How to Write Intriguing Book Blurbs

Can you imagine that only a little over 150 years ago, public access to books was virtually taboo? The first “public” library wasn’t even invented until the early 1850s and the Dewey Decimal System was created about 20 years later in the 1870s.  Nowadays, everyone and their mama, great-granddad, sister, baby mama, and cousins 3rd generation removed has access to books.  The information age is in full swing, and we are so inundated with words that we are almost sick and tired of them.

So with this being said, how in the heck can you make your 150-250 word blurb stand out so that you can sell your books?

Well, first you have to realize that this isn’t an easy task.  I’m not kidding when I say that garnering your market share of attention for your own work is going to be really tough in these modern times.  I’m sure that Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson – heck even Shakespeare – would have significantly benefited from the social media and other resources we have today to get the word out about our books.  But the world is operating at a much faster pace than during their times, and unfortunately, everything is competing for our attention so its very hard to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace.

And some of you may be thinking that you can just unload your wares onto a traditional publisher and viola, this solves all problems because they will sell your books for you.  Newsflash – THE BOOK INDUSTRY IS CHANGING.  So, this hands-off approach to your own success in writing is changing too.  The book marketing process is the most costly and time-consuming aspect of bookselling and most publishing houses know this.  As a result, if you don’t have the next killer book with the potential to turn Hollywood upside down and rake in billions of dollars from a franchise instantly,  then tossing your book over to a publishing house and wishing they will do all the work to make you successful is writing career suicide.  Bottom line – writers not only must write, but they also have to sell, too.  And with all this chaos in the marketplace, writing a damn good book isn’t necessarily going to make you a “best-selling” author, particularly if no one knows about it.

So here are some things that I believe can help make you write much more interesting blurbs so that you can better market and sell your product.

 

Learn How to Sell.

Selling has gotten a bad reputation over the years.  But to be a writer and say “I can’t stand selling” or “I don’t want to sell” and then have the audacity to aspire to be a “best-selling” author is lunacy.  How can you detest something but miraculously want to benefit from it?  Face it, if you’re going to be a best-seller in today’s marketplace, you need to know at least the fundamentals of what moves people to buy and learn to deal with rejection.  I would recommend that even if you eventually want to become a full-time writer, in your spare time, pick up a part-time job doing something that requires you to sell so that you learn how to do it.

Learn about Copywriting and SEO.

Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand, and marketing for writers is something called copywriting.  Unlike its sister, copyrighting, which protects your work from intellectual property thieves, copywriting is the art of writing with the intent of selling something.  A great way to learn this is to either do freelance writing work and learn as you take on gigs; or of course, you can try to get a job doing this.  Advertising is going to be the most common way to do this type of writing, but the market is stiff because you have to be extremely good to break into copywriting at an advertising firm.  If you only have no time to do either of these options, then just teach it to yourself by reading books about it and observing brochures and websites.  What about the brochure or website makes you want to buy?  Apply those techniques into your copywriting style.

 

Join social media peer groups in which you can share your blurb and get feedback.

Many of us writers want to get exposure for our writing, but we are usually timid for fear of criticism.  My advice: GET OVER IT!  You are going to be judged, you are going to be criticized, your work is going to cause controversy, your work is going to piss some people off.  That is the nature of the business, so you have to put your work out there to get feedback.  Sometimes these groups are good because they usually include aspiring writers but some of these writers may have a little more or less experience than you.  They, too, are in the same boat as you trying to become successful so the pain from their criticisms won’t be as painful as it is from professional writers.  Join these types of groups and get critiqued and do some critiquing of your own.  This practice will open doors for you in improving your book blurbs because when you notice what others are doing wrong, you can avoid these mistakes yourself.

 

Develop a less is more mentality when preparing your marketing material.

Sometimes we can’t see it, but we writers are verbose.  We don’t always get to the point fast enough, and that may cause potential fans to lose interest.  When you are preparing blurbs, this is not the time to compete with Charles Dickinson to come up with beautiful prose.  Save that for your novel.  Blurbs are designed to sum up your book in as few words as possible.  So when you shift gears from writing your book to marketing your book, get out of the mindset of writing long paragraphs to explain what’s going on.  Say it quick and say it interesting is the name of the game when writing blurbs and the way you do this is have a mindset of ‘as few words as possible’ before you even approach the marketing process.  If you want hands-on experience with saying it quick and interesting, get a Twitter account and post regularly.  This social media platform forces you to tell a lot with a few words.

