A Terrific Reply from Paul Young of PRYING1books.com
In another posting on Bookshop Blog (Desperately Seeking Synopsis) the question was asked about putting the synopsis of a book in listings. Why do it for every book? It was stated that all buyers really want is the condition of the book, price and some shipping info. Surely there are buyers out there that are looking only for the best deal or the quickest shipping. My daughter gets a book assigned for her schooling, she only wants a readable copy and that quickly, so I do understand this line of thinking.
That said, I do think it very important for a bookseller to put in a synopsis. Even just a few short words telling what the book is about. Go through one of Bookfinder.com’s pages on just about any book and there are dozens of competitors out there that have the same description. Most say nothing about the contents of the book. Just the condition. Without a synopsis yours would be just tossed into the mix with them. How will yours stand out? A few extra words will do the trick.
I mainly do it for the search engines. How many other books for sale out there just like yours that say, “VG/DJ” with no words or means for the search engines to latch onto the listing? Most of those go to the end of the queue…
If you have a book on book collecting and those words are not in the title why not put it in the description in sentence form? Throw in a few adjectives while you are at it. “Wonderful book on book collecting by an author that was highly aclaimed in his day.” I chose that subject because…
I have at hand: “A Magnificent Farce” by A. Edward Newton. (1921 second impression)
I did a quick Google search – “Book Collecting” farce – (with quotes) and http://www.bookmaven.net comes up in the top number one position. I click on the link and find the book is sold. Hmmmm. I wonder why? Suppose a prospective customer did not remember the title and that, or something similar is what they typed in.
Bookmaven’s website has search by category and I check out some other books on book collecting. Each and every one of them has an extensive description that, as shown through my initial search, puts it higher up in the Search engine optimization (SEO). I check the Google cache on the book and find Bookmaven also did the same with A Magnificent Farce. Some time was spent on this listing which paid off with a sale. (while I’m in the cache I can see the selling price to better price my book for sale)
Plus they buyer feels better about buying from a seller that cares and the only way they can tell if you are a book lover or a big box wannabe is through the description. I’ve had buyers write and tell me they could have bought the book for less elsewhere but they liked my description. One buyer said it added value to the book.
A quick synopsis does pay off in the end but spending too much time in writing it decreases the pay off. It is important to not get caught up in the search for an elusive synopsis when a quick perusal of a few pages can give one fresh info that other reviewers might not have.