Category Archives: Marketing

The importance of a good book blurb

Book blurbs are summaries of your novel for the book jacket, back cover, or advertising copy. They are essential for the marketing and promotion of your book as they are the first things potential readers see when browsing for new books.

There are templates you could use when writing, but here are 5 things to keep in mind.

Why a good book blurb is important

A book blurb serves as a “sales pitch” for your book, giving readers a brief overview of the story and a taste of what to expect. It also helps them decide if they are interested in reading your book. A good book blurb is attention-grabbing, informative, and gives a sense of the book’s tone and genre.

How to write a compelling book blurb

1. Length

Book blurbs should be around 200-300 words, long enough to give readers an idea of the story and the characters but not so long that it is overwhelming or drops spoilers.

2. Grab their attention

The first sentence should be attention-grabbing and make the reader want to read more. Use a quote from the book, an intriguing comment, or a question that piques the reader’s curiosity.

3. Introduce characters and storyline

The blurb should give a sense of who the main characters are and what the story is about. Be sure to mention the genre and the tone of the book.

4. Introduce the main conflict

The blurb should touch on the main conflict or problem the characters face in. This gives readers an idea of what to expect and makes them want to read the book to see how the conflict will be resolved.

5. Call to action

End the blurb with a call to action, such as “Find out what happens next” or “Join the journey,” something that encourages readers to pick up the book and start reading.

In summary…

Two or three hundred words is not a lot of space to hook your reader, but don’t let its diminutive stature fool you. The book blurb is the first thing potential readers see, so make it short but sweet and include teasers enticing potential readers to pick up your book and continue reading your story from cover to cover.

Tracking sales data and analytics

When you’re an author, staying on top of your book sales data and understanding your readership is important. Not only will this information help you make informed decisions about your marketing and promotional efforts, but it will also help you to understand your readers’ preferences better. Here are some ways to use analytics and data to track book sales and understand your readership. Once you have this information, you will know what works and when to pivot your marketing efforts.

data and analytics

1. Reader data

One way to track book sales is to monitor data provided by retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books, showing you how many copies of your book sell, information on the format (e.g., paperback, eBook), and the region where it sold. It will also tell you the date the books sold so you can correlate the sales with your marketing campaigns to know if they worked.

2. Understanding demographic data

Understanding the demographics of your readership is crucial for targeting your marketing efforts. Services such as Goodreads and Bookbub can collect data on the age, gender, location, and interests of your readers. This can help you identify patterns and preferences in your readership to tailor your marketing efforts to the right audience.

3. Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a wealth of data on your followers and readers. Tracking engagement on your social media accounts gives you insight into the posts and content that resonates with your audience, so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

4. Email marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching your readers, and the data it provides can give you valuable insights. Services such as MailChimp offer data on open and click-through rates, which can help you identify the content and subject lines that resonate with your readers.

5. Book reviews as data

Reader reviews of your book can tell you what readers liked and didn’t like about your book, as well as what they thought could be improved. Review data can also identify trends and patterns in your feedback, so that you can adjust your writing and marketing strategies.

In conclusion…

Whether you’re a self-published author or working with a traditional publisher, tracking book sales and understanding your readership is essential for success in the publishing industry.

6 ways to get your book reviewed

Reviews are important for self-published authors as they offer proof for potential customers that they will get their money’s worth. “Reader recommendations – in the form of reviews – [tell people] that a particular title is high quality and on-genre.

love the book
Opened book with sheets in the form of heart, studio shot

Many self-published authors find it challenging to find reviewers. However, putting in the effort and remaining increases your book’s chance of being reviewed. Here are some tips to consider:

Reaching out

Reach out to book reviewers and introduce yourself and your book. Use a personalized cover letter that includes a book blurb. Here is a sample template you can use:

Dear [book blogger’s name],

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is [your name], and I am contacting you because I recently published a book I believe you would find interesting.

The book, titled [your book’s title] is a/an [your book’s genre] novel.

