I just received the official Kindle version cover from my cover design expert, Angie, on Fiverr.com. The paperback and hardcover versions are waiting until I get the final edits back from Beth Werner at Author Connections in about two weeks. I need the actual page count to determine the spine width.
Another component, at least for the paperback and hardcover versions, is the back-cover book description, a 200 to 250-word blurb designed to catch the prospecting reader’s attention and get them to buy your book.
A fiction book’s back cover blurb should:
Situation: Briefly describe the circumstances of the story.
Problem: Highlight the situation or hitch that makes change inevitable.
Hopeful Possibility: Provides the hope of overcoming the crisis, whether a cool character or long-shot possibility that provides the belief that the difficult problem can be overcome.
Mood: Sets the emotional state that readers will have from reading your story. For instance, a “dark, dystopian tragedy,” “humorous chick lit,” or “suspenseful, romantic and awash in…magic.”
Here is the most recent version of the back-cover blurb for Montagnard
Navy SEAL, JD Cordell, is ready to retire and take his K9 partner, Ajax, with him. JD has exciting plans for a new life that includes the courageous and beautiful Doctor Ellen Chang he met on a mission in Niger.
But when JD’s father unexpectedly dies of cancer, his grieving mother travels to Vietnam to search for her adopted Montagnard brother whom she hasn’t seen in over thirty years. Mai unwittingly steps into a blood feud between her Montagnard brother and a powerful Vietnamese drug lord, a bitter hatred that began during the Vietnam War.
When his mother disappears into the seedy underbelly of Ho Chi Minh City, JD has no choice but to come out of retirement for one last mission. And Ajax is with him all the way.
Dealing with an explosive situation such as this, even two battle-hardened veterans like JD and Ajax might need a little help from some old friends … and maybe a few new ones.
I would love to read your reaction to it … pro or con. Please take a moment to leave a comment.
Thank you, in advance, for your help with this.
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If you are a self-published author, you are often on your own when it comes to marketing your work. There are many avenues to explore including review blogs, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email lists, etc. In fact, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming!
In my opinion, social media marketing is great for getting exposure. You can build a support network of other writers (#writingcommunity), gain ideas about target markets for your books, and promotes specials or giveaways. You may even sell a few books.
But I have come to a conclusion that people who spend a lot of time on social media outlets, are probably not book lovers or voracious readers. If they were, they’d be reading, and not Tweeting. So, I decided to try something new!
I decided to try creating a book trailer.
Videos do seem to be another great way to grab a possible reader’s attention and interest, gain exposure, and maybe even sell a book or two. Videos are easy to share and can certainly be used with social media. But, they can also be used on your website, uploaded to YouTube, emailed, shared on blogs, etc.
I started trying to do this myself, but quickly found out that there is a good bit to it. Access to appropriate royalty-free footage, editing software, having a script or storyboard, and a good soundtrack are all important and too much to learn all at once. Therefore, I enlisted the help of a video editor on Fiverr.com to help me get started. It turned out to be a lot of fun. You can view the results above, of course.
As part of this process, I did learn the importance of having a script and storyboarding your video to get your ideas in laid out and conceptualized before you go looking for royalty-free video footage, etc. I am also looking into getting some better video editing software. I think this would be fun to do yourself, but then, you also have to consider time and investment.
So, for my next project, a “coming soon” book trailer for my sequel to Serpents Underfoot, I will certainly still get some help from the experts on Fiverr.com, but who knows what the future may hold!
One thing is clear. Writing a book is only part of the battle, and in fact, may be the easiest part. Getting your book out there and getting exposure, building a reader base, driving sales, all while continuing to write additional books can be quite a challenge. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, the work pays off. You have to truly believe that the investment of all your time and hard work will pay off in order to keep chugging away and eventually be successful.
Just don’t stop trying!
There is some sage wisdom from some old martial artist that seems appropriate here. The founder of Isshin-ryu Karate, Tatuso Shimabuku, used to say it, but I am pretty sure it didn’t originate with him. The saying goes:
If you fall down seven times, get up eight!
My version of that is “I am to stubborn to know when I am beat, so I just keep going!” But, isn’t that the secret to success?
Stay tuned for future book video trailers. And for other blog posts and book reviews, click here!
I have written book descriptions for over 85 different clients on Fiverr.com. Furthermore, while doing this, I maintained a 5 Star rating and a 73% repeat customer rate. I think that is pretty darn good! Therefore, in this post I will share some of the tricks I have learned about writing book descriptions with my readers.
