By Adam Croft

When you’re an indie author, there’s a list as long as your arm of tasks that need your attention. You need to write the book, edit the book, upload the book, market the book, get covers and formats… The list goes on.

But where should you focus your attention? It’s a good question because not all tasks were created equal. That’s especially true for self-publishing.

There’s one task that vital if you want to find and keep new readers: 

Book descriptions

(And yes, I know book descriptions aren’t technically called blurbs, but I’m going to use them interchangeably for the purposes of this article.)

Hooks and blurbs can literally make or break careers so I can’t overstate the importance of getting them right. Combined with your cover, they’re the first two things a reader will look at when making a decision on whether to purchase your book. Popular psychology argues that when you meet someone face to face, they make their first impression of you within seven to twelve seconds. You have less than that when it comes to selling your book.

What do you see?

Load up the page for one of your books and take a look at what you see first. I’ll do it with The Indie Author Mindset here.

What do you see?

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Hook and description
  • Price
  • Reviews 

And all of those things are in central focus because booksellers know those are the key factors that influence a reader to buy a book — or not, as the case may be.

Getting someone to your book page is only half the battle and that’s one easily won with paid advertising. But how do you hook them after they land on your page?

Testing is fast and can make you money

As authors, numbers aren’t always our favourite thing to work with. But testing can help you make a considerable amount of money.

It’s widely accepted that the two most important factors for a reader when deciding if they will buy your book are the cover and product description.

Changing your cover is laborious and — usually — expensive. Believe me, I should know. But making tweaks and small changes to your blurbs and product descriptions is quick and free and will enable you to test which product description converts best. 

I’ll create a hypothetical example:

Your book sells for £3.99.

You give your product description a shiny new look but it only ends up giving you a single extra sale each day. 

Seems like a total waste of time, right? Wrong.

That £3.99 book is likely to net you around £2.79 in royalties from Kobo. Each day. 

Still doesn’t sound like much, does it? Just wait…

Over the year, that tweak to your blurb and extra sale a day will have netted you more than £1,000 EXTRA in royalties.

(£2.79 royalty x 365 days = £1,018.35)

That’s a worst case scenario. If your new product description gained you two or ten or twenty extra sales, you can watch that thousand pounds keep multiplying. 

See how important it is to get your blurb right? 

You could even revolutionise your career

My personal experience of tweaking blurbs quite literally changed my life and career.

When I landed on the right blurb and hook for Her Last Tomorrow, my life changed overnight. Within just a few short weeks, I’d earned enough to pay off my mortgage. 

You might think that was a one off. It wasn’t. I used the same formula to create the hook for Tell Me I’m Wrong. And that book was even more successful than Her Last Tomorrow.

This isn’t blue sky thinking. It isn’t something only bestsellers can do. This is something everyone could and should be doing. Even if you only increase your sales by one a day, we’ve established you’re still looking at an extra £1,000 in your pocket. That’s a free family holiday every year.  

And all it took was a few minutes playing with words and rewriting your blurb. We’re writers. Playing with words is what we do.

If you’re still looking at this blankly and saying ‘That’s great, but I don’t know what tweaks to make’, I can help. 

I have a new mini-course called Writing Killer Blurbs and Hooks, which is usually priced at just $29. But as a Kobo reader, I’m giving you a special discount.

If you use the promo code KOBO when you check out, you’ll receive an extra 40% off the course, making it just $17.40. Seventeen dollars for the formula that changed my life and my writing career forever.

When you purchase the course you get access for life, including all updates and revisions, and you can learn at your own pace.

Whether you take my course or not, don’t neglect your blurbs — because they could change your life like they did mine.


With more than a million books sold to dateAdam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

You can find him on twitter at @adamcroft and his podcast @CrimeFicPodcast, follow him on Instagram or check out his website, adamcroft.net.

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