[1-2 paragraphs describing your book, similar to the back cover and/or sales copy blurb.]

I would be thrilled to have your expert opinion on it.

I came across your blog on the [website title where you found the blogger’s information] website, and I would be honoured if you would consider reviewing this book.

I am happy to provide you with a free digital copy of the book for your review. Please let me know which file type you prefer. I understand that you likely receive a large number of review requests, and I can wait until you are available. Additionally, I would be happy to participate in an author interview or provide any other information you might require.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

[end salutation],

[your name]

1. Blogger list websites

You can find several reviewers for free at The Book Blogger List and similar websites. These are sites on which bloggers post their contact information, looking for books to review. There are so many more authors than reviewers, so you will likely have to wait. Reading a book takes time, and there are so many more authors than reviewers.

2. Connect on social media

Use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote your book and connect with book reviewers and bloggers. You can offer a free eCopy of your book in exchange for a review.

3. Online communities

Join online communities of self-published authors and book reviewers like GoodReads. You can connect with other authors and reviewer in online communities that may be interested in reviewing your book.

4. Advanced reader copies

Offer advanced reader copies (ARCs) of your books to reviewers for free for bloggers to read and review your book before it’s officially released. Providing ARCs is a great way to get copy and quotes for ads in the queue, ready for when your book is published.

5. Purchase a review

Some websites and blogs review self-published books for a fee. Keep in mind that Amazon might not approve paid reviews, but they are a way to get a quote from a reputable source for marketing campaigns.

6. Search for bloggers on your own

You can also contact book bloggers directly. Most reviewers maintain blogs and websites to showcase their work. Britbear Book Reviews (maintained by the owner of EMSA Publishing) is one such site. Submitting your book does not guarantee your book will be reviewed. However, the Britbear site does not post anything under three stars.

Culling reviews is time consuming but rewarding

Getting your book reviewed takes time, from composing a query letter, emailing it, receiving a response, and waiting for your book to be read and edited, but reaching out to reviewers is a great place to start. The key is to be persistent and patient and build relationships with reviewers.

The Process of Self-Publishing

including how to format and upload a book to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing or other platforms

Self-publishing has become a popular option for authors in recent years, allowing them to bypass traditional publishing routes and take control of their own work. However, the process of self-publishing can be daunting, especially for those who are not familiar with the technical side of things. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to format and upload a book to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) or other platforms.

Step 1: formatting your book

Before you can upload your book to any platform, you will need to ensure it is properly formatted. This includes ensuring that the text is properly aligned without errors or inconsistencies. There are various tools and software available to help you with this process, such as Scrivener, Microsoft Word, Vellum, and InDesign. For eBooks, Amazon provides free software called Kindle Create and Kindle Kids’ Book Creator for children’s picture book eBooks. Each platform has its own set of parameters for paperback and eBooks, so be sure to check out these specifics before beginning.

Step 2: cover design

Your book cover is the first thing that readers see when they come across your book. It’s important that your cover is professional, eye-catching, and relevant to your book. You can either create your own cover or hire a professional designer to do it for you. Begin this process with a Google search for book covers in your genre to see what’s currently in fashion or for ideas. 

Step 3: choose a platform

There are several platforms available for self-publishing, including Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Kobo Writing Life, Barnes & Noble Press, and Apple Books, to name a few. Each platform has its own set of requirements and guidelines, so be sure to read through them carefully before deciding which one to use.

Step 4: uploading your book

Once your book is formatted and your cover is designed, you can start uploading your book to your chosen platform. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is one of the most popular platforms for self-publishing. The process of uploading your book is relatively simple and straightforward and can be completed in a few easy steps.

Step 5: marketing and promotion

Once your book is live, it’s important to promote it. This can include using social media, book clubs, and online communities to spread the word about your book. You can also consider offering promotions and discounts to attract new readers and increase sales.

Self-publishing is a great way for authors to take control of their work and reach a wider audience. Formatting a self-published book can be a daunting and frustrating task, so it is important to be patient and persistent as you navigate the process.

