Week #10 – Anita Waller – The Family at No 12

We all know that book descriptions are vital part of book sales, and one of the biggest pains on an indie author’s to-do list.

I’m on a myth-busting mission impossible to breakdown the elements of bestselling blurbs so that you can use the techniques to write your own best selling blurbs…and make it a lot less painful in the process.

Heck, I’m gonna go so far as to say that I actually want you to start enjoying writing the bleddie things…

Because you’ll have a handy bag ‘o’ tricks to refer to, grab inspiration from, and stop using the spaghetti-thrown-at-the-wall approach.

Here’s how these weekly blurb breakdowns are gonna go down…

Every week I’ll take a best selling book off the digital shelves of Amazon’s top 100 in a given category… and I’ll break it down, sentence by sentence, so you can see the techniques and strategies at play.

Then, you can use those techniques to strengthen or create your own best selling book description.

If you come across an awesome book description out in the wilderness, and you want me to break it down, I’m more than happy to do it. The catch is, it can’t be for one of your own books.

Just email me with the Amazon link and tell me what you liked about it – if it made you want to buy it, or if you bought it.

Right, so them’s the rules, let’s dive in…

This weeks blurb breakdown is Anita Waller’s, The Family at No 12 at the time of writing it was actually sitting at No. 1 in the UK’s best selling thriller category on Amazon.

Here’s the blurb…

Here’s the Amazon link if you want a closer look

The breakdown…

Book Subtitle: The brand new explosive, addictive psychological thriller from Anita Waller

The words ‘brand new’ will attract the novelty seekers and people will want to onboard with that, there’s also the use of it as a keyword — I haven’t looked into Amazon’s algorithms but I’ll bet there are people searching for ‘new thrillers’. The words ‘explosive’ and ‘addictive’ a perfect fit for the genre.

Hook: The explosive new thriller from 
international bestseller Anita Waller

Breakdown: The word: ‘explosive’ is a 
 power word. It is suggestive of momentum and generates excitement. 

‘New thriller’ is designed to entice novelty seekers, ‘international bestseller’ is designed to build status, credibility and a touch of fomo (fear of missing out). 

The repetition of the author’s name is designed to help it stick in a reader’s mind.

Main body: 
’When Janette answers the door to a potential customer looking to board his dog, she never imagines he has nefarious plans’.

Breakdown: So we have the set-up, it’s hinted that Jeanette is the owner of a kennel and we’re given the reason why she opens the door. Next we have an open loop… What nefarious plans?’This is a solid opening, it’s the height of ‘show don’t tell? The fact that she’s a dog lover, inferred by her willingness to board dogs, we assume she is a nice person. 

Next line: But minutes later he’s 
dead and in her cellar! 

Breakdown: Bloody hell that escalated 
quickly! It definitely reflects the ‘explosive’ reference in the hook. And opens up another massive open loop. What the hell happened there?

Next line: Weeks later she realises 
she’s pregnant.

Breakdown: Eh? How did that happen? 
Was this guy the father? Does it mean she was raped? Another open loop.

Next line: And so she becomes Mother 
and the baby child, and a hidden life begins.

Breakdown: So we know she has the 
baby, but I find this bit a little cryptic. She becomes Mother and the baby Child. Is it a typo? Maybe the ‘and’ should be a ‘to’. In any case it ends on a strong open loop with the ‘hidden life’. This bit sets up the crux of the story, and gets us into the muddy middle. 

Next line: But all secrets come out 

Breakdown: Here’s a big fat open loop that 
sets up the climax of the book.

Next bit:

What readers are saying about Anita Waller:

I was completely hooked’

‘She just gets better . . . An absolutely fabulous read’

Grabs you from page one’

Absolutely phenomenal’

A cracking good read’ 

‘Honestly, I cannot get enough of this author’

Breakdown: They use two types of 
review quotes. The first few refer to the book and its contents. Then, the final review quote refers to the author. This helps to build desire and encourages a feeling that they’re missing out an a good read. They’ve also structured them in a way that draws the eye because they get shorter in length it makes you feel like you’re reading faster.

In summary

In summary, it’s a really good book description. I’ve no doubt it’s doing a good job to pull readers in.  

What do you think?

Have you got any questions about it?

Want to suggest a book description to breakdown?

Either comment below or shoot me an email.

And of course, you can always join my email list for deeper copywriting insights.

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