Tips for writing good book descriptions
The purpose of a book description is to get the reader to buy the book. You want to “set the hook” and reel the reader in. And, I mean this in the nicest sort of way possible. Because, that is what you are really trying to do.
In addition, as a bonus, the same process you use to write your book description should also leave you with some good ad copy for Amazon ads or for use on Twitter, Instagram, or even Pinterest.
Finally, again, remember that a book description does not just describe what the story is about. It should “hook” your readers and make them want to buy your book. Consequently, this thought needs to be foremost in your mind.
Writing a good book description is a different skill set than writing the book itself. Therefore, many authors do pay someone else to write their book descriptions. However, if you would like to give it a try …
Step 1: Identify your book’s primary conflict
In this post, I am dealing primarily with fiction. Non-fiction is a little different. In contrast, for non-fiction, this “primary conflict” would be replaced with the “primary takeaway” you want your readers to get from reading the book. Hence, I will write about non-fiction book descriptions in another post.
For now, let’s focus on fiction. What is your story about? For example, in Serpents Underfoot:
The son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife grows up to become a Navy SEAL. On a mission, his SEAL team uncovers a terrorist plot against the United States involving nuclear weapons. Now a SEAL K9 handler, heand his dog, Ajax, raceto stop the terrorists from succeeding in their evil scheme.
Develop 15 to 20 different versions of this conflict:
This will become your “hook” and is perhaps the most important part because it is what grabs the readers attention. I have included a few examples below to illustrate what what I mean.
Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.
If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense.
When a Navy SEAL K9 handler uncovers a deadly terrorist plot to annihilate the US, he’ll need every bit of his fighting skill to protect what he holds dear.
A top Navy SEAL. A deadly terrorist plot. Can one man overcome a network of fanatical terrorists to stop America’s annihilation?
When the US becomes the target of an inhuman conspiracy, one dedicated Navy SEAL will need more than loyalty to prevent mass murder.
You get the idea? Each of these is a different restating of the primary conflict in the story. Similarly, this can also provide good copy for a Facebook ad.
Conspiracy. Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action and suspense. Click the link to buy the book today!
Seems like it’s not too hard. As a result, it is easy to rush through this process. Therefore, be careful not to be fooled. It can take some time and lots of trial and error to come up with 15 to 20 good versions of your story’s main conflict. As a result, you should not rush through this! Give your ideas time to simmer.
Now ask your readers!
Finally, when you have your hook ideas ready, run these 15 to 20 ideas by your target readers, and put it to a vote. It is as simple as that. The #1 choices by your target readers is your hook! Then #2 thru #5 (or maybe a few more) can be ad copy.
Now, a bit more on book descriptions!
Remember, in writing the book description, you are acting as a publisher or marketer, not as the author.
Therefore, try to make the rest of your book description about your main character’s emotional journey. Help your readers identify quickly with the main character.
Also, use transitional phrases at the beginning of sentences to maintain good momentum. Transitional phrases include words like before, when, after, however, rather, while, or despite.
Another key is to include a cliffhanger at the end of each paragraph.
Above all, remember to place a call to action at the end!
Sample book description from Serpents Underfoot.
Terrorism. One SEAL stands between freedom and nuclear annihilation.
JD Cordell believes in freedom, honor, and hard work. The
son of a Vietnam veteran and his Vietnamese wife, the Navy SEAL is proud to
serve as SEAL Team 5’s K9 handler with his dog Ajax. But when his team uncovers
a deadly terrorist plot in Afghanistan, he never expected a cover-up that could
reach as high as the White House itself.
As JD gets drawn in deeper, he unmasks a mastermind hell
bent on detonating nukes on U.S. soil. When an assassin working for the terrorist
strikes close to home, JD’s fight to save America gets personal.
Can JD protect the American way of life, or will sadistic terrorists
turn America into a nuclear wasteland?
is the first novel in a nail-biting
military thriller series. If you like patriotic heroes, fanatical conspiracies,
and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love D.C. Gilbert’s tale of SEAL action
Buy Your copy of Serpents Underfoot today!
Can you identify the parts as described?
If you can, you are off to a good start. Following the guidelines provided in this post can help you turn out good book description if you choose to. I hope this helps with any book description projects you have in your future. Of course, if you want help, I can be reached through Fiverr.com
Also. for more interesting post and book reviews, click here!