Monday, February 9, 2015

Writing Book Descriptions


Book's don't sell themselves. A nice cover isn't enough. The description needs to be on point. Please never, ever say, "This story is about." Do not go on any social media and say, "I wrote a book and it's about..." That's boring. It screams amateur. Some people can get away with it. My advice is to not try it. You're writers. Come up with a creative way to describe your story.

I mentioned in the post Bublish Beginning that people are visiting The Sciell's online retailers' but they aren't buying. I'm changing the book's description to see what that does.

Here's the original version.
Darkness isn't evil, just angry.
There's a cage. One made of pure Darkness. It exists inside us all. We control what goes into this Dark Prison, but not what comes out. For years, we've stuffed into this steel void parts of ourselves we don’t like, horrible things others have done to us, unacceptable things we have done. For years, these things have been despised. People fail to realize the raw power within these neglected parts. They're alive and they're angry. We, as the Sciell, can now see them. We feel the power. In exchange for magnificent strength, we give them what all prisoners wish for-escape…and revenge. (Mascenore Tahylur’s journal).
 This knowledge is lost to the residents of Raesul- a village for non-human beings. It was built on secrets- created under a barrier well away from the human world. Raesul is a prison. Those that rule only want to control the residents. The villagers don't know what they really are. Maybe Raesul's destruction will let the Del’Praeli see their true selves. The prison walls are coming down. Darkness is changing. The world will suffer.

Not bad. A bit long. My story's character centered. The description makes The Sciell seem plot centered. 

I like to start my descriptions with a good headline. Most customers skim rather than read entire paragraphs. Don't know when was the last time I read an entire book's description.

It's a sad truth, but majority of the people who look at your description will not read the whole thing.

The tagline snatches reader's attention. It makes the blurb skimmable. And, I can share it easily across social media. I talked about taglines in the post Creating A Message to Entice Readers.

For The Sciell, I have three taglines I want the new blurb to either include or embody.
  • Darkness isn't evil, just angry
  • Their home is a lie
  • Family runs deeper than blood
I started with this rough draft.  
Their home is a lie
Darkness is alive. Humans only see It as evil. They use It to do their vile deeds while feeding It parts of themselves they don't like.
Darkness has power. There are those who use Its power to protect and destroy. They know- Darkness isn't evil, just angry. All It wants is revenge against those that hurt It...every human.

This knowledge is lost to the residents of Raesul- a village for non-human beings. It was built on secrets- created under a barrier well away from the human world. Raesul is a prison. Those that rule only want to control the residents.
The villagers don't know what they really are. Maybe Raesul's destruction will let the Del’Praeli see their true selves. The prison walls are coming down. Darkness is changing. The world will suffer.

Better.  However, it doesn't flow. I like the tagline and the last three paragraphs. How do I fit in "Family runs deeper than blood"? Family is a big part of the story. 
Family runs deeper than blood.
Darkness has power. There are those who use Its power to protect and destroy. They know- Darkness isn't evil, just angry. All It wants is revenge against those that hurt It...every human.
This knowledge is lost to the residents of Raesul- a village for non-human beings. It was built on secrets- created under a barrier well away from the human world. Raesul is a prison. Those that rule only want to control the residents.
The villagers don't know what they really are.
Shade, a half-breed, and her adopted brother and protector, Vayle, are discovering  the lies behind Raesul. Their home is in each other. Shade tries to find herself beyond the bullied half-human. Vayle's only job was to be his baby sister's shield. He trained her too well. She doesn't need his protection. They're lost. Maybe Raesul's destruction will let the Del’Praeli see their true selves, their true purpose. The prison walls are coming down. Darkness is changing. The world will suffer.

Much better. I don't like the flow from the headline to the first sentence. The last paragraph is too fat. It's not skimmable. 
Darkness has power.
There are those who use Its power to protect and destroy. They know- Darkness isn't evil, just angry. All It wants is revenge against those that hurt It...every human.
This knowledge is lost to the residents of Raesul- a village for non-human beings. It was built on secrets- created under a barrier well away from the human world. Raesul is a prison. Those that rule only want to control the residents.
The villagers don't know what they really are.
Shade, a half-breed, and her adopted brother and protector, Vayle, are discovering  the lies behind Raesul. Their home is in each other. Family runs deeper than blood.
Shade tries to find herself beyond the bullied half-human. Vayle's only job was to be his baby sister's shield. He trained her too well. She doesn't need his protection. They're lost. Maybe Raesul's destruction will let the Del’Praeli see their true selves, their true purpose. The prison walls are coming down. Darkness is changing. The world will suffer.

I like it! It's a bit wordy, but you see where I'm going. Writing a description can be fun. I can also be a pain. It's important.
 "If your cover is good enough to grab readers, your back cover copy needs to convince them to buy." 7 Secrets to Writing Persuasive Back Cover Sales Copy (The Book Designer)
Many reviewers said they downloaded my book because of the cover and description. 

The blurb needs to be search engine optimized. Still trying to figure that out.

Here's more on writing book descriptions.
Getting Maximum “Bang” for Your Book Description Buck: an SEO/ Author’s Perspective