Home > Writing > Descriptions… Give Readers a Taste of What You Can Do

Descriptions… Give Readers a Taste of What You Can Do

Another item of dire importance when making your story or novel available for purchase is the description. While probably not as critical a component as the cover or even the title, a good, punchy description is going to help turn a browser into a buyer.

But writing brief descriptions of your work is actually pretty damned tough. It’s an art form all by itself. Some people can roll succinct, exciting descriptions out in just a couple of minutes, typing away on their Blackberry or iPad while seated on the throne in the morning, or while dispatching a pack of ninjas with one hand while typing with another. Regrettably, I’m not one of those guys–I’m pretty sure it’s easier to launch a nuclear attack on Russia than it is to write a good description. Hopefully, you’re not in the same boat. If not, then your battle with Kindle, Nook, Apple, etc. will be that much more successful, and you’ll probably find yourself wrapped in the flag of your nation of choice while being feted with a hero’s welcome.

My approach to writing a description is to pretend the work or story is a movie. First, I come up with a tagline, something I didn’t do for Family Ties, but have done (and will continue to do) for every other work since. This particular approach feels right to me, and defining a tagline helps me spawn the rest of the description. Here are some examples of taglines I’ve used and will use:

“Hell has come to the City of Angels.” — City of the Damned

“Sometimes, the past does more than haunt us.” — Ghosts

“The horde is always hungry.” — The Gathering Dead, to be released this month

All of these taglines helped me write the product descriptions that are on each works’ product page. I remain solidly convinced that the descriptions are excellent methods for generating sales once the potential customer has landed on the product page, and a good, solid tagline can help assist a potential reader in at least reviewing the entire description, and perhaps download the samples you’ve made available. (You did allow sampling, right?)

This is all marketing stuff, and even though my personal work and life experience has brought me only within shouting distance of marketing in the past, I’m willing to learn as much about it as possible, so long as it helps further my advance.

And it should help you with yours, as well.

Have a tagline for your book or story? Share it here!

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