 

While you are at it, develop a KISS (keep it simple stupid) mentality when preparing your marketing material.

Do people really need to know the backstory of the backstory of the backstory? No.  Leave that for them to read in the book.  And like I said before, this is not the time to showcase more of your knack for prose.  And another thing — think big.  Yes, of course, you want to sell your book directly to fans of your genre; but your book most likely will need to cut across genre lines and even across international borders to become a best-seller.  So, keep the English straightforward and translatable.  Can the words on your blurb be easily translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, etc.?  And, if so, does it retain its meaning across cultures?  Then, my friend, you may just have an international best-seller on your hand waiting to happen because no matter what language audiences speak, concepts are universal.  Learn to speak conceptually and stop being caught up in how impressive your English skills are when you are writing blurbs.  Remember you are aiming to be a best-selling author, and though great writing skills play a part in this, the ability to resonate across audiences with what you write about will be much more rewarding in the end.

 

Consider letting your fans or even your beta readers help you write the blog.

Why — because they tend to know what works and what is interesting in your novel.  And you don’t really literally have to let them write it, but their feedback is what you can use to help you write your blurb.  As a writer, you may think that all your writing works and it’s all awesome.  But from the outside looking in, these people can tell you what really moves them and what you need to emphasize in the sales and pitching process.  You can also, literally let someone else, like your beta readers, write your blurb.  This is because you just may be too close to the piece and unable to get your mind into sales mode.  If you are someone who cannot distance yourself from your work, then consider having someone else write the blurb for you.

 

Do you have some writing advice to add on how writing great book blurbs?  Share your comments and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter @mlchildsauthor.

About The Vital Sacrifice Characters – Meet Tina Desai

My sister’s keeper, a friend until the end. . .

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Image courtesy of Dreamstime.comLike a sister from another mother, Tina has always had Teresa’s back.  Just like Teresa, Tina is a career woman who has devoted her life to her career as a fierce attorney.  Unlike Teresa, Tina’s not chasing her happily ever after because she just went through a rotten divorce with her high profile attorney husband, Rodney Dumas.  As a couple, this powerhouse law team never lost a case.  They both made a sport out of kicking ass in the courtroom, representing high celebrity clients in some of the most impossible cases imaginable and winning.  Now she and her ex are on the opposite side of the fences.  She is no longer representing high-class clients and instead has turned her attention to those whom she believes needs her most — those who are innocent but can’t secure quality attorneys.

Image courtesy of Dreamstime.comTina is Teresa’s rock and when Teresa’s world starts to go haywire, Tina is the voice of reason that keeps Teresa on her toes.  Best friends until the end, just as they pledged in high school, is what these women prove to be.  And even when Teresa’s extreme highs and lows start to place a strain on their friendship, Tina stands by the sister that she never had until she is back to her old self.

 

The Vital Sacrifice, a Paranormal Romance Novel by M. L. Childs

 

$7.99 USD Paperback
$2.99 USD Kindle

 

The Vital Sacrifice Amazon Button

 

Click Here to Read More Blog Posts

 

Disclaimer – These are stock image and fictitious descriptions of characters contained within my novel. These descriptions are not about the people in the image.  The image and the description serve to get readers better acquainted with the main characters appearing in my novel.  Any resemblance to real people is coincidental.  

 

 

 

About The Vital Sacrifice, A Paranormal Romance Novel

Vampires aren’t the only immortals co-existing with humans on earth undetected…

The Vital Sacrifice, a Paranormal Romance Novel by M. L. Childs

Teresa McMillan is a renowned opera singer who was raised in a home where Mozart, Bach, Wagner, Verdi, and Puccini were household names.  At a very young age, her mother discovered her talent and honed it until she was sent off to college at a prestigious music school to learn from some of the best classical professors in the world.  With such an upbringing, it is no wonder that this female soprano singer captivates audiences the world over including one very special admirer who has crossed oceans of time and travelled through winds of change to see her – again.

Ali Abdur Rahman has his work cut out for him trying to lure this woman back into his life.  He is not only competing with the distractions of her very active celebrity life but he is also competing with her fiancé, Matthew Larkin.  Despite these challenges, Ali remains undeterred because no woman has ever been able to resist his charm, not even Teresa.  But Ali wrestles with a secret that is hundreds of years old which if revealed will not only ruin their romantic destiny but could also wreak havoc on the entire human race.  Could his love for Teresa McMillan – something that he knows is forbidden – be his undoing?

