Would You Use AI to Generate a Book Description / Book Blurb for Your WIP or Finished Book?
No matter how many words I write, writing the blurb for the back of a book cover is the most brain and time-taxing writing I do. Why? Because it’s so hard to reduce the concepts in a 60-100,000 word book into just a few short lines. And there’s so much riding on it given it’s the blurb that cements the reader’s decision to purchase.
In Look-It’s Your Book! I wrote:
If the cover and title catch a reader’s attention, the very next thing they typically do is read the ‘blurb’, which is the compelling description written on the back cover. It is also used, perhaps in a slightly modified or expanded way, to describe your book in bookselling systems.
What makes a great book blurb?
A great blurb for a non-fiction book:
- is compelling and irresistible to your target audience
- provides solutions and possibilities
- uses active language and short sentences
- is peppered with subtitles and bullet points that reveal how readers will benefit.
For fiction books, it sets the scene and stakes, centres more on the conflict and characters and tries to draw us into the world.
How long should it be?
There are no set rules, but potential readers will often only give you a few seconds or sentences to grab their imagination.
Who can help me with my blurb?
- Your editor may be able to offer some insights.
- Marketing and sales specialists in your network,especially copywriters,can be helpful.
- Blurb specialists exist. They can be found on the internet and through author groups.
- Research by reading the back of all the latest releases and bestsellers.
- You know your book well, so go and research the back of other books to see how they do it. Draft up some possibilities and get feedback on your efforts from booksellers and librarians too.
AI can help too. But, do we want it to?
Some of the reasons for not using AI to write your book description include:
- AI has been based on the unpaid use of other people’s work.
- AI takes away potential work from other writers including specialist blurb writers.
- AI will use your queries to further build its functionality.
- The potential for AI and ‘bad actors’ who use it to go rogue at some time in the future.
But for writers struggling to write a great book description, who don’t have a publisher who can take care of it for them, or who don’t have the money to pay a blurb writer, AI can certainly help solve a few of the steps in blurb creation, and in record time too.
I recently put the new, free AI Book Description Generator Tool offered by Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur to the test. I also use the company’s Publisher Rocket as a tool to check out Amazon key words, competitor books and categories. I believe in the quality and usefulness of Publisher Rocket for authors which is why I’m an affiliate.
What I Liked…
What I liked about the AI Book Description Generator Tool is that it can create a book description in the ideal formats required by Amazon, Rakuten Kobo and Barnes and Noble. It also has already been trained with the correct prompts, so I didn’t need to blindly fumble my way through prompts with ChatGTP.
I can also see how it could be used to write a book description for a work in progress, if say, you’re trying to get an agent or a publisher for your manuscript.
I was never really happy with my book description for the farmlit memoir Honey Farm Dreaming, so I fed that text into the book description generator tool to give it a go and here’s what it came back with:
AI-generated description for the Honey Farm Dreaming audiobook
Discover the hilarity and hardship of a decade of life on a small Australian farm in this delightful memoir by author Anna Featherstone. This audiobook is perfect for anyone looking to immerse themselves in a different lifestyle, escape from their own lives, and gain a better understanding of the environment, farming, and human nature. Through a mix of funny, moving, and engrossing stories, readers will be transported to a world of animals, bees, backpackers, and more as they join the author on her journey of following her dreams and finding success, failure, and finally understanding.
Benefits from reading this book include:
– A captivating escape to another life and lifestyle
– A heartfelt journey of understanding and discovery
– A good laugh and some moving moments
– Delightful farmhouse recipes and tips for creating your own organic lip and skin balms
What’s included in the book:
– Tales of a small Australian farm and its animals
– Thousands of tourists in the garden
– A hundred backpackers in the house
– Millions of bees in the air
– Commitment to the environment and each other
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to join Anna Featherstone on her journey – buy now before the price changes!
Hmmm – it sounds a little sappy, formulaic and the whole upsell in the last line leaves me (and I guess readers too!) cold. It’s not hugely different to the original description either, but did pull out and refine some bullet points so it’s a better read. Surprisingly, it completely left out mentioning the bonus farmhouse food and organic skin care recipes included in the book. Overall, I was hoping to be dazzled, but I wasn’t. It does give me a basic direction to refine it though.
Here’s the original description on Amazon for Honey Farm Dreaming so you can compare.
Immerse yourself in this delightful memoir about a decade of life on a small Australian farm.
This is an audiobook for anyone who enjoys being transported to another life and lifestyle, or who is interested in bees, homesteading, small farming, animals, organic gardening, farmers markets, human nature, and the hilarity and hardship that goes with all that.
Funny, moving, and engrossing, you’ll be transported to a world where one family tries to keep it all together as they juggle a farmyard full of animals, thousands of tourists in the garden, a hundred backpackers in the house, millions of bees in the air, and their commitment to the environment and each other.
Buzzing with good humour, moving moments, and interesting stories, discover more about the ‘simple life’ and enjoy a good laugh from this well-reviewed memoir in which author Anna Featherstone lays bare what it’s like to follow your dreams and to find success, failure, and finally understanding along the way.
An added bonus at the end: delightful farmhouse recipes and tips for creating your own organic lip and skin balms.
My takeout on the AI Book Description Generator
AI isn’t at the stage yet where it can write a compelling book description without lots of author input and great, original author content, but it can nudge us in a direction, potentially improve copy and layout for key online book stores, and perhaps just give us a bit of feedback that we can work with. It’s not going to turn your manuscript into a bestseller though, it’s up to we authors to find the descriptive gold and the heart of our books.
Click here to give the book blurb generator a spin or if you’re in the research stage for your book or refining your book marketing approach, it can be useful to do some research with Publisher Rocket here.
fyi an affiliate disclosure statement for this post is available here.