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What to include in your book description

For many authors, writing the book description is harder than writing the book.

Your book’s description must be pithy, compelling, engaging, and accurate. It must draw readers in; it must say to them, “You will love this book.”

In addition to appearing on the inside jacket cover or the back of the book, the description is used by online web retailers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You also draw from it as you write your book announcement press release. And if you pay to promote your book in one of the daily deal newsletters that include BookBub, Fussy Librarian, or Riffle Select (among many others),  you’ll pull from that description when you create your deal alert.

You know that your book description can make or break your book.

Know what resonates with readers

That’s why it’s important to know what words, phrases, and references resonate with readers.

To help authors with this, BookBub tested book description language to see what words and phrases help sell more books. I summarized its research findings in a recent Build Book Buzz newsletter; our friends at Where Writers Win recently shared that article as a guest post.

You’ll want to read my newsletter article, “6 Magic Phrases You Can Use to Sell More Books” because the information from BookBub’s research will help you decide what to include in your all-important book description, and what you might leave out.

Let’s give a big round of applause to BookBub for sharing its research with authors!

Was writing your book’s description a challenge for you? Why or why not?

Like what you’re reading? Get it delivered to your inbox every week by subscribing to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter. You’ll also get my free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” cheat sheet immediately!


  1. Hi Sandra,

    Once again you posted exactly what I needed at the moment I needed it. You’re so right that writing the description, not to mention the author bio, is tougher than writing the book.

    Thanks for posting this as I’m working on my book description. It’s great that a compelling description can be used in many places to convince the reader to buy the book.

    1. The stars were aligned for us this week, Flora. Good luck with that description — it really is SO hard!


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