Apologies if you are a reader, or maybe not, if you are the kind of reader who watches the BTS content movies put up or likes to hear what being an author is like. If not, move along, this post is going to get into the weeds a bit.

Okay, it is just us now. So you may have heard of this thing called Aye-Eye. I’m joking, seriously if you haven’t can you share whatever rock you’ve been hiding under because AI is everywhere? As writers, we’ve been told over and over that it is coming for our jobs. 2 things, AI is just a tool, like autocorrect on steroids- And you know how often you look at a text you sent after autocorrect has had its wicked way with it and start yelling at your phone. Second, people have wanted stories, good stories since there were people. AI may be getting better but at baseline, it is a simulation of what it has been able to find and then it puts down a word and then the next most likely word and so on. Just as you can give two writers the same prompt and they can go in very different directions, so too does AI. 

BUT! it is good at doing something remarkably well. Marketing for instance and that is what I’m here to talk about today. If you sell your work at all you know you need a book description. I can not tell you the depth of loathing I have for writing book descriptions. I swear they take me as long to write as the book! HATES THEM! said in my best Smeagol voice. So now I make AI do that. Here’s how. 

1) Gather some info for your book, AI has to start somewhere. It could be the high points of the story and a sentence about each of the main characters, it could be your hook, decision, etc format, it could be the horrible description that hasn’t been working so your book has been floundering even when you are giving it away. Yeah, mine are that bad.

2) Tell AI what you want it to do. I start with something like “Write a sales-generating, dynamic, book description for a (insert genre) book titled (insert title if you have one) based on the following information: (Insert collected book notes).”

3) See what it pops out. Seriously, it is that easy. But like most things easy, it isn’t that simple. Now you need to put on your editor hat because odds are AI has spit out some nonsense that has nothing to do with your book. In one case, the firefighter saves the heroine from a burning building according to AI in one of my books. I mean that is great but really their meet cute is he is coming off a double, helps her get her shopping cart out of the snow, and leaves his groceries with his wallet in her cart. Okay, much less dramatic, but a lot more relatable! Hey, he does save her later in the book! So tweak the AI description so you aren’t promising something your story doesn’t deliver. 

4) Rinse and repeat. In design terms, this is known as iterating. Design people like to get complicated. I tweak the description and load it back into AI literally with the phrase “Is this better?” and it will tell me why it is, unless I’ve really missed the mark, and how. Look at that writes your book descriptions AND teaches you how.

Now a word about platforms. I’ve used ChatGPT and it is fine but designed for designer/coder/techy types. I primarily use Google Gemini. It is super easy to get decent results and feels like you are almost asking a person if that person had no personality but a hell of a knowledgebase. 

Does that help? You can get much more technical with it and give it the whole outline of your book but I don’t. What I’m looking for is it to do copywriting because even with all of the different kinds of writing I do (my day job is as a grant writer) copywriting isn’t one of them and that is what a book description is. Gets a potential reader excited about what you wrote and then their one-click finger itchy to click.

And because I worked in science too long for my own good, I’ve been watching the numbers. My sales have more than doubled since I changed all my books over to AI-based descriptions and I can sleep at night knowing they are at least better than what I could write myself.