How to Polish Your Book's Promotional Words

Posted by Brittany Lavin
Published On Sep 27, 2014

by John F. Harnish

Absolutely the most essential part of your book is its abstract or synopsis—the 100-word explanation intended to hook readers’ interest in buying yourbook. Most likely you dashed off a quick description when you submitted your book file for publication.

497769 59491451 sxc Jason Aaberg resized 600Since its release for sale and reading your first-blush posting at, have you even thought about your book’sdescription? Now is the time to rewrite the 100-word description of your book to make each word clearly present the benefits your book will provide.

Invest time in logging onto Amazon and study the style and pitch of a dozen blurbs posted about books similar to yours—make notes about what aspects worked effectively and what phrases could have been left out. Now apply your same objective evaluation of what works and what doesn’t in your 100-word pitch. Visit Netflix and read movie blurbs on similar topics, or in your genre, to harvestcurrent keywords or phrases you can adapt to your book. These are your first steps in rewriting your 100 words—actually, rewriting 300 words.

Yes, write 3 different descriptions for distribution to your family and friends, and solicit their feedback about the one description they think would best attract readers—along with why they believe it works. This new and vastly improved abstract becomes your ever-ready answer when you’re asked, “What’s your book about???”

In the interest of putting your best words forward, invest time in updating your 100-word bio, too. Make every word sing with your accomplishments—spare miscellaneous details; instead, stress interesting key points. Purge negative references and non-essential information from your bio—the most important element it needs to clearly convey is that you have the experience and background to write a non-fiction book on the topic; and for novelists, you have the ability to write a great story.

Review your potential review sources—email folks who have read your book. By all means, contact Uncle Johnny who took the time to buy and read your book; and he also took a few minutes to drop you a note that your book was a good read. Now is the time to ask him to post his certain-to-be glowing review of your book on BBOTW and on Amazon.

Please don’t write a review of your book as if you’re someone else. This type of self-serving deception has a nasty way of coming back to bite you on the buns when you least expect it.


Photo courtesy of Jason Aaberg.

Topics: pitching, publication, infinity publishing, infinity, marketing your book, self publishing, book reviews, book reviewers, bookstores, books, authors, book sales, self publishing companies, writing, publishing, publishing industry, writing advice, publishing vs. self-publishing

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