The Vital Sacrifice 2017 Promotional Copy

$7.99 USD Paperback
$2.99 USD Kindle

The Vital Sacrifice Amazon Button

 

Click Here to Read More Blog Posts

 

 

 

Book Marketing – Do-It-Yourself Book Trailers

Clapperboard image courtesy of Stocksnap.io

ATLANTA – Written by M.L. Childs

For many years, film advertisers have enticed us with movie trailers.  They seem to know how to juxtapose the right scenes together in a very theatrical sequence that leaves us wanting more.  In recent years, book authors have been dabbling in what is now known as book trailers.  These are a marketing tool that authors are using to market books in the same way that film marketing teams market movies.

This trend is not as popular as film trailers, however.  Very few authors take advantage of this marketing tool and likely because it is relatively new and also because it can be quite expensive.  To have the dramatic effect that films trailers have and the maximum level of suspense needed to interest an audience enough to purchase and read your book can cost a lot of money, especially if actors are included.  If you are a self-published author or a traditional author and you have the financial means to get a professional book trailer for your book, by all means, invest in this option.

A few years ago, there was a wave of companies springing up assisting with creating book trailers.  The cost used to range from $1500-$2500.  Maybe companies didn’t see any real profit potential in book trailers and discontinued this option because I don’t see many options in Google searches anymore.  If there are any companies still doing this, I’d say go for this option.

Another option that could be more economical is partnering with aspiring student filmmakers in your local area who may be able to assist you with creating a book trailer.  They are usually eager to build their portfolio.  Thus, your book trailer could be one of their many directing opportunities creating a win/win for both parties.

If both of these options seem too costly or cumbersome, another option is the option for the “starving artist” or guerilla book marketer who doesn’t have a large marketing budget but happens to be quite creative.  That is the do-it-yourself option.  Even if you aren’t very creative yourself, if you have a graphic design buddy who could work with you on this project, then this could work wonders for your guerilla marketing efforts.Startup Stock Photos courtesy of Stocksnap.io

The first thing you would need to do is create a PowerPoint presentation.  I would avoid the standard templates that PowerPoint has and opt for a made from scratch design.  You could get your graphic designer or photographer friend to develop cool backgrounds or if you don’t have such friends, find some stock photos online that relate to your book’s subject area.  You could even call up your musician friend to develop some music for your trailer so that you avoid copyright infringement issues. No musician friend?  I’m sure you probably have a friend with a great reading voice that could narrate for your book trailer similar to the way voice over actors narrate for Hollywood film trailers.  Just be careful with the sound because you don’t want to capture heavy breathing or overly loud talking in the recording for the trailer.

If you want to go all in and try your hand at indie filmmaking, you could video record and embed the video into a single PowerPoint page.  However, this option will require some great filmmaking and editing skills a because a horrible video recording and sound could hurt your efforts.  But if you want, be the next Stephen Spielberg of book trailers if you like for Christ’s sake. Heck, you might do so well with your own book trailer that you could develop your own small side business to help other writers in addition to your book writing.  Just a thought.

Once you create the PowerPoint presentation to your liking,  record the presentation in PowerPoint.  I would stick with1 min 30 seconds or less and short, snappy phrases on screen because this is an ad after all and people’s attention span is short when it comes to ads.  Get right to the point ASAP.

Once you have the PowerPoint presentation perfected, you will need to convert it to a video in .wav or mp4 format.  Then take this video format and upload it to YouTube.  The conversion process takes a while so be patient.  Once it is loaded, embed it into your website, social media, or start encouraging clients to visit your YouTube page and subscribing.

Again, I’m not saying that do-it-yourself book trailers are the option you should choose.  If you have better options available to you, choose those.  But DIY book trailers can certainly be a good alternative option for those who have a tight book marketing budget.  I think you should always seek out professionals when working on designs of any kind.  But if you are a designer yourself or have friends or family that can help you make this book trailer be as professional as possible, then I’d say go for it.  There are no guarantees with anything.  Afterall, look at all of the dazzling film trailers that Hollywood has released only for the film to be less than stellar.  Look on the bright side, anything is possible.

Your book is your dream and if you want your dream to become a reality in spite of the doors being closed to you, then try, and try again until you become the best-selling author that you are striving to be.

I hope you enjoyed this article and look out for more guerilla marketing tips from me in upcoming posts.  Do you have some DIY book trailer tips to add?  Be sure to comment below and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter @mlchildsauthor for more writing and publishing tips.

