How to Write a Good Description of Your Book

From time to time I’ll receive emails from other authors announcing their latest books, and I always enjoy reading them. They’ll of course include a description of the book, but one must be careful not to say too much.

For example, I got an email the other day from an author who’s been in this business far longer than I have. He included a copy of the book cover, (which is important, by the way), but then his description must have been a good 500 words long. His book was fiction, and he described the entire plot. By the time I finished reading the email I had no incentive to buy the book because I already knew the whole story from start to finish.

One the trick I was taught early on was to write descriptions of ten to one hundred words long, but nothing longer. Over time I’ve learned that for most promotional purposes, fifty to one hundred word descriptions work very well. I write teasers, not plot summaries–enough to give you a general idea of what the story is about, and, hopefully, entice you to want to read more. I’ve pasted a copy of my description for my Marina Martindale novel, The Reunion. Please feel free to use it as an example for a teaser description.


Gillian Matthews is becoming famous in the art world. All her hard work has finally paid off and her paintings are being sold in several highly prestigious art galleries. Yet in spite of her success and accomplishments, one thing has always eluded her—true love. Then one night, during her opening at a Denver art gallery, a man from her past unexpectedly appears. Her long lost true love. The one man she never forgot, never got over, and never expected to see again. After being apart for twenty-five long years, will Gillian finally have a second chance for happiness?