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Believe it or not, movie studios don’t let the director of a movie create his or her trailer. They hire specialized trailer companies. Likewise big publishers don’t allow their authors to write book descriptions. These publishers employ experienced book marketing copywriters to create book descriptions. But why?
The fact of the matter is that most authors (and film directors) are too close to their own work. As a creator, you’ve been working on your story for months. You know things about characters and setting and motivation and plot that are not even in the actual book. The first danger in an author writing his or her own description is that they will be unable to detach themselves enough to focus on what’s really important to readers. An author writing his or her own book description might include the mention of a subplot of which he or she is particularly proud–even though that subplot may be confusing out of context. Also because you, as the author, know the story so well, your natural inclination is to tell the story in a detailed summary as part of the book description. Harsh truth: detailed, accurate summaries are never as compelling as well-written sales copy.
As an indie author, you are the CEO of your own publishing company. So no one (except you yourself) can prevent you from writing your own book description. But it may not be the best way to get an effective book description. You may want to hire an expert instead.
Author and copywriter Bryan Cohen has a book description writing service called Best Page Forward. You can engage him to write your book description for under $100 (at the time of writing). There are other copywriters offering this service as well.
If you feel that you can truly detach yourself from your novel enough to write a compelling book description, read on. We’re going to go through the steps, one by one, in our next and final chapter.
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