iMarket Handbook

By Lizzy McNett

Writers Publishing House

How to Write a Good Book Description?

A good book description, no matter the genre, should leave the reader so engrossed in the content they want to learn more…. The initial sentence must capture the reader instantly….

There are 3 sentences to consider before writing a book description…

  1. 1. Who are you?
  2. 2. What is the book about?
  3. 3. Why should the reader care?


However, before the writing begins, there are several factors to consider to help a book achieve the highest potential of discoverability. Published books cannot be purchased if they cannot be found online — metadata is responsible for whether the book is discovered easily.

Book metadata may seem complicated, but it is essentially the book title, subtitle, series name, price, trim size, author name, book description, keywords, and categories. In most cases, depending on the distributor, authors can include a long and short description. Both play a role in how much traffic the book receives in search results.

While it’s fairly easy to write several pages about the book, limiting characters to a short amount can be more challenging. The book metadata should provide the information necessary to help buyers, consumers, booksellers, and librarians understand more about the book. However, while the right information is essential, it must be dedicated to the right audience. The second phase of writing a book description includes telling search engines what queries the book falls into, so it can actually be found.

Book descriptions are detailed, descriptive copy that display a high level of professionalism. It is the pitch line….  the chance to get readers interested. The better a book description, the better chances of gaining visibility and remaining visible. 

Tips to Consider When Writing a Book Description

  • A good short description should be under 250 words; the long one should be 250-350 words.
  • Provide enough information to understand what the book is about, without giving away the ending.
  • Include search terms the reader might use to find the book. What words do you use to find a book?
  • Use short paragraphs
    • The initial sentence is the tagline – why should they care….
    • The second sentence includes the hook – what the book is about…
    • The third sentence would be author’s name and gerne
  • All book descriptions must include the book title, sub-title, author name, and genre type
  • NEVER – NEVER use THIS BOOK… in any part of the description

Authors should also avoid time-sensitive language, such as latest, soon, forthcoming, no date notes and most recent, unless talking about the author’s latest book. 

One way to get wonderful ideas on content is search online bookstores…. find best-selling authors and read their descriptions.



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