4 steps to writing your Amazon book blurb – notes from #20BooksLondon

Sharing a bit more of what I learned at 20BooksLondon, here is a resume of the notes I took on blurb writing.

Now I’m fairly confident about my blurb writing ability, but I’m very aware in this industry things change – what works this week doesn’t next (especially in marketing), so any of the latest nuggets are likely to be helpful. And of course, you can always ignore advice if you don’t feel it’s right for you.

There is a lot of conflicting advice about blurbs out there (ask questions/don’t ask questions, long/ short, share quotes from reviews/don’t share etc.), but what you should always remember is, a blurb is NOT a synopsis of your book – it is a tool to sell your book.

Always do a bit of research first and check out the blurbs of the most successful books in your genre, because, you know, always copy what is currently working, but at the end of the day, the important thing is that you excite a reader enough to take a punt on your book, and buy it.

So here are my notes.

Start with the acronym, AIDA  (scary if you watch Marvel’s Agents of Shield, but otherwise fine!)

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire to buy
  • Action

Bearing in mind the small amount of your blurb text Amazon shows above the ‘read more’ fold, START WITH YOUR BEST LINE

e.g. New book by/bestselling author – but only if your credentials are from a recognised institute.

Otherwise,

  1. Open with your tagline (you do have one, don’t you? If not, start brainstorming taglines NOW) – this should be an emotional encapsulation  of what your book is about, e.g. ask a ‘what if…?’question, such as, ‘What if the magic that could save your loved ones also condemned you to death?‘ (one of several I came up with for THE PRINCE’S MAN, although frankly I still use ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ because people find that intriguing). Put it in bold.  (If you don’t know how to do this, check out https://www.tckpublishing.com/how-to-use-html-to-format-kdp-kindle-book-descriptions/  for an explanation, or if you know how to use HTML but didn’t realise you could format your Amazon description, for a list of acceptable tags see  https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201189630 )
  2. Build sympathy for your main character – show his challenging problem and use this to build an emotional connection with your potential reader
  3. Show what the book is about – be genre specific, and even be specific about what experience you are offering within that genre, then promise your reader you will deliver. For example, ‘fans of GRR Martin will love this book’. Take care you are honest in this type of comparison or it will come back to bite you in negative reviews – only offer what you can genuinely deliver.
  4. End with a call to action, e.g., ‘Scroll up and buy now!’   No, it isn’t being over pushy – you are trying to sell this book, and plenty of people need that final push – the internet is so easy to get distracted by, they might notice another book in your ‘also boughts’ and click on to that without every going back up to your buy button.

Kindlepreneur offers a free blurb generator if you want to give that a go. Take a look at:

https://kindlepreneur.com/amazon-book-description-generator/

That’s it for today, folks, I’m trying to concentrate (a lot) on getting the 3rd book in my Five Kingdoms series written, so I’ll sign off now, but if anyone has comments/observations/questions, please comment below (see what I did there – call to action…) – I always check back to see what you guys think 😀

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57 comments

  1. Some great tips here, Deborah.

    1. Yes, now all I need to do is find the time to revisit all my blurbs and put the missing bits into practice…

  2. Great article Deborah and thanks for including the Description Generator. I was originally supposed to speak at that conference, but I do military reserves and they had me go in that weekend. Hopefully next year! The guys behind 20 Books are AMAZING!

    1. Yes, I was expecting to see you! Hopefully next time things will work out – those guys are so generous, the whole thing was a fantastic experience, including being able to talk to real human beings from sites like D2D and Reedsy.
      And who else refunds attendees when they realise it didn’t cost as much as their estimate? Amazing people.

      1. Yeah, no kidding. They are class acts.

  3. Dave Chesson · · Reply

    Excellent article and thanks for including the HTML Generator I created. I was actually supposed to speak at that conference, but I’m in the military reserves, and they changed my plans for me – typical of the military. Haha. But the guys behind 20 Books are AMAZING. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Great how-to and timely. I’m bookmarking this for June!

    1. Why wait until June? Hopefully you can use it to overhaul your existing blurbs as well as the new one 😉 I know I’m revisiting mine.

  5. Excellent note taking Deb, lol. Seriously though, very helpful post and reminds me that I really must fix up my bolding in my blurbs on Amazon. 🙂

      1. So much to do, it never stops 🙂

      2. And we all have sooooo much time on our hands 😉 😉

      3. Lol Not! 🙂

  6. […] 4 steps to writing your Amazon book blurb – notes from #20BooksLondon […]

  7. Thank you! I had no idea you could add html formatting to an Amazon blurb. -dance- Bookmarked!

    1. If only Amazon made such things more easy to find, wouldn’t it be lovely?
      Glad I was able to enlighten you 😀

      1. Most definitely. They’re making the print and ebook side of self-publishing easier but there is still no real guide on how to market that book more effectively.

      2. I highly recommend David Gaughran’s book, LET’S GET DIGITAL for the best insights into marketing for Amazon – the link is in my latest report from 20BooksLondon: https://deborahjayauthor.com/2018/03/05/20bookslondon-notes-about-email-lists/

      3. Thank you. 🙂

  8. davidjrogersftw · · Reply

    Thank you, Deborah. This is good to know–detailed and clear. Best, David

    1. Thanks David 😀

  9. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Great tips from Deborah 😀

    1. Thanks for the reblog Chris 😀

      1. My pleasure, Deborah – I get the impression that a LOT of writers have problems with blurbs ❤️

      2. Yes, reading some of the blurbs on Amazon I get that impression too!

  10. Reblogged this on Plaisted Publishing House and commented:
    This is great. I always need help with blurbs

    1. I think most of us do! Thanks for the reblog Claire 😀

      1. Welcome Deborah.

    1. Thank you 😀

  11. K.L.M. Moore · · Reply

    Great post on blurb-writing! I actually really enjoying writing blurbs (crazy, I know!), but I’m always looking for tips on how to make them better.

    1. Not so crazy in my book, I do too, but I’m always keen to learn about what’s doing best in terms of converting to sales at any specific moment, as it does change.

  12. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. Very Much appreciated.

    1. Most welcome, I enjoy sharing 😀

      1. My pleasure! Thank you too. Michael

  13. Thank you for this post. Like Gollum in your picture, ‘I Hates It’ and am rubbish at it. I’m susre I will improve if I remember AIDA.

    1. Lol, writing a blurb is definitely an art that doesn’t come naturally. Hope these pointers help make it easier for you.

  14. This is very timely, Debby ~ thanks! Nice to have you back, but I do admire your choice to take a break from blogland while you are on vacation. I don’t suppose that will happen for me until I get my book into the “publishing queue.”

  15. Thanks for sharing these Deborah. I hadn’t thought of the call to action right in the blurb for my book!

    1. Yup. Me neither 😉

  16. Hmmm. Awesome sauce. 😀

  17. Excellent advice and links. Thanks, Deborah. 🙂 And good luck with book number 3!

    1. Thanks Carol 😀

  18. Soooo useful! I’m off to work on my blurbs. “What if a writer changed her blurb, and in one day, a thousand people bought her recently published book?” 🙂

  19. […] 4 steps to writing your Amazon book blurb – notes from #20BooksLondon […]

  20. Very useful information! I have bookmarked the page for whenever I’m ready to “beat the blurb”! 🙂 Thank you, Debby, for referring me to Deborah’s article!

    1. 😀 Glad you will be able to use it when the time comes.

    1. Thanks for the reblog

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