You breathe a sigh of relief when you type the last page of your novel. But that lovely feeling is soon quelled by the fact that you now must write a synopsis. And if that isn’t challenging enough, if you’re an indie author, you also have to write a brief description; a sales pitch that will entice a potential reader to buy your book.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned that will help you write a great book description:
1) Go to a bookstore or library and read the back cover blurbs on books like yours. Make notes on the ones you like and why you think they’re good. Pay particular attention to the emotional power words used (you can Google “emotional power words” to get a list).
2) Keep it short and to the point – not more than 150 words. Don’t include every detail of the story. You’re trying to hook the reader and compel them into wanting to know more.
3) Write it in third person and in present tense, as though you were telling someone in person what your book is about.
Remember you’re going to use this blurb repeatedly, not only on the back cover but on your website, on Amazon and all the social media sites. It will be your main marketing tool, so make it good which means, edit, edit, edit. Run it by friends and fellow writers and ask them if it would make them want to buy your book. The time you spend crafting the best possible description will be well worth it in sales.
According to a recent Smashwords study, the answer is yes. Indie Ebook authors earn 3 to 5 times higher royalty percentages. Another interesting fact the survey found is that longer ebooks in terms of word count sell better than shorter books, but books with shorter titles sell better than those with longer titles.
Some of the results of the survey are surprising and some are silly, but all are interesting. You can view the slide show Smashwords founder, Mark Coker, presented at the recent RT Booklovers convention here. You can also download a free copy of his ebook, “The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success,” from his post.
This week, Amazon has two titles in the top ten and three in the top twelve. Also, self-published author, J. Lynn’s Wait for You is number three. Woohoo! Let’s hear it for indie authors.
Also, in looking at the list of the top twenty-five Ebooks it was interesting to see the variety of prices. Everything from .99 to $14.99. Take a look at what’s selling here.
Just what we need, another book magazine, right? Well, Bookkaholic, a new online magazine due to launch on March 11, 2013, claims to be different. Below is an interview with the founder, editor, and marketing manager, William Yatscoff.
What makes your magazine different from others on the market?
When people think of book magazines they typically think of the New York Review of Books, the Millions, Plough Shares, or one of the many other great literary magazines. We really enjoy dipping into these magazines here and there, but feel that Bookkaholic is going to cover some new ground while also taking in the old ground as well.
We’ve created new columns to help authors spread the word about their books. Creating book trailers and what we are reading columns will really let authors work spread quickly and easily. Beyond this we have gone into some fun main stream things to keep bringing readers back. We’ve created book quotes, book blurbs, and
What’s your mission at Bookkaholic Magazine?
Our mission is to create new content that challenge the traditional view of books, reading, and book news while spreading information about new books. It isn’t going to be easy, but we’ve got together an amazing group of 10 writers to get us there!
Where do you get article ideas?
We get lots of ideas for our articles from our readers. In fact, we’ve created an article series for helping to solve our readers book related problems. We call it: Help Me, Bookkaholic! This is where readers can send us a book problem and we attempt to solve it with humour and a book prescription.
How should writers contact you?
Currently, we aren’t looking for regular writers, but we always welcome guest articles and guest book debates. We’d like to know a little bit more about the person and their debate topic before we decide yes or no though. If someone is interested we’ve love an email to main (at) Bookkaholic (dot) com with the subject as ‘Guest Post Pitch’.
What are you most excited about?
I think I am honestly most excited about our launch date of March 11th. Book magazines are something that seems to be fading away instead of growing, but more and more are appearing as time moves forward. Book stores are closing and people are throwing away their paperbacks, but books are still being read and people need a place to find these books. We hope to help them with that.
Is Bookkaholic Magazine country specific?
The magazine is really writer focused. I mean wherever our writers are from is where the magazine is focused. Thus far the magazine is really American, Canadian, and UK focused, but as time moves forward the focus can completely change. It is interesting to get the perspectives from so many different cultures on books.
What is the relationship between Bookkus Publishing and Bookkaholic Magazine?
Bookkaholic was created as a way for Bookkus Publishing to reach out to readers and help them find Bookkus’ books. That is what the original purpose was, but now I think that Bookkaholic is a little uncontrollable and is going to move where it wants when it wants no matter what Bookkus wants it to do. It is really going to be a fun and interesting ride.
Best of luck in your new venture, William.
If you haven’t received word yet, Smashwords is running an international promotion week starting tomorrow, March 3rd. If you have a book on Smashwords, you can offer it at a discount of 25%, 50%, 75% or even free for the week. It doesn’t change the price of the book, just offers a coupon code. You can even go to the banner page and download one of the badges or buttons like the one on the left to use to publicize the event.
I’m offering Husbands May Come and Go but Friends are Forever (optioned for the big screen) for a whopping 50% off! Now, go enroll your book.
I often see this question posted by authors on social media sites. The bigger question is have you done your homework on DIY e-book publishing? For instance, do your target readers prefer print or digital? Is your book highly illustrated? Do you know how to reach your readers online? Writer’s Digest posted an excellent article today entitled The Basics of DIY E-Book Publishing. Every author considering publishing an e-book should read it.