 

Click Here to Read More Blog Posts

 

Images courtesy of Stocksnap.io.

Book Trailer courtesy of YouTube


Here is a simple book trailer for my novel that I created using PowerPoint, converted it into a video and uploaded it to Youtube.  Check it out:

 

The Vital Sacrifice Book Commercial

The freaks definitely do come out at night, especially on  Friday the 13th in the month of Halloween.

Image courtesy of Stocksnap.io

Grab your favorite, old rocking chair and curl up this weekend to a book that appeals to your creepy-seeking side — The Vital Sacrifice.

 

$7.99 USD Paperback
$2.99 USD Kindle

 

The Vital Sacrifice Amazon Button

 

Click Here to Read More Blog Posts

 

 

Main image courtesy of Stocksnap.io.  

About The Vital Sacrifice Characters – Meet Anwar OzTurk

The Vital Sacrifice Fictitious Characters - Anwar Guzman

Anwar OzTurk was a mercenary near Anatolia in the 12th century.  He cares about nothing or no one but himself and this doesn’t change when he becomes semi-immortal.  Nothing is ever enough for this sensation seeker and even though he and his crew can have anything that they want because they are semi-immortals, this still isn’t enough.  Despite his own insatiable spirit, he doesn’t want to lose what he has and he can’t understand why Ali keeps wanting to risk it all for Teresa – a woman whom both of them have seen once before over the ages and who is now once again becoming a pain in Anwar’s semi-immortal ass.

Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Anwar is not going to stand idly by and allow his co-leader, Ali, to be sucker punched by the emotion of love — an emotion that Ali knows that he shouldn’t give into.  The way that Anwar sees it, Ali can have any woman he wants – they are good-looking, they are rich, and most importantly they are undead.  No matter why Ali keeps having these feelings, Anwar’s mercenary spirit comes through again and he will not tolerate losses of any kind especially that stem from involvement with a woman.  He along with the third leader of the Order, Chi Khan, aim to preserve the Order even if someone’s life must end.

 

Grab your copy of The Vital Sacrifice and discover just what all the commotion is about.

Click Here to Read More Blog Posts

 

 The Vital Sacrifice Front Cover

 

$7.99 USD Paperback
$2.99 USD Kindle

The Vital Sacrifice Amazon Button

 

 

Disclaimer – These are stock image and fictitious descriptions of characters contained within my novel. These descriptions are not about the people in the image.  The image and the description serve to get readers better acquainted with the main characters appearing in my novel.  Any resemblance to real people is coincidental.  

 

 

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.  Additional images courtesy of Dreamstime.com.

About The Vital Sacrifice Characters – Meet Ali Rahman

Of all the women on earth he can have, he’s focused only on her. . .

 

The Vital Sacrifice Fictitious Character - Ali Rahman

Image courtesy of Dreamstime.comAli Abdur Rahman was born in the 12th century to a prominent family in Egypt.  His father, Malik Abdur Rahman,  is proud of his only son whom he is grooming to take over as vizier to the Sultan of Egypt.  Malik worked his way up through Egyptian society to become the second most powerful man to the sultan and he is delighted to pass this prominent position to his son.  That is, until he discovers that his son has defied him and joined a forsaken band of semi-immortals.  This group is public enemy number one and now he must disown his very own son who is a leader among them.

Ali’s fall from grace was a devastating blow on his human side.  But as a semi-immortal, Ali is now able to live a long life, have any thing he wants, or be with any woman he wants, so how bad could this really be?Image courtesy of Stocksnap.io

He can have any woman, but he falls for one specific woman — Teresa — and crossing paths with her, not once, but twice, just may prove to be his ultimate downfall.

 

Grab your copy of The Vital Sacrifice and take an escapade back to the 12th century to trace the origins of this notorious character.

 

 

Click Here to Read More Blog Posts

 

 The Vital Sacrifice Front Cover

 

$7.99 USD Paperback
$2.99 USD Kindle

The Vital Sacrifice Amazon Button

 

 

Disclaimer – These are stock image and fictitious descriptions of characters contained within my novel. These descriptions are not about the people in the image.  The image and the description serve to get readers better acquainted with the main characters appearing in my novel.  Any resemblance to real people is coincidental.  

 

 

Image of man and building courtesy of Dreamstime.com.  Additional image courtesy of Stocksnap.io.