Posts Tagged ‘indie writers’

Why Do You Pick Up a Book in the First Place?

May 30, 2017


If you’re like most people, you pick up a book because the cover or title looks interesting. The next thing you do is read the back blurb, or if you’re online, the excerpt.

What is it? Or, better yet, what should it be?

Basically, the back blurb is a sales pitch. There are a lot of tools in the publishing tool belt, and each has its own unique purpose and strength. Few, though, have more sway over a would-be reader than the book description.

It should be the summation of your story, enticing the reader to buy.

How do you write good back blurb?
The principles hold true for any genre, although the details may change a bit for each. This is a list of things featured most often from a number of bestsellers …

A hint of the plot.

Use of words that evoke images and resonate with readers.

Main characters are named and characterized.

Idea of setting.

A question to be answered, or a hint of mystery to be solved that draws the reader in.

Quotes about the book or previous books by the author.

TAKE THE READER ON A JOURNEY
Most good book descriptions have less to do with the story of the book, and more to do with the story of the reader. Tell the reader about the journey they’re going to take, rather than try to create a shorthand or synopsis of your book.

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Take the back cover blurb for my newest novel, DEAD END STREET, coming out on Amazon this week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TIME TO BE MOST AFRAID
IS WHEN THINGS START GOING WELL.

Paul Barrett is a successful author. So are Randy and Donnie Camron. Along with the rest of the gang from Reichold Street, they all think their lives have finally settled down. In this provocative thriller, however, they learn there are new disasters waiting, determined to find them, wherever they go.

REICHOLD STREET, the lead novel in the series, was selected a 2012 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner.
“Skillfully written and emotionally charged.”
~ Kirkus Reviews for “Reichold Street”

ONE WAY STREET and STREET LIGHT, the second and third books in the series, were also reviewed as intense, 5-Star thrillers…

“A mesmerizing thriller that can haunt you long after you put the book down…”
~ Maria Beltran, of Readers’ Favorite, for “One Way Street”

“R.L. Herron is a master craftsman…grabbing the reader and transporting them into the story…”
~ Brian MacLearn, award-winning author, for “Street Light”

In DEAD END STREET, the characters already know very well that life is not perfect, but discover the past is not always as far behind them as they think.

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DON’T IGNORE IT
You may call it a ‘blurb’ or ‘back cover copy’ or lament it simply as ‘all that text I have to paste into my book page.’

Whatever your name for it, you can’t afford to ignore it. After your cover, the product description of your book is the first experience the reader has with you as an author.

The book blurb is one of your most important communication aids when promoting your book, so invest plenty of time and dedication to ensure you get it right.

Getting it right is the proverbial ‘big deal.’

Do you think I succeeded?

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

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Visit my web site to hear the remarkable radio interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.

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I plan to attend the next Rochester Writers’ Fall Conference at Oakland University on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

What Does Your Indie-Author Platform Look Like?

February 21, 2017

lost-places

Most indie authors seem to know they need a social media platform to talk about their work. Assuming you do, what does yours look like?

If your answer is “Blogs”
That can be a good thing, if you have information to share. Just be sure you do. I find writing these blog articles, sharing what has worked for me (and what hasn’t), has made my blog readership grow dramatically in the past year … and each new follower is a potential book buyer.

If your answer is “Other Social Media”
I know it’s important to connect with potential readers on social media, like Twitter and The Book of Face, but I’ve made it a mandate not to spam people with ‘Buy my book!’ messages. To me, it’s not only annoying, it’s ineffective.

So I ask questions, listen, re-tweet and share interesting articles and quotes. I try to make it cool stuff. Sometimes funny. Often self-deprecating, with occasional dips into promotional info.

The more I study social media marketing, the more I stick to what I learned almost by accident as a young manager in the early 90s:

People Want to be Treated Like People
Shocking, right?

Back in those days, if I walked into a meeting with my staff and simply read them formulaic crap, their eyes would have glazed over (if they stayed in the room long enough).

Instead, I listened to their concerns, got their feedback, and had a very productive relationship.

Social media is no different. If you want them to hang around, treat your audience with respect.

If Your Answer is “Sales Pitch”
To me, most sales pitches are weird, stilted situations, where Person A is broadcasting their message to Person B, who may or may not care. I have a lot of trouble with them.

I find my best success when I really talk to people … ask questions about their interests, discuss difficult writing situations common to all writers, and listen to the responses.

It takes time and effort, but my follower count here should tell you if was worth it.

DO YOU HAVE A PLAN?
That may be the most important question you ask yourself. How many of you have created a marketing plan for a book release? I would bet nine out of ten of you do not, because that’s very common.

If you’ve been in Corporate America, you know all about having a marketing plan … and you probably hate the thought of them. I know I used to dread our quarterly meetings … where we’d sit for hours discussing all the plans the geniuses in the home office came up with for us to try.

Woohoo!

Seriously, despite the ridiculousness of some of those corporate puppet meetings, I did learn that creating a plan, and having set goals, was extremely helpful.

Book marketing is no different.

I know what I need to do to sell books. I change it up often and try new things, but I have basic groundwork I follow for each and every book. Do you?

Once you have a plan, you have the ability to prioritize and focus your efforts. A plan makes you look at what you have and what you don’t. Use what works … research what you don’t know.

See, here’s the thing: you don’t need to have a background in marketing, or an advanced business degree (guilty) to market your work.

Why? Because you know how to read. You can research. You can put the tips you find in my articles (and elsewhere) to work.

But in order for it to be effective, you have to DO it.

So, why are you just sitting there?

Would You Rather Be Smart, or Creative?
Would you rather listen to your muse and write whatever you want, without thinking of things like readership? Without worrying whether anybody is going to like your book?

You can be both, of course, but one usually has to be a priority.

If you’re letting creativity steer the course of your life, you might get lucky. But that’s always a risk, and I prefer to put my creativity firmly in the hands of my goals and plans.

In other words, I choose where I want to go and use my creativity to help me get there.

My creativity doesn’t mind … it’s still having fun doing what it loves … but it’s building content people want, that (hopefully) I can sell.

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My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.
 

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Visit my web site’s home page to hear the remarkable interview about my novel “Blood Lake” by The Authors Show.

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If you’ve written an interesting book too, consider submitting it to the Readers Favorite annual contest by using the banner link below. What do you have to lose?

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Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.


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