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Book description: a quick word

When I pick a book to read, my choice is influenced by the following elements:

  1. The cover
  2. The title
  3. The description

More precisely, the book cover gets (or not) the book in my hands, or grabs my attention enough to make me read the description. As for the book title, sometimes it is as important as the book cover – it can easily accomplish the same. But sometimes, when the cover is very good, I can ignore the title and still read the description.

But the description is the element that determines my buying decision.

This is why I want to share some advice for creating an enticing book description.

  • Imagine yourself in your reader’s shoes. What would a person who knows nothing of your book feel while reading the description? The secret is to give some elements that will fascinate and make longing for more.
  • For fiction books it is often better to show a piece of your story or to write what it is about instead of only saying something like “This is a great fantasy book. It will entertain both children and adults”.
  • Keep it short and simple. Avoid giving away too much detail: too much text looks scary for some people, you can’t believe how many of them just don’t want to read even a short piece of text and would rather hear it from someone. And then, the aim of the description is only to give them a foretaste of the story, to tell them what it is about.
  • It can be a great idea to simply put a short but juicy piece of a chapter into your book description – not only it perfectly captures the attention (if the piece is well-chosen, which is a tricky part as well), but also it gives a reader a glimpse of the author’s writing style.
  • Some authors like putting a reader’s or reviewer’s quote that describes the book. It works well, but it can backfire if overdone.
  • If you have a chance to sell your physical book at a fair or a convention, your potential readers will give you the elements they want in the description, just listen to what they are asking you about your book.
  • The description is the first impression of your book, so be very careful with spelling and grammar mistakes.

If you have some more advice on the matter, please share 😉

 

Kateryna Kei, Author of Raven Boy, adventure and romance young-adult saga

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2014 in Author Resources

 

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How to optimize your KDP book cover

Most people won’t read your book description if the book cover didn’t attract their attention.

I am not a designer and when I was publishing my first book I had no budget to hire one, so I had to figure out on my own how to deal with the book cover issue.

So, here is my advice on the matter: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2014 in Author Resources

 

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How to do an HTML book description on Amazon

Every author would like his or her book description to look sharp, enticing and professional. And the only way to do it on Amazon is to add to it the appropriate HTML tags.

Beware though, because regular HTML tags that you might be using in your blog and/or website wouldn’t work. There is slight difference that you need to add to your basic HTML code before submitting it to Amazon. The thing is that Amazon does not recognize the angle brackets that surround the code (‘<’ and ‘>’), so you have to replace them as follows:

‘<’ equals ‘&lt;’

‘>’ equals ‘&gt;’

So, here are some Amazon-adapted tags that you might want to use in your book description:

&lt;i&gt;Your italicized text&lt;/i&gt;

&lt;b&gt;Your bold text&lt;/b&gt;

&lt;u&gt;Your underlined text&lt;/u&gt;

&lt;s&gt;Your strikethrough text&lt;/s&gt;

If you need to use a bulleted list, you will use the tag ‘ul’ and ‘li’

‘ul’ marks the beginning and the end of the list, while ‘li’ surrounds every item on the list. So, an example of a bulleted list will look like this (I’ve put them in different colors to make them more visible):

&lt;ul&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;/ul&gt;

If you need a numbered list, instead of ‘ul’ tag you will use ‘ol’ tag. Here is the example:

&lt;ol&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;/ol&gt;

If you want your list to be indented, you should add the tag ‘blockquote’ before and ‘/blockquote’ after your list. Example:

&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;ol&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;li&gt;An item of your list&lt;/li&gt;&lt;/ol&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

Now, I believe, the coolest thing to add is the Orange Heading that matches the headings on Amazon 😉

Tags that Amazon accepts for headings are h1 to h6, where h1 is the largest and h6 is the smallest. The one that is the regular Amazon’s one is the h2 (h1 is very big and black). So, your heading code would look like:

&lt;h2&gt;My Beautiful Orange Heading&lt;/h2&gt;

The coding has to be precise and make sure there are no spaces in it:

  • the code itself goes without spaces, for example:

   &lt;blockquote&gt;

  • there are no spaces between two tags of the code:

  &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;ol&gt;&lt;li&gt;

  • no spaces between the code and your text:

&lt;ol&gt;&lt;li&gt;Chapter One&lt;/li&gt;&lt;/ol&gt;

If you want to use pictures in your book description, you will need to upload them first to a server (it can be your website, for example). Then, you need to decide where you picture will be placed (right, left or center). The tag for the placement is ‘align=”center” ‘ or ‘align=”right” ‘ or ‘align=”left” ‘

So, let’s say, we need a picture on the left. The sourcing code for it will look like:

&lt;img src=”http://your website URL/some directory/yourpicture.jpg” align=”left”&gt;

A piece of advice for the pictures: add a white border around them, otherwise the text bumps into them and it looks ugly.

And finally, when your new book description goes live, don’t forget to check it out, to make sure everything is OK. Good luck ! 😉

 

Kateryna Kei, Author of Raven Boy, adventure and romance young-adult saga

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Author Resources

 

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