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Blurb Workshop > Blurb Help self-help book

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Just enjoyed great help with a fiction book, now could use ideas on a self-help book. First three lines are a bold headline, the first thing the reader will see on the book page. Here is the blurb:

From the collective wisdom of 1000 people
Twenty-five years in the making
Learn how to live your best life

Personal Wisdom answers two questions:
• I’ve been born, now what?
• How do I live my life as well as possible?

Life is a journey you must take alone, but with others nearby. Because you are unique only you can decide how well it is going, and, at the end, how it turned out. Life skills can be learned. You can make better decisions. You can communicate better, express your feelings better, understand yourself better and understand others better.

Among the many life essentials you will learn:
• How to solve every problem
• How to resolve every conflict
• What women want
• What men want to avoid
• Three life principles
• Why “fair” cannot exist for people
• How to tell someone a difficult truth
• Why “probability” is crucial to understand
• And more

It also defines the ideal life everyone can enjoy; the benefit of making mistakes; how to identify and succeed in your defining moments; and how to acquire a sense of worthiness.

Personal Wisdom will answer the majority of your important questions about life and teach you the skills needed to live a rewarding one.


message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments Umm. Can you cut the word count by about two thirds? At the moment IMO it is much too long. The third paragraph on its own might be sufficient


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Jane, thank you for your comments. I was beginning to worry I would have none. What is your thinking to cut two thirds? I know for fiction not much more than 150-200 words are needed and more tends to bore. Is that what you're thinking?

I've learned for nonfiction, you have to tell the reader what they will get that is different from other books. I looked at strong selling self-help books on Amazon and half had descriptions as long or longer than mine. Half had short ones. Not sure which way to go. Any additional thoughts?

I was delighted to see that your book descriptions are as few as three words. I'm going to ponder how to get my fiction down to one.


message 4: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments Thing is, I strongly believe that whether a book is fiction or non-fiction we have a very limited window within which to grab the attention of a possible reader.

I’d hit up with the third paragraph as a leader. Then restrict yourself to bullet points. As few as possible. Let your message be strong and not diluted by too much verbosity


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Thanks Jane--appreciate your help. And I agree, shorter often has more impact.


message 6: by H.L. (new)

H.L. Carpenter | 16 comments Robert,

Instead of "learn," which sounds like work, you might consider using a different word--one that emphasizes the benefits to the reader instead of the work they have to do to get those benefits.

Here's an example:

You too can discover how to live your best life

You have the power to make better decisions. You can communicate better, express your feelings better, understand yourself better and understand others better.

Personal Wisdom can show you

• How to resolve conflicts quickly and respectfully
• How to tell someone a difficult truth
• How to become an effective problem-solver
• How to benefit from mistakes

Harness the power of the collective wisdom of 1,000 people from all walks of life. Twenty-five years in the making, Personal Wisdom offers practical solutions to mastering life skills.


The first line (You too can...) could be bold and centered, and you can perhaps come up with a final line or some testimonials to wrap up at the end, or insert your own credentials.

HL Carpenter


message 7: by Oseyiza (new)

Oseyiza Oogbodo | 1 comments I'm starting to wonder if blurbs and keywords do work as against advertising, marketing, promotion. That said, I think what you have here is enough to convince virtually everyone to buy it.


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Thanks for your comments H.L. and Oseyiza. I like the word "learn" and had no clue it could be a barrier. But it sure may be for a lot of potential buyers. I'll look into improvements. As for key words, my approach to Amazon book descriptions is to hook and entice, and make the decision to buy the book as easy as possible and let key words etc. be a minor consideration. I've also been reconsidering length. I think the length should be whatever is needed to convey why this book should be bought, and not one word more. Length is secondary to effect; similar to the concept of function over form.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Okay gang. Below is the fruit of our labors. Thank you again.

YOUR BEST LIFE IS IN REACH

Life skills can be improved. You can make better decisions. You can communicate better, express your feelings better, understand yourself better and understand others better too.

Discover life essentials such as:
• How to solve every problem
• How to resolve every conflict
• What women want
• What men want to avoid
• Three life principles
• Ten things to do every day
• Why “fair” cannot exist for people
• How to tell someone a difficult truth
• Why “probability” is crucial to understand
• And more

It also defines the ideal life everyone can enjoy; the benefit of making mistakes; how to identify and succeed in your defining moments; and how to acquire a sense of worthiness.

Personal Wisdom will answer most of your important questions about life and teach you the skills needed to live your best one.


message 10: by H.L. (new)

H.L. Carpenter | 16 comments Robert,

Here are impressions, written from the fictional POV of a potential reader.

YOUR BEST LIFE IS IN REACH

---This sounds great. How can I reach my best life?

Life skills can be improved. You can make better decisions. You can communicate better, express your feelings better, understand yourself better and understand others better too.

--Yes, perhaps, though I have heard these promises before. I'll read a bit more before I decide whether to believe you can help me achieve these goals.

Discover life essentials such as:
• How to solve every problem
• How to resolve every conflict
• What women want
• What men want to avoid
• Three life principles
• Ten things to do every day
• Why “fair” cannot exist for people
• How to tell someone a difficult truth
• Why “probability” is crucial to understand
• And more

--Nope, lost me here. This sounds completely over the top. EVERY problem? EVERY conflict? ALL women? ALL men?

It also defines

--What is "it?"

the ideal life everyone can enjoy; the benefit of making mistakes; how to identify and succeed in your defining moments; and how to acquire a sense of worthiness.

--Find this unbelievable. How can "everyone" enjoy an "ideal" life? How do you know what "ideal" life I am seeking?

Personal Wisdom will answer most of your important questions about life and teach you the skills needed to live your best one.

--Are you sure you know what MY "important" questions are? What are your credentials? Why should I believe that reading this book can do all this for me?

Overall impression: Too much sizzle, not enough steak.


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Very helpful H. L. The book does all those things, but I understand the credibility issue. I will address.


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Okay gang. Below is the fruit of our labors. Thank you again. Part II.

YOUR BEST LIFE IS IN REACH

Life skills can be improved. You can make better decisions. You can communicate better, express your feelings better, understand yourself better and understand others better too.

Discover life essentials such as:
• The five steps to solve every kind of problem or conflict
• What women want (the answer to the age-old question)
• What men want to avoid (why men can’t ask for directions!)
• Three life principles
• Ten things to do every day
• Why “fair” cannot exist for people
• How to tell someone a difficult truth
• Why understanding “probability” is crucial to a happy life

The book also presents three elements for an ideal life everyone can enjoy; the benefit of making mistakes; how to identify and succeed in your defining moments; and how to acquire a sense of worthiness.

The insights of many people created Personal Wisdom. The author earned a Ph.D. in psychology (1973) learning at the feet of Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Viktor Frankl among others. He spent almost fifty-years working with people who wanted to improve their lives. What he learned is in this book.

Personal Wisdom will answer many of your important questions about life and provide you the skills needed to live the life you decide is best for you. You might also be interested in Bob’s forty-year effort to define the meaning of life captured in his memoir Simply Bob: Searching for the Essence.


message 13: by H.L. (new)

H.L. Carpenter | 16 comments Robert,

Yes! That sounds great! You added authority, clarity, and motivation. Fictional reader says, "Good job!" :)

Three picky points:

1. "...in psychology (1973) learning at the feet..." needs a comma: "...in psychology (1973), learning at the feet..."

2. "He spent almost fifty-years working..." does not need a hyphen.

3. "...and provide you the skills needed..." might benefit from the addition of "with," as in "...and provide you with the skills needed..."

Sounds like a very useful book. Best of success with it!


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments Done. And thank you for your help.


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