If the process proves too daunting and frustrating, let EMSA Publishing do it for you. Contact us for a quote.

Maximizing your reach: the importance of marketing for self-published authors

1. Introduction

As a self-published author, it is essential to understand how important marketing is when it comes to the success of your book. Though it can be tempting to focus only on the writing and publishing process, your book may struggle to reach its audience and achieve the sales you desire without a strong marketing strategy.

Marketing helps increase the visibility of your book and attract potential readers. It is a crucial part of the publishing process and can mean the difference between a successful book and one that goes largely unnoticed.

As a self-published author, it is important to focus on maximizing your reach. With so many books available, it is imperative to find ways to stand out so you can reach as many potential readers as possible. A comprehensive marketing strategy can help you do just while ensuring your book has the best chance at success.

2. Marketing Strategies for Self-Published Authors

As a self-published author, there are several strategies you can utilize to market your book and increase visibility. Some effective marketing strategies for self-published authors include:

Building an online platform: An online platform, such as a website or blog, can be a powerful tool for marketing your book, providing a central location where readers can learn more about you and your work. It can also help establish you as an authority in your field.

Utilizing social media: Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, can be excellent tools for connecting with potential readers and promoting your book. Posting regular updates, excerpts, and other engaging content can help to build an audience that will drive book sales.

Networking and building partnerships: Building relationships with other authors, industry professionals, and influencers can be a great way to market your book. Forming partnerships with others can provide opportunities for cross-promotion, joint events, and other collaborative efforts that can help increase your reach.

Running paid advertising campaigns: Paid advertising, such as sponsored posts on social media or Google Ads, can be an effective way to reach your target audience to drive book sales. These campaigns can be tailored to specific demographics and locations, making it easier to reach your ideal reader.

3. The Importance of a Strong Online Presence

In today’s digital age, it is essential for self-published authors to have a strong online presence. A well-designed website can serve as a central hub for all of your marketing efforts and portray a professional persona for potential readers. Your website can include information about your book(s), an author bio, media appearances, and other relevant content.

Email marketing is another powerful tool for reaching potential readers. Building an email list allows you to communicate with your audience directly to promote your book through newsletters, special offers, and other updates.

Utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques also helps increase your website’s visibility, making it easier for potential readers to discover your book(s). Optimizing your website’s content for specific keywords can help improve your search engine rankings, increasing the chance that you and your book(s) will be found by readers.

4. Traditional Marketing Strategies for Self-Published Authors

While the Internet has significantly changed the way books are marketed and sold, there is still something to be said for traditional marketing strategies for self-published authors. Some traditional marketing strategies to consider include:

Utilizing local resources and events: Local events, such as book festivals, author talks, book clubs, and gift shows, can be excellent opportunities to promote your book(s) and connect with potential readers.

Reaching out to bookstores and libraries: Many bookstores and libraries are willing to stock self-published books, especially if they are locally based or written by local authors. Reaching out to these institutions and offering to do readings, book signings,  or other events can be a great way to promote your book(s).

Utilizing traditional media outlets: Traditional media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines, and radio programs, can be excellent ways to promote your book(s) to reach a wider audience. Consider reaching out to these outlets to offer to do interviews or write articles to promote your book.

Local writing groups: Besides offering master classes and networking opportunities, many local writing groups have connections to booksellers and book-selling opportunities in your community. Those with a membership fee might also subsidize tables at events, allowing authors to participate in expensive, large shows, such as Word on the Street, that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Go online to see if you can join an active writing group near you and the perks they offer when it comes to connecting with other authors and booksellers in your area.

5. Conclusion

It is essential for self-published authors to understand the importance of marketing when it comes to the success of their book(s). To increase your visibility, reach potential readers and drive book sales, create a comprehensive marketing strategy, including both online and traditional tactics.

By focusing on maximizing your reach and increasing your visibility, you will give your book(s) the best chance of success. Don’t be afraid to try new marketing strategies and continuously evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Once you have a strong marketing plan in place, you can effectively promote your book and be on your way to reaching your publishing goals.

