When potential readers look at your book on Amazon, does the blurb have impact?
Or do they ignore it because it looks boring?
If so, this is the blog for you — how to fill out that description box on KDP to give your blurb visual impact.
Your Blurb Text
This guide is not about how to write your blurb text. You’re a writer. It’s what you do, isn’t it?
“True,” you reply, grimacing, “but I write novels, not 80-word blurbs. Blurb-writing is hell on wheels.” Most writers would sympathise, so here’s a link to an excellent blog about writing back cover blurb by K J Charles who is both an accomplished writer and a professional editor.
For this blog, I’m concentrating on how to give your wonderful blurb visual impact.
Among other advice in the K J Charles blog is: “keep it short”. When potential buyers see your book on Amazon, they normally see only the start of your blurb. Unless your opening lines have visual impact, readers may not click to read the rest. And if they don’t read your blurb, they probably won’t buy your book, either.
Catching the reader’s eye matters
Adding Visual Impact with HTML Codes : A Worked Example
For a How To guide like this, we need a real-life example.
I’m going to put my head on the block with the blurb for my recently-published novella, His Silken Seduction. The blurb proper is 72 words long. I added another 17 words to warn readers that a shorter edition had been published before. Total: 89 words. Not too bad for length.
Most self-published authors simply put some of their blurb text into ALL CAPS and add a few line breaks. Then they breathe a sigh of relief that the blurb is done and hope for the best.
It doesn’t have much visual impact and, frankly, it looks pretty amateurish. It’s a missed opportunity and it’s easy to do better.
No, I don’t do HTML coding, either.
So what did I do
and how did I do it?
I took the boxed text and put it into KDP with simple codes for header (<h3> </h3>) and italic (<em> </em>). I also added line breaks to get the layout I wanted. The box below shows you how I typed my text in. I could have used bold as well (<strong> </strong>) but I didn’t need to.
If you’re worried about how HTML codes work, then go to http://www.onlinehtmleditor.net
It’s very easy to use. Type your blurb text into the top window and then highlight and format it as you want it. The results will appear in the lower window. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes. Just keep trying.
Once your blurb has the impact you want, copy the full HTML text from the top window into a word document, so you have it for reference and you know exactly what the codes are and where they go. Then go to KDP and fill in the description box with your text and HTML codes.
It will take a few hours for your blurb to go live. Check that it’s come out as you intended. If not, go back into KDP and change it. I had to have about 4 goes to get the final formatting above because I didn’t get the line breaks right, so there’s a degree of trial and error the first time you do this. (If you’d like a two-page note on what I did, including how to avoid my mistakes, email me via the contact page.)
I think it was worth the effort. And I hope this visual impact guide is useful. I also apologise to all those writers for whom all this stuff is old hat. (But they didn’t read this far, did they?)