Reason #2: Your Book Description Doesn't Have Enough Butter [6 REASONS YOUR BOOK ISN'T SELLING]
6 REASONS YOUR BOOK ISN’T SELLING--and how Universal Fantasy can solve them.
During my Junior Year Abroad in Beijing, China, I came across a bakery with something I’d never seen before in a Chinese shop window: strudel!
I’m from the German-pastry-loving city of St. Louis, so man-oh-man, I love me some strudel (though while researching this post, I discovered this tasty dessert actually originated in Austria--sorry Deutschland!).
By then, I’d gone months without the kind of pastries I grew up with back in the States. Best believe, I rushed into that bakery and bought a piece of strudel straight away—so, so excited to have this unexpected treat.
But then, I bit into it, and wow….no butter!
It was basically sugared flake dough--nothing like the delicious pastry I remembered from back home. Crushed and disappointed, I threw the rest of the supposed strudel into the nearest trash can.
This is the same way I often feel while reading book descriptions.
As a reader, I’ve clicked on so many intriguing Facebook ads and drooled over a ton of F-able covers--only to have my hopeful heart sink with disappointment when I then, read a book description that gives me the same dry experience as eating that strudel.
I think we’ve all seen serviceable book descriptions with the following breakdown: a simple introduction of the characters and their situation, a peek at the plot, then lastly, a big question that the reader wants answered.
That’s actually not a terrible place to start—but remember Trope is the WHAT IT IS.
Universal Fantasy is the WHY IT’S GOOD.
If you want more one-clicks on your titles, make sure your perfectly serviceable description is infused with UF Butter.
How? Super simple, actually.
Recall your book and write down as many of the UFs as you can remember. Look at your list, then make sure that at least a few of those UFs are in your description.
I also like the one UF per paragraph method. Each paragraph can have a UF in play for maximum impact.
For example, say you’re introducing your characters in a bosshole s romcom.
A typical first line might go like this. Max Von Billionaire is an arrogant, playboy bosshole. I can’t stand him. But unfortunately, I’m his employee.
But a typical first line infused with UFs I like would go something like this: Max Von Billionaire could have any woman he wants but he’s totally focused on me. And by focused, I mean, he lives to make my life miserable. And I can’t escape him because America’s most eligible playboy also happens to be my boss.
RomComs aren’t my thing offscreen, so obviously that’s not the best opening ever. But you see where I’m going with this. One description is just the character and situation set-up. The other is way more intriguing--even as handled by a writer of angsty, dark things--because it has butter.
Some of my most fantastic and enthusiastic thank yous come from writers who used UF to make their blurbs delicious.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN:
Check your catalog for any dry descriptions and slather some UF butter over them. Your new readers will most likely thank you for the time you spend doing this--with dollars.
And read the other reasons your books might not be selling….
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