(This photo is by Tante Tati and is available on Pixabay)

I am publishing my first ebook today. It has been traveling with me for many years, haunting me perhaps. It’s short. Too short, possibly.

But then … it’s all I wanted to say.

So I didn’t write more.

But that is (not quite) the purpose of this post. Because this post deals with book descriptions.

You see, I had polished this little nugget and was raring to go, opened the “Publish” page on Smashwords … and then they asked me for a book description.

I quietly closed the browser tab and opened a fresh one … and searched for “book descriptions”.

I found a few, but thought I would recommend this one for anyone else looking for some guidance on writing a book description. It’s a blog post written by Mark Edwards for Catherine Ryan Howard’s blog with the byline “She turns coffee into books so that she can afford to buy more coffee, and more books” … 🙂

It’s from 2012, and she has marked it up as a “Really Old Post”. But old is sometimes better than good … so here goes.

The post is called “The 11 Ingredients of a Sizzling Book Description” and you can read the full post here, but allow me to summerise just enough to make you click the orange hyperlinked “here” in this sentence:

  1. Make it clear.
  2. Write in your genre.
  3. Don’t be afraid to reference other books or writers.
  4. The book is more important than you.
  5. The first line is the most important.
  6. It should be as long as it needs to be.
  7. Don’t be boring.
  8. Make them laugh, cry, cower.
  9. Use testimonials.
  10. Make your characters live.
  11. Make the reader desperate to know what happens.


Well, I definitely found it inspiring. (I think.) And this is what I came up with for my debut:

Something stirred in the tall grass field.
Something big. Something low.
In dreams the primordial fears rule.

This simple dream parable asks some of the hardest questions a believer will have to face: are you seeing things that are not? Are you seeing things that should not be? Or are you willing to take God at his word?

What do you think?

I would love to put the Amazon link to the book, which is called “Planet of the Snake People” in here, but unfortunately it isn’t on Amazon … well, not when I am writing this post. You see, I live in South Africa, and Amazon doesn’t understand that you cannot send a royalty check (“cheque” for us non-Americans) by post (really, Amazon? Post? I haven’t been inside a post office in years!) to a developing country. Because it’s not going to get here. Ever. And if, by some  miracle of miracles it bypasses the hot sweaty hands of a cheque-grabber, the banks don’t believe that it’s real, so they send the check BACK to America so that Amazon can confirm that it’s real before they pay it out.

… yeah. The joys of living in the developing world.

So, once Amazon allows EFT payments to South Africans, I’ll be first in the queue to upload and link and share … but until then Smashwords is gracious enough to allow Penpal royalty payments, so I’ll happily publish there.

I think I might have gone off on a bit of a rant … I actually just wanted to talk about this brilliant post on creating book descriptions for your ebooks. Do remember to click on the orange “here” a bit higher up in this post so that you can go read Catherine’s blog and Mark’s post.

Have fun y’all!




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