The description is the text that summarizes your book in the Amazon.com page. Getting it to read well is vital. In addition to your book cover and title, most potential buyers of your book will make a decision based on the description.
Fortunately, you’ve already written a description – it’s just the blurb on the back cover of your blurb. Hopefully you’ve saved of it in a format so you can easily copy and paste it into the box on your screen. If you haven’t, you’ll need to retype.
As the text will appear online, you should follow the general rules for website when entering the text. First, don’t indent the start of each paragraph. Instead place a blank line between paragraphs. To get one, simply place your cursor at the end of a paragraph and hit enter. If you hit “Source” on the box where you enter the description, you’ll see some coding – if you’ve done it right, <br> will appear at the end of each paragraph and on the blank line. If there are two <br> with no text next to it, then you’ve got an extra blank line. Just delete the <br> until you’ve only got one of them between paragraphs.
You can play a little with the text, changing some of it to boldface or italics, as well as centering or aligning it. If you used a headline above you blurb on your paperback, you might do the same here by centering or boldfacing it.
After the description, you’ll probably want to add an author’s bio, just like on your back cover or inside your book. You don’t have to. Once you publish your book, you can set up an Author’s Page, and Amazon will pull the bio from that to place lower on its page that sells your book. If you write nonfiction, your professional experience and background is a key element in selling the book, though, so you probably want your bio up near the top of the page below the description. In addition, if you write different kinds of books, you may want different versions of your bio for each book. For example, I write both hiking guidebooks and children’s books, and what is important to a backpacker isn’t what’s important to a parent selecting a book for their preschooler, so I use different bios based on which genre I’m writing in.
Another element you might place in the description are short, one-line excerpts of reviews of your book, especially if they come from well-known, reputable people in the profession or from the media. For example, if I’m writing about the future of space exploration, an endorsement of my book from astronaut Buzz Aldrin and a positive review from the Journal of Aerospace Science will go a long way in convincing others to buy the book.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.