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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When I set out of my writing odyssey, never once did I consider writing young adult fiction (or YA). But the more I taught teens, and the more I spoke with colleagues teaching English and in the library at school, the more curious I became about it.
And after writing two YA novels and finishing up a third, I have to admit, writing YA feels like coming home.
If you’ve never considered writing YA, here are three reasons why you should give the genre a try.
1. Everyone relates
Every single adult on the face of this earth was a young adult at one point in time. And while I may never have had to compete for my life in a game, or never attended wizard school, I can nevertheless relate. Writing YA forces me to think outside of my comfort zone, to a time when bullies scared me, and I had to fight my parents for my independence, and I wanted to die after getting a huge, red and white zit on the tip of my nose. Writing YA brings me back to a time when even the smallest failure felt like a catastrophe. Now imagine being at a tender age and a part of a real catastrophe. Facing a major event you don’t understand from a heightened, hormonal point of view can’t help but make for an interesting story.
2. Shy away from nothing
Remember Judy Blume? She was popular in the seventies and eighties because she wrote about sexual awakening, acceptance in the family unit, and questioning your religion. Times have changed drastically since then. War continues to be a threat for some and a reality for so many. Terrorism, cyber-bullying, sexual predators, drugs and date rape are also reality in too many social spheres. YA fiction depicts teens coping in the modern world with issues that might send any sane adult into the corner to weep. Seeing someone cope with their problems and emerge victorious can’t be anything but empowering for readers of all ages.
3. Writing YA is hard challenging
YA fiction is not a watered down version of its adult counterpart, and writing it is hard. Narratives have to be smart with endearing, quick-witted characters. Worlds have to be immersive. Storylines must be believable. If you take YA on as a challenge, you will go down in the annals of literature with the likes of JK Rowling, Veronica Roth, Jodi Picoult, Johm Green, and James Dashner—no small feat….if you are up to it.
What genre do you write in? Is your manuscript complete? Whether you write for middle-grade (8 – 12), young adults (12 – 18), new adults (18+) or just plain adults, EMSA Publishing wants to hear from you.
Having an edited, ready-for-publication manuscript is paramount when searching for a publisher or an agent. Some vanity publishers—like EMSA Publishing—will provide editing in exchange for a percentage of the royalties. Others will provide you with a list of approved editors and ask you to pay from your own pocket for their services. Similarly, when self-publishing, the onus is on you to self-edit and/or hire an editor to get your manuscript up to standards.
In today’s economy, hiring an editor isn’t financially feasible for most of us. Authors are forced to become jacks-of-all-trades as a result, writing, publishing, advertising and editing on their own. Out of that array, editing is perhaps the most difficult to master, especially when it’s on your own manuscript.
Two reasons why self-editing is hard
Reason One – lack of education
Whether your highest level of education is a high school diploma or graduate degree, chances are you were never formally taught grammar in school. This is especially true if only a decade or so has passed since your graduation. I remember, in middle school, having to parse sentences to pick out the subject, object, predicate, etc. I was never very good at it because I was never formally taught any of the rules. My knowledge of grammar is more intuitive than practical—if it sounds good, it’s probably grammatically correct. When in doubt, I can always look it up online, a luxury I didn’t have in middle school.
Reason Two – it’s not how our brains work
As a writer, you’re too close to your work. Nick Stockton’s article, What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos, says writing is a critical thinking task. When you challenge you brain with higher-level thinking, it tends to generalize. You remember where you wanted to take the story and your brain fills in the blanks, glossing over the errors. It’s hard to edit your own work, not because you can’t or don’t know how to fix the issues, but rather, because you know what should be on the page so well that your brain doesn’t realize it’s not there.
Even with the cards seemingly stacked against you, there are still techniques you can use to help with this aspect of the publication process.
Five Ways You Can Make Self-Editing Easier
Give yourself some wait time.
Put your work away for a day, a week, or a month. If you give your brain time to forget what you’ve written and come at it with fresh eyes, it might help to find issues you missed before.
Read your work aloud.
Sometimes hearing your work will help you to find grammatical problems. When you read, don’t just vocalize your words. Read slowly and really try to listen to what you are saying.
Pay attention to spell- and grammar-check, but be skeptical.
Sometimes, spell- and grammar-check marks correctly spelled words and stylistic sentences as incorrect. While that doesn’t mean it is an actual error, it is worth checking it out. Check online against the rules when in doubt.
Use online applications to help with the process.
Websites like PaperRater that have built-in grammar and style checks can be useful, but take all suggestions with a grain of salt. I particularly like the HemingwayApp site which marks difficult words and sentences, and highlights phrases in passive voice. HemingwayApp will also categorize your reading level for difficulty, which can be helpful to for authors writing for children and teens.
Read your work from the bottom up.
Fool your brain by reading your work backwards, sentence by sentence. This can help you find sentences that don’t make sense, or those with errors in grammar, even though it’s a really awkward way to review your work.
Do you have any other suggestions or sites that will help with the editing process? If so, please share them in the comments below.
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.