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  • Alexander Inglis

Creating a book Description

Updated: May 23, 2023

One of the pre-launch jobs I have been doing is preparing a book description for The Eaglerune Saga, Book 1, The Awakening


A good book description is probably one of the most difficult parts of the strategy for getting your book noticed but, according to the vast majority of self publishing information on the internet, it is one of the most essential.

The book cover, along with the description are the first points of contact with your reader either on a book shelf or on Amazon/Barns and Noble/Smashwords, or any of the other sites. Your cover is the first hit, then the description keeps the reader interested long enough make the decision to spent their money … so it needs to be good.

In keeping with my plan to learn as much as possible from others who have had success in marketing their books, I spent a bit of time (perhaps too much) looking at what might be a common theme in book descriptions.

It won’t surprise you to know I couldn’t find one. Every book description on Amazon seems to follow a different format and, looking at the advice from authors who have committed themselves to print, there seems to be a different strategy for every author.

Something that is inclined to make me ba

ck off a little from reading a description in full is if there has been an obvious attempt to shoehorn a potted version of the plot into half a page of writing.

So, I decided to look at some of the strategies and try to decide for myself what would fit with;

a) the genre of my books

(b the appearance and

c) the length of a description that would put as much info across without putting the reader off.

One approach I did like was asking a question. When I’m looking through book descriptions I feel a question at the beginning tends to hold my interest a bit longer than just a straight description. It may be that I want to see the answer or to see if MY answer is the same as the author. I feel the extra few seconds a question holds my attention then the greater likelihood there is that I will actually purchase the book.

Therefore, trusting my own preferences, I decided I would use a question to start my description. Only the first few lines of your description are shown on your Amazon book page so they need to grab the reader. Time and space is limited … use them well.

There are various types of question which can be used to get and hold someone’s attention:

Open Questions; Which would you choose, a Lamborghini, a Rolls Royce or a Delorian? What is your most loved book?

Closed questions; Do men eat more than women? Do you want to travel?

Choice question; Do you like documentary films or fiction? If you got bad service in a shop would you complain or just stay away?

Here is my attempt;


Why would an entity, of unimaginable power, be interested in a young boy not yet past his rites of puberty?

Can the boy use newfound abilities to forestall the most catastrophic event in the history of his world... Ragnarok?

Read this gripping tale of mischievous gods, terrifying giants and a young boy learning about hidden abilities and the duties these new abilities have thrust upon him.

A historical fantasy story by the author of ‘Baggywrinkle and the Harlequin Hippo.”

Arin, days from his rite of passage to manhood, is content on his island home ... until a mystical encounter with his clan totem throws him into a world of dark entities and supernatural beings. While with his host animal he clashes with a formidable being but is helped by Kara - a girl he has never met - at the cost of her own freedom.

Now, Arin’s mother, Freya, must teach and protect him until he has the strength and knowledge to be shown the truth about himself.


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