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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: Description Detective by Amy Harrop and Deborah Drum


Description Detective is a new product and manual for authors who want to improve their book or e-book descriptions on Amazon and boost their sales. It's been launched today at a low (but slowly rising) offer price.

This is the latest release from Amy Harrop and Deborah Drum. I've mentioned some of Amy and Debbie's other high-quality products such as Publisher's Review Accelerator, Book Trailer Treasure Map and Fast and Cheap Storybooks on this blog before. I also recommended their report on "underground" promotional methods, which you can still pick up via this blog post for free if you haven't already.

Amy and Debbie were kind enough to allow me pre-launch reviewer access to Description Detective, so here's what I found...

The software itself is simple to download and install. When you launch it, you can see an eight-minute video tutorial that takes you through using the software step by step.

It really is straightforward, and for once there genuinely is no need for an instruction manual. The short promotional video below shows you what it does...



As you can see, Description Detective is pretty intuitive. You start by entering one or more keywords related to your chosen niche, then choose whether to search for Kindle e-books only, print books only, or all types. You can also set the maximum number of results you want displayed, then click on the search icon.

You will then see a list of books and their descriptions in Amazon sales rank order, with the best-selling ones at the top. Here's a screen capture of the results I got when I searched the Kindle store for "Plotting a novel"...


As ever, you can see a larger version of the screen capture above by clicking on it.

And yes, the list includes my e-book Three Great Techniques for Plotting Your Novel or Screenplay, with a respectable sales rank of about 30,000. You didn't think I was going to miss the chance of giving it another plug, now did you?

The software allows you to copy the book description to your clipboard, and you can also export all the descriptions to a CSV (comma separated values) file. Finally, you can click on a link to open any book's Amazon sales page in your browser.

And that's it, basically. It's a simple but useful tool, that lets you quickly find, read and compare the descriptions of other books in your niche. By this means you can evaluate the competition and maybe borrow some of their best ideas when composing your own descriptions!

The software is only half the story, though. You also get a 35-page PDF guide to writing better book descriptions and formatting them according to Amazon's rather challenging rules and guidelines.

This is the most detailed account I have seen yet of how to create and format Amazon descriptions. It reveals how to incorporate the range of permitted features using KDP Dashboard and Amazon Author Central (the rules are actually quite different in each case). You will also learn how you can add quotes, reviews and "book extras" to descriptions using Author Central, and much more.

One small point I would make is that while the PDF is bang up to date at the moment, Amazon do have a habit of changing the rules every so often. If you are serious about building your Kindle publishing empire, therefore, I recommend getting Andy Makar's Better Book Descriptions tool as well. This will take care of formatting in both KDP and Author Central for you, and Andy has promised it will be updated any time Amazon change the rules. I wouldn't be without this now!

Nonetheless, I do highly recommend Description Detective as well. For a software tool combined with an informative manual, it's amazing value at its current launch price. And the sooner you buy, the better value that price will be.

As ever, if you have any comments or queries about Description Detective, please post them below and I will do my best to answer them!

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