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Navigating Indieworld: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book
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Before You Publish > It Isn't The Size Of Your Description; It's How You Use It

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message 1: by Julie (last edited Jan 18, 2017 10:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Julie Gerber | 189 comments Mod
This comes from Chapter 6 of our book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book

Writing a book description seems like an easy thing to do. It can be intimidating, considering it is your first official ad for your book. You are selling your book to the masses, and your description is essential to the book’s success.
Set the scene and use words that create a mood. Is your book funny or dark and mysterious? Don’t talk about subplots or minor characters, instead keep with the main ones. Try to avoid referring to “the book” and using terminology like “readers.” Don’t use words like “you” or “I.” Write in a third person narrative.
It should be short, attention grabbing, and sell the book using the first line. Give them enough, so they understand what the book is about, but remember, just a tease. Don’t give away the ending, and please don’t summarize the book. Break it down into multiple, short paragraphs instead of one long one because it makes your description easier to read.
Create an elevator pitch. You have to pitch your book in the same amount of time it takes to ride the elevator to the sixth floor. Having these restrictions keeps the descriptions of our books brief and deliciously appetizing.

Pick up a copy of our book to learn more tips and see examples of book descriptions. Do you have any tips you'd like to share?


Marie Silk | 208 comments Blurb writing is never as easy as it sounds. At first, I really struggled to match my blurb, book cover, and content so the reader would have an idea of what they were getting into. It helped me to get tips on what elements a blurb should contain, and then work from there:

Main character(s) name and approx age
Location/Setting (in the case of my historical fiction books, the year 1915)
Introduce the conflict
Write in present tense to bring the reader into the action

I agree with the above about multiple short paragraphs. Sometimes less is more :).


message 3: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4620 comments I re-wrote the blurb for my first book after reading Navigating Indieworld, it was very helpful.


message 4: by Nely (new) - added it

Nely Cab (nelycab) | 66 comments Great tips! I always have a really hard time with book blurbs. I try to keep it short and concise and focus on the main struggle of the plot without over sharing. I have a tendency to be too vague, so I usually go in and rewrite it until I think to myself "This is a blurb that would make my critical sister read it." lol! I know that's terrible, but it works. :)


message 5: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee For years, I didn't realize that I was writing a synopsis for the back of my books, not a blurb. This comes from the days of trying to court agents. It's my thought that some authors have no idea that's what they're doing.

I think Julie and Carole's book would make a good addition to any author's reference library.


message 6: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 244 comments I wrote an article about descriptions on Amazon and how to make them stand out:

http://jbienvenue.webs.com/apps/blog/...


Carole P. Roman | 4580 comments Mod
That's a great article Justin and I agree with everything. I have to think about changing all of our descriptions on Amazon- I just took the back of the book. It's my least favorite part when we are preparing a book for release.
I want to add, it helps to get the advice of someone who hasn't read the books- They are as "blind" as your audience and will help you not give too much away or be too vague.


message 8: by Lyra (new)

Lyra Shanti (lyrashanti) | 76 comments I hate blurb writing. I try to keep it simple and get to the story quick. My blurbs might actually be too short, but I prefer them that way - not just for my own, but with others as well. When I read a blurb, I want the lowdown quickly so I can either grab that book or move on. It's just how I am.


Carole P. Roman | 4580 comments Mod
I agree. I usually pass a book over when it has too much information in the blurb. I do however look at the best and worst review. I never did that before we started publishing. I actually never even noticed reviews until I started asking for them. I usually will buy a book based on the worst review out of spite for the one star reviewer. While I think it's a good idea to point out the best and worst points, I think one star is an extreme way of showing dislike- it's almost proactively trying to dissuade people from buying a book. I never leave a review less than three stars. I would hate to be the person who affected sales because I didn't like something. Liking or hating a books is selective, and individual to each reader. I may hate a book, but others may love it. So, I'd rather state why it wasn't to my taste, but why someone else my enjoy it.


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4620 comments I feel as though I could do with improving the blurb for my novel, I have a great cover now, and I can get people to look at my book, but I'm thinking that maybe my blurb is not selling my book as well as it should.

Navigating Indieworld really helped me improve what I had, but perhaps it could be tweaked further.


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4620 comments Where would be the best place to post to get some help with tweaking my blurb? Here or in a new thread?


Carole P. Roman | 4580 comments Mod
I liked Justin's article up above.


Julie Gerber | 189 comments Mod
Alex wrote: "Where would be the best place to post to get some help with tweaking my blurb? Here or in a new thread?"
You may get more attention if you start a dedicated thread :)


message 14: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4620 comments Julie wrote: "Alex wrote: "Where would be the best place to post to get some help with tweaking my blurb? Here or in a new thread?"
You may get more attention if you start a dedicated thread :)"


That's what I was wondering Julie, I didn't want to just go off and do that, though, without checking.
Thanks


Julie Gerber | 189 comments Mod
Alex wrote: "Julie wrote: "Alex wrote: "Where would be the best place to post to get some help with tweaking my blurb? Here or in a new thread?"
You may get more attention if you start a dedicated thread :)"

T..."


It would have been fine :) You know we are pretty laid back here!
Just want you to have the best chance at getting some help. The more that see it the better!


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4620 comments I appreciate the laid back attitude around here, it's nice and relaxing, but my mum taught me to be polite and ask first *grins* new discussion coming up.


message 17: by Clint (new)

Clint Forgy (clintforgy) | 18 comments Trump it, Alex. Grab it by the pushbuttons.


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4620 comments Clint wrote: "Trump it, Alex. Grab it by the pushbuttons."

That way leads to trouble, or maybe a presidency, I'm after something in between.


Carole P. Roman | 4580 comments Mod
hahahah


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