Do you have a tried and true method for increasing your visibility as an author and reaching more readers to increase book sales? Please share what has and/or has not worked for you in the comments below.

15 Free Book Promo Sites

Author and EMSA founder Elise Abram writes about her experiences selling her latest novel, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice in a post sharing 15 promotional sites she’s found on which you can post your books for free. Check out the list at

                                        Image made on

I’m on the book promo path again. Newly edited, my last book, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice will be on sale for the month of January 2017 for only $0.99. I threw a lot of money behind it for advertising in the summer when it was released, so this time I’m reluctant to put any new money into the project. To that end, I went searching online and found 15 amazing and free book promo sites. I signed up at all of them, hoping it will help my prospects, and I want to share them all with you.

Without further ado, here are 15 free book promo sites (in no particular order) you can use to help promote your book. Note that I am writing this blog post in advance of seeing my book advertised and having any sales, so I cannot vouch for some of these sites except for the fact that they allow you to upload your book for free… [more]

Beginner’s Guide to Building an Online Platform

Most of my experience in the world of publishing has been helping friends and colleagues to get their work published, so I never had the need to create a social media presence for what I do. But when I decided to go pro, I realized that my business was going nowhere without an online platform.

Starting an online platform from scratch is a lot of work with little return, at least in the beginning. Nevertheless, in today’s digital market, it’s exactly what I had to do. It’s also exactly what many first time authors need to do, and so I thought I’d share the process with you.

Without further ado, here is my beginner’s guide to building an online platform:

Claim your domain name.

A domain name is how potential fans will find you on the web. You can choose from virtually any name or phrase, so long as it hasn’t already been registered. Many authors choose their book title as a domain name, but I suggest using the name under which you publish. That way you can create a separate page for each book and keep site maintenance to a minimum.

Build a web page.

Take a breath…this isn’t as daunting as it sounds. There are quite a few really good point and click interfaces out there. I like WordPress, but you can also use Wix or Weebly and forward your domain name to your site. Pages you might want to include on your site include synopses of your books including buy links, and a brief biography which lists ways to contact you. While a blog is not mandatory, it’s a good way to pique reader interest, particularly if you blog about writing and the writing process, and/or the subject and genre in which you write.

Claim your social media accounts.

Create a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads, Pinterest, Storify, and GooglePlus account in your name. If your name is taken, try adding the word “author” or “books” to it. Social media is a great way to publicize your work and draw reader attention.

Link your social media for cross-posts.

You can join your social media accounts to post to each other, which is a huge time-saver. By cross-posting, your blog can post to select social media for you, Twitter can post to Facebook and vice-versa. Same with GoodReads. Some websites (like WordPress) will even let you create a widget that shows your last few Twitter and Facebook posts on your website. GoodReads has code that will display your To Be Read list, or the title of the book you are currently reading in a sidebar, all of which can help make connections between you and your readers. Use a scheduling site like HootSuite to enable you to post during peak hours, if you can’t physically post at those times yourself.

Create social media buzz.

Post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest regularly. I usually make an advertising post about once a week. The rest of the time I’m reposting materials about publishing and writing that I find on the web and that my followers might find interesting. I also post a notification to social media any time I add something to my blog or earn accolades on the web for my work. I reserve sites like Storify, GooglePlus and LinkedIn exclusively to promote posts about my own work.

Follow and friend like-minded people.

Search up hashtags for your genre and content on Twitter and follow a few of the people that post them. Join Facebook groups for writers and lovers of similar genres and content. Interact regularly by liking, sharing, and retweeting. Engage and interact with your followers and friends and they’ll follow suit. Before you know it you’ll be networking like a pro, selling books with little effort, which, after all, is the primary reason you embarked on the journey to create an author platform in the first place.

Do you have any other ideas for beginning writers wanting to set up an online presence? If so, share your tips in the comments below.