How to Write the Perfect Book Teaser

When I’m working with an author to create an effective homepage, one of the things that I always ask a writer to do is create a book teaser … something that really whets the appetite of a visitor in the few seconds that you have their attention. Then you give them links to read more about the book, read an excerpt, or … of course … buy the book.

But it’s funny: professional writers who’ve written entire books aren’t always capable of writing an effective book teaser. It’s really, in many ways, a completely different skill: writing a book vs. writing marketing copy. And more often than not, I look at the copy an author gives me for the homepage and just shake my head.

With that in mind, here’s a list of author websites we built with what I found to be some of the best, most effective book teasers out there. These are organized from shortest to longest. Read them and take some lessons!

Palm Beach Confidential
Author: Robert Mykle
Teaser: Palm Beach is like Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. You think you know what’s going on, but, I guarantee, you don’t.

Lost in Plain Sight
Author: David Gerard
Teaser: A single phone call changes Anthony’s life forever. Something about Diane’s voice is different-distant. Instinctively, he realizes that his wife is in trouble. Something has gone horribly wrong, but what?

Between Yesterday and Tomorrow
Author: Charmaine Pauls
Teaser: On a seductively beautiful seventeenth-century chateau in southern France, the elegant rooms conceal a host of secrets. When Marlien Marais arrives in picturesque Castries to claim her family estate, she slowly uncovers this web of deception that lifts the veil on her past, and changes her future forever. Shimmering with romance, intrigue, and the elegance that only the French can fashion, Charmaine Pauls’ dazzling Between Yesterday and Tomorrow creates a tale of resplendent love—with a thoroughly French twist.

invisible girl
Author: Mary Hanlon Stone
Teaser: When poor Boston girl Stephanie is abandoned by her abusive mother and taken in by Annie’s wealthy Los Angeles family, she feels anything but at home. Her dark complexion and shabby clothes stick out in the golden-hued world of blondes and extravagance. These are girls who live life in fast-forward, while Stephanie is stuck on pause. Yet when a new rival moves to town, threatening Annie’s queen-bee status, Stephanie finds herself taking sides in a battle she never even knew existed, and that feeling invisible is a wound that can only be healed by standing up for who she is.

The O Street Boys
Author: Shaun Anthony Ross
Teaser: The O Street Boys is a story of  drugs, money and murder and what one young man would do to reach the top of the drug game.  Rico Patterson is not your average young man growing up in the inner city of Washington, D.C.  He is a financial prodigy and budding entrepreneur who wants to put the dope game in a choke hold.  As long as there are drugs, there will be drug addicts.  Supply and demand, it’s the American Way.  Every drug dealer  knows there’s money to be made out there and Rico wants to be the one making it.  As  long as there are drug addicts creating a demand, there will be drug dealers out there  supplying the need.  It’s about the money.    It’s always about the money.

Blood and Silk
Author: Carol Alderhoven McKay
Teaser: The Hidden Love Story of Mary Magdalene and Jesus of Nazareth is author Carol McKay’s gift to everyone fascinated by the life of Mary of Magdala-Mary Magdalene-and her often misunderstood relationship to Jesus of Nazareth. In this beautifully crafted historical novel, the reader is guided through a time rich with art and architecture, and fraught with change and controversy. Mary’s narration introduces us to first-century Judea, when the atmosphere crackled with fear, and determination of friend or foe was often difficult, if not impossible. As much as theologians paint the story about Mary and Jesus as straightforward and even simple in nature, the author reminds us that theirs was a love weighed down and complicated by the politics of the day. The story of Mary, and then Mary and Jesus, is intricate and often as perilous as the times in which they lived. Founded on historical accuracy and an eye for a well-told story, this is a novel that will fascinate and delight.

Do you have other book teasers that you love? Share them with us!