How To Write Your First Non-Fiction Book And Start Earning As An Indie Author Part 5: Titles And Descriptions

How To Write Your First Non-Fiction Book And Start Earning As An Indie Author Part 5: Titles And Descriptions

By Neal Martin/ September 14, 2014
Last Updated April 27, 2023
writing tips

Here we are again, now at stage five of the process of writing and publishing your first non-fiction book.

In part one we looked at coming up with ideas and then researching those ideas.

In part two we looked at outlining your book.

In part three we discussed writing your book.

Then in part four we looked at designing the cover for your book.

Now we are going to discuss another important aspect of publishing your book, and that is the title of your book and the description of your book on the sales page.

Step 5: Write Your Tile And Description

At this stage, you probably already have a good idea of what the title of your book is. You may have even come up with a title before you even started writing.

Regardless of whether you have a title or not, be sure to read what I have to say here before you settle on a final title because I’m going to show you how to craft a compelling title that will help you sell the maximum amount of books.

Titles are just as important as covers.

The title is one of the first things a buyer looks at. If your title isn’t engaging enough, if it doesn’t suggest it can solve a problem or improve lives in some way, your book will be ignored.

This is why it’s critical that you spend a bit of time crafting the perfect title for your book.

Your books title doesn’t have to be cute or gimmicky to get people’s attention. In fact going down that road often has the opposite effect on people.

Understand this: the number one priority of your book’s title is to hook the reader in some way and sell the main benefit of your book. That’s it.

Your title has to grab the attention of someone who has already scanned dozens of other titles in their search for the book they want or need.

If that person has to think too much about what you are trying to convey with your title, they will dismiss it and move on to a different title that they have no trouble understanding.

What Makes A Good Hook?

A good hook is one that immediately grabs the attention of the person viewing your book.

Remember that people who buy non-fiction books do so because they have a problem that needs solving or because they want to learn about a particular subject.

The best thing you can do for your title therefore is to put across the main benefit a person will get from reading your book.

Don’t beat around the bush with silly wordplay. Just straight up tell people what your book is about and what they will get out of reading it.

Using Keywords In Your Title

It will help your sales a lot if you can put particular keywords in the title of your book. Keywords are how people find your book in the search engine.

Given that, you should try to put your main keyword right at the start of your title.

If you don’t know what a keyword is, it’s basically one word or phrase that sums up the subject of your book, such as “dieting” or “internet marketing”, “self defense”, “model cars” or “dog grooming”.

When people search for a particular subject they are interested in, it’s those keywords that they use to try and find the books related to that subject.

If those keywords feature prominently in your title and description, your book is more likely to show up the search results and therefore get clicked on.

So when you are crafting your title, make sure to put your keyword at the start of the title. For instance with dog grooming, a sample title might be, Dog Grooming: What You Need To Know, or even, Dog Grooming For Beginners.

You get the idea.

The other thing you can do with titles is to add a subtitle, which will allow you to add in more keywords.

For my second book, the title was Combatives Instruction. It indicated what the book was about, but it didn’t say much else, so I added a subtitle, which was: Physical Self Defense Teaching And Training Methods For Instructors And Students.

That subtitle not only allowed me to elaborate on what the book was about, it also allowed me to add in the other big keyword of “self defense”, which made a big difference when it came to visibility in the search results.

Just don’t over do your keywords and do something called “keyword stuffing”, which is where you add in a load of keywords to the point where it just looks spammy and like you’ve added them in for the sake of it.

Keep things as natural as possible. One or two keywords in a title is plenty.

You can also combine different keywords to form your title, but only do this if the finished title makes sense and again, doesn’t come across as spammy.

Finding Keywords

To begin with you should have a good idea of the kind of words and phrases that people search for when they want to know about the subject your book is about. Start there first.

Another way to find keywords is to go to the Amazon search bar and enter in your keyword. If your keyword is “dog grooming”, enter that in.

If you don’t hit search after entering in your keyword you will notice that Amazon gives you a drop down list of other suggested and related keywords. Those you can use for your own keywords list because these are the terms that people are actually searching for.

If you need more, simply put a letter after your keyword. Start with the letter “A” and go through the alphabet. You will get different search terms each time.

You can do the exact same process with Google search if you want even more keywords.

Be sure to write all these down, then go through your list and pick out the most suitable keywords.

Can you combine two or three of these search terms into one title and still have it make sense and not come across as spammy? If so, do it, for doing so will give your title extra visibility in the search results.

I did this with my writing book. I combined a few different keywords to form a long subtitle that sold the book even further without looking too spammy.

Those same keywords can also be used when you have to upload your book to Amazon. You will be asked to provide a maximum of seven keywords. Make sure you do this to give your book the best chance of being found.

Here’s a trick that I picked up, although I’m still not sure if it has any real effect on search listings:

In order to use more keywords, simply don’t put a comma between them. If you put your keywords in as one long string of words with no comma between them (just a space), Amazon will count that as being a single keyword. So it’s a way of getting in more keywords that can potentially help your book show up in the search results. It’s a bit gray hat, so use at your own risk. I’ve done it with a few of my books and it’s been fine.

Crafting A Winning Description

You’ve hooked people in with your title and fantastic cover, now you have to sell the book to them. This is where your description comes in.

You will notice that non-fiction book descriptions tend to be longer than fiction ones. This is because non-fiction book descriptions are more like sales pitches.

This is where you really get to sell the benefits of your book to potential buyers.

The best thing you can do at this stage is to look at other books already for sale on Amazon. Look at the descriptions of those books and see how the authors sell their book to people.

Just like your title, a good description should hook people in from the start.

If you look at the description for my writing book, you will see this is what I did. I used a big heading to grab attention and tell people what they can expect to gain from reading my book.

After that, I continued to draw them in, listing the benefits to be gained from reading the book. At the end of my description I give a brief recap of the main benefit and a call to action to buy the book.

To make your description look more appealing, you should format it in HTML so you can use the big orange headlines you saw in my description, as well as bullet points to describe the main benefits of what the book offers.

Even if a person scans your description without reading the whole thing, they will still see the most important parts that you have made stand out in some way through the use of HTML formatting.

This is massively important! Most people won’t read long blocks of text, so you have to break things up for them and make sure your most important sales points stand out.

You will also notice in my description that I have capitalized certain phrases. The reason for this is to provide a sort of subliminal sales pitch or call to action. If you took away all the text in the description and left just the phrases that have been capitalized you will see that those phrases together on their own sum up the main benefit of the book and also tells the person reading to buy the book.

It’s a clever internet marketing trick, but it works. Here’s a link to a video that explains this sales tactic in detail.

Understand: Your book will not sell itself. You have to make your book as attractive as possible to potential buyers if you want to make sales. Bland doesn’t sell. Make your book stand out from the thousands of others by having a title that hooks and a description that sells, plus relevant keywords to help your book get found.

Don’t rush any of this process. The more you get these elements right, the more sales you will make in the long run.

That’s it for this part of the series. We’ll return soon with the final part on how to market your book for maximize sales.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


red village ethan drake book 10
urban fantasy book cover design