So you can read my books

Sunday, October 27, 2013


(Only 99 cents)
1.) You've written a novel that to read it is to love it.

2.) You've chosen KeyWords and Categories on Amazon to bring readers eager to buy and read your type of book to your Book Page on Amazon.


Hear that?

It is time ticking away. 

You have 10 seconds to engage and rivet the buying reader with your BOOK DESCRIPTION before she/he grows bored and goes off in search for a book that grabs her curiosity.


1.) Find the heart of your story:

     a.) Imagine HarperCollins would accept a telegram from you and buy your book if you interested them in 10 words.

     b.) Try for one grabbing sentence at the start of it:

i.) Some things cannot die ... no matter how much you want them to.

ii.) When reality bites, bite back.

2.) Study the Masters:

Take the description to NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman:

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk.

His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them.

And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

(93 words)

3.) Think movie preview:

a.) The movie trailer doesn't give the whole story.

b.) It gives a hero to root for, an enemy to boo, a love interest that tempts and tortures, and a unique crisis that seems impossible to overcome.

4.) Drop your reader into the crucible of your story:

a.) Write in third person, present tense.

Even though your book is most likely told in past tense, your book description is not.

You are describing this book as if you're sitting face to face with the reader, and they've asked you what the book is about.

b.) Use emotional power words.
You are trying to evoke emotions with your book description, the same emotions that your book evokes. To convey these feelings, you need emotional powers words like tormented, charismatic, passion, obsession, terrifying, etc.

There are too many to mention here, but a quick search for "Power Words" on the internet will produces hundreds of words to choose from.

Like spice, use them sparingly. For 100 words use five to six.  Any more is
Count the number of Power Words in NEVERWHERE's book description.

5.) Want another example?  Take Dean Koontz's THE GOOD GUY:

Timothy Carrier, a quiet stone mason having a beer in a California bar, meets a stranger who mistakes him for a hit man. The stranger slips Tim a manila envelope containing $10,000 in cash and a photo of the intended victim, Linda Paquette, a writer in Laguna Beach, then leaves.

A moment later, Krait, the real killer, shows up and assumes Tim is his client. Tim manages to distract Krait from immediately carrying out the hit by saying he's had a change of heart and offering Krait the $10,000 he just received.

This ploy gives the stone mason enough time to warn Linda before they begin a frantic flight for their lives.  (120 words)

6.) Another?  FEAR NOTHING by Koontz again:

Christopher Snow understands the night. He lives on the mysterious darker edge of society. Snow is afflicted with xeroderma pigmentosum, a rare genetic disease that makes ultraviolet rays-even those from lamps and televisions-deadly.

His condition makes him a pariah in the isolated small town of Moonlight Bay where the ignorant and insensitive fear what they do not know.

Snow's father dies, leaving him with only a handful of offbeat but fiercely loyal friends to turn to for understanding. At the morgue, Snow accidentally witnesses his father's body being replaced with the mutilated corpse of a vagrant.

Before he can find out what is behind this crime, he receives a frantic summons from a friend who is brutally murdered before she can finish explaining a strange story about monkeys and a secret project at the government compound at the edge of town.

What begins as a disturbing puzzle quickly becomes a sinister conspiracy as Snow uncovers evidence of uncanny intelligence in many of the local animals and inhumanely vicious tendencies in some of the human residents of the Bay.

They are "becoming" he learns, but becoming what?  (200 words)


  1. I copied this and saved it for when I need to write one myself. This was really really helpful.

  2. S.L.:
    You made my weary afternoon much better with this comment. :-) I hoped you enjoyed SIMON'S CAT.

  3. Now what? I don't really care. I told my story to whoever wants to listen. Fame and glory was never my motive :) So what if no one buys my book, I wrote it for me...Guess I am selfish...

  4. Siv:
    In this post, I wasn't talking about fame and fortune -- although I am not adverse to them!

    I was writing how important it was to the novel we slaved so hard in writing to have a winning, short blurb or logline to tease the prospective reader into buying our book.

    You are not selfish. You are an artist. :-)

  5. Neil Gaiman enticed me with his Neverwhere book, I wanted to know about the London Underground and that description made me buy the book.

    I left it in Paris for the next person to rent that apartment. I'd definitely read more Neil Gaiman.

  6. Great advice just I'm coming up with my 'one liner' for my next novel.

  7. D.G.:
    THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is quite good. AMERICAN GODS is epic (like with King's THE STAND -- I was not pleased with all of it but overall it is a classic.)

    I wish you the best with creating your "Logline."

  8. I was thinking of using the blurbs of your books as examples, when (or if) the time comes for me to write something like that... :-)

  9. Vesper:
    That's really nice of you to say. You made my evening! And it is a matter of WHEN for you not IF. :-)