Writing Sizzling Book Bullets

Bullet points can be an author’s best friend.  They are essential for book web copy and also for other marketing materials.  Most non-fiction book covers feature bullet points as well.

In case you are not familiar with the term, a bullet list is a series of short statements put together with dots in front of each item. ( I once worked for a religious organization that outlawed all violent language so in that organization, bullet points were called dot points.)

A bullet list looks like this:

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3, etc.

Bullet lists are often used in non-fiction books to list items quickly and succinctly.

Writing effective bullet points requires just a bit of knowledge and an understanding of their format.   Some bullet points fall flat.  Sizzling bullet points create curiosity, engagement, and desire, which lead to sales.

Bullet points for websites and back cover copy should focus on the benefits the reader will receive from your book, written in compelling and exciting language.  Each statement should be short and dynamic so the reader can quickly skim the information.

To craft great bullet points, first make a list of all the benefits of your book.  Aim for at least 25 benefits.  Don’t list the features, such as how many pages the book has.  Instead, concentrate on all the great things your book delivers to readers.

Once you have your list of benefits, select the top ten and turn them into bullet points.  Here are some examples from a fictitious parenting book:

When you read this exciting new book, you will:

  • Create new ways to talk with your teen so that silent dinners are a thing of the past
  • Eliminate arguments over chores forever
  • Instill responsibility and maturity in your teen so she can blossom into a confident adult
  • Discover ways to turn your home into a popular gathering so that you know your teen’s friends
  • Uncover your unconscious communication patterns that stop your teen from listening to everything you say

Notice that effective bullet points begin with an action verb.  It is also wise to include the phrase so that in some of your bullet points.  That phrase helps readers connect the benefit to even greater benefit.  Take a look at the list above and notice how the so that phrases add impact and punch to the bullet point.

Once you have written ten bullet points for your book, select the five most powerful.  Arrange them in a list with the most powerful ones in positions 1, 3, and 5 on your list.  Then, use bolding to highlight key phrases which will make your bullets really pop for all those readers who love to skim.

When you read this exciting new book, you will:

  • Create new ways to talk  with your teen so that silent dinners are a thing of the past
  • Eliminate arguments over chores forever
  • Instill responsibility and maturity in your teen so she can blossom into a confident adult
  • Discover ways to turn your home into a popular gathering so that you know your teen’s friends
  • Uncover your unconscious communication patterns that stop your teen from listening to everything you say

Once you master the rhythm and pattern of sizzling bullet points, you’ll be able to create them quickly and easily.  More importantly, you’ll be able to use them to generate excitement about your book and attract ideal readers.

Comments 2

  • We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable information to work on. You’ve
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  • Good evening!

    This is certainly a strategy I have used in my academic work in the past and now in blog post writing. Glad to know the skill will be if use when – if ever – I get round to writing my book!

    Thanks for the flying the flag on clarity and appropriate use.

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