From time to time I get emails from other authors announcing their latest books, and I always enjoy reading them. Lately however I seem to be noticing a trend--telling way too much about the book in the description.
For example, I got one the other day from an author who's been in this business much longer than I have. His email 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 spent paragraph after paragraph describing the entire plot. By the time I was finished reading the email I had no incentive whatsoever 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 very well. I write teasers, not plot summaries. I include just enough to give you a general idea of what the story is about, and, hopefully, it's just enough for you to want to read more. I'm pasting in a copy of my one hundred word description for my latest novel, The Reunion, which I'm writing under my pen name, Marina Martindale. 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. But despite 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?