere, it mentions my cat, Izzie, right after my wife, Kelli. That’s not lip service, that’s pretty much my priorities on a list.
After Robert and I met with Brian, right before we were about to jump in and get to work on the rest of his Amazon book descriptions, his dog, Scooby, passed away.
This hit me like a ton of bricks, so I can’t imagine how Robert must have been feeling.
All Robert has are his mom and his dogs. When a member of your family dies, that has an impact on every aspect of your life.
Robert credits his faith for his “never quit” attitude, “I look at it this way, everyone has something horrible or crappy going on in their lives…we’re kind of all in this together in life. Just one thing after another, keep soldiering on!”
I offered to give Robert some time to grieve, but he was having none of it. We jumped into the work with both feet.
By the way, if you’d like to make a charitable donation in memory of Scooby or maybe even your own pet, we turned this video into a fundraiser to benefit Best Friends Animal Society. If you’re not familiar with Best Friends, they are the organization that took in Michael Vick’s Pitbulls following that whole controversy. They were able to rehome many of them, but the rest went to the sanctuary to live out their lives in safety.
Robert Goes to Work!
Despite everything going on, Robert went to work and completed all five of his Amazon book descriptions. Then he and I went over them together just to give them that extra polish before taking them live.
Like many writers, we want to be wordy!
I think the overall takeaway from Brian’s instruction in this video on Amazon book descriptions is to keep things as short and light as possible…show, don’t tell.
So, I sent Robert back to the drawing (or writing, as it were) board on a couple of his descriptions. He’s been a pleasure to work with and takes my direction so well.
It’s really getting down to the exciting stuff now and as you’ll see in the brief preview if you watch the video all the way to the end, the book cover reveal is next.
I think this is probably my favorite part of the whole Book Rescue process because I get to show the author their professionally overhauled book covers.
It just never disappoints. Getting to see the look on their faces and hear their reactions is one of the most rewarding parts of this whole thing for me and probably for my team as well.
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As always…Looking Forward,