How not to present Back Cover Copy for Marketing

What is and How to send back cover copy

Today I want to talk a little about back cover copy and a lot about how not to send it to bloggers and use it for memes. Back Cover copy is the blurb that appears on the back of your book that gives a teaser about your book. This is the first thing most people in a bookstore will read to decide if they want to buy your book. It’s what draws readers to check your book at the library. Back cover copy is used on Amazon, your publisher’s website and your own website. Again this is how readers decide to purchase your book. It’s harder to write than the book because it needs to be brief and snappy to draw them in.

Notice how you can’t read the back cover copy. This is great on the book when displayed for sale, but not what you send to a blogger, magazine editor or put on a meme.

Now that I’ve made that clear let me share a very amateur thing that new writers do. I’ll use this blog as an example. My submission guidelines ask for back cover copy. On occasion, I get sent a picture of the back of their book. See my example above. This is not what I wanted. The word doc of the BCC copy or a copy of what is printed on Amazon or your website describing your book. A photo of the back-cover copy is hard to read because the print is small. And if you put the photo of the back-cover copy on a meme it is also hard to read. Grabbing a key sentence, the tagline or a review quote is a better choice for a meme about your book.

Back cover copy needs to appear differently in different arenas. All the background color is awesome on a book I can place in my hands. But for an electronic book, it can be a challenge to read. As a blogger, I won’t post something that won’t help the author make a sale or add a follower. I have the time to go to Amazon or your website and pull off the book blurb for my blog, but other bloggers may not and won’t bother. They may just leave the description off altogether. Have the word doc version of your back-cover blurb ready to send out to whoever requests it. Your media kit should have a separate item for the book blurb. Again, those who are helping promote you will have easy access to that key piece of information.

I hope these comments help you as you market your book on various blogs. Happy book selling.



Author Melissa Henderson uses her personal experience to write for children

I love sharing other authors writing journeys on Jubilee Writer. Today I welcome Melissa Henderson. She’s going to have a drawing for a copy of her children’s book  at the end of this post. Don’t miss it. Thank you for being with me today, Melissa.

What prompted you to write a children’s book?

The inspiration for writing my children’s book, “Licky the Lizard” was based on two things. The first and most important is that I wanted to write a story for our first grandchild. He is 2 years old now. I wanted to share my love of writing and reading with him.

What a wonderful reason.


The second reason I wrote the story is to share how I overcame my fear of lizards. Well…to be honest, I am still working on being totally rid of the fear of lizards.


In the story, a lady is afraid of the lizard who lives outside her front door. She realizes the lizard is just as afraid of her as she is of it.

Sounds like a fun story.


My love for reading and writing began at an early age. My parents enjoyed reading and shared the love of the written word with me. From reading newspapers to books to visiting the local library or bookmobile, there was always something to read in our home.


I was blessed with wonderful teachers in elementary school who noticed my love of stories. Those special teachers encouraged my writing and gave me inspiration to continue my writing journey.


Do you have a favorite verse?

Philippians 4:4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

This Scripture reminds me of the love God has for us. I wake in the morning and before my feet touch the floor, I am rejoicing and thanking God for His blessings.

Who is your best support?

My family gives me great encouragement in my writing. Also, I participate in several writers groups in the area. All writers need encouragement to press on in their writing experience.



Back Cover Copy:   click here to order.

Licky the Lizard is one nice lizard, and just like you and me, he’s one of God’s own creations. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget that we’re really all the same—because He created everything in our world. We feel afraid because of our differences.

What happens when Licky the Lizard comes face to face with a lady who’s going in and out of her house? When the lady sees Licky, he causes her quite a fright! But guess what? Licky is also scared. Of her. They’re scared of each other! Then Licky and the lady remember that there is no need to be afraid. They were both created by God, and that’s what makes them very special.

In Licky The Lizard, author Melissa Henderson offers parents, grandparents, and educators a tale that teaches young children a simple, yet important message: There is no need to fear any of God’s creatures because we are all created by Him—and He loves us all.

More about Melissa.

Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages. Her first book for children, “Licky the Lizard”, was released in 2018. She also has a story in the compilations “Heaven Sightings” and “Remembering Christmas”. She contributes articles and devotions to various magazines and websites. Her passions are helping in community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon and Stephen Minister. She and her husband Alan moved from Virginia to South Carolina to be near son, daughter-in-love and first grandchild. The family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and at



Melissa is happy to give away a signed copy of “Licky the Lizard”. Answer the question to put your name in the drawing.

Question- Are you afraid of lizards?

Put your answer in the comments. We will draw a name on Monday.


Melissa Henderson, Award Winning Author Social Media links:

Website and blog:

Facebook: Melissa Henderson, Author

Pinterest: Melissa Henderson

Twitter: @mimionlife

Buy links:

“Licky the Lizard”

“Heaven Sightings”

“Remembering Christmas”


Best practices for Business Cards

one of my first business cards. This was before I published my first novel. Hubby designed it on vista print.

Are business cards really a thing anymore? With the digital age do I really need one?

The answer for writers is a resounding yes. It’s necessary to provide information for both prospective publishers, agents, fellow-authors and potential readers.

Business card musts

They need to look professional and give the right information. Most business cards at a minimum should have your name, email, website, and social media links.

Adding a headshot puts a face with the conversation that led to the card being given.

Blank space on the back of the card is awesome. It leaves room to write a note reminding the receiver why they have it. For example: send them your guidelines. Call them about the XYZ group. Send them your manuscript ASAP

My most current card.

Additional items:

Theses are your personal preferences, only choose one or add the addition to the back of your card so it is not cluttered. But then you lose the blank space.

A tagline.

Your author tagline, not your present book. The one you use on your website. The thing that defines what you write. But it isn’t necessary.

Links to your latest books. (This might require a larger card that folds.)

Text code

My agent offers a free video course if you text a specific number on his card.

I’ve seen some HQ codes to take you to an author’s website or a free download offer.


This is not as common because you gave an email which is most publishers preferred way of communicating. The blank space on the back of the card is available to jot it down if it is requested by specific people.

Phone numbers are an option too. Your agent may hand you a business card with a phone number. Your email is the best substitute for a phone number. Again use the blank space on the back to offer it to those who need it.

Design your cards and order a reasonable amount

Order between 100 and 250 cards from or a local printer. Look for the best price before agreeing. Yes, you can make your own. But be sure you use business card stock. There are templates online. You may find that 100 is too many if you don’t attend conferences or do book events. Think about where you will be handing them out before ordering. I have a friend who gives them to everyone he meets. He goes through several hundred cards a year.

Reorder when you must

I always have cards left over when I update to new ones. You might prefer to be all out before you update or reorder. I don’t like writing new info on a card, so, I’m fine with creating a new card and reordering before my supply is gone.

Keep your business card as clean as possible.

Don’t try to fill every space or use graphics that cover the whole surface. Simple is better. If you have a photo make it a professional shot that is current. (within the last few years.)

A photo helps those you meet with at conferences and other events remember who you are.

The colors on your card should be readable. A simple font or if you prefer a more artistic font be sure it’s not too busy or too strange. Those are hard to read. Make sure the color ink is legible on a card’s color background.

White letters on a yellow background are hard to read. While black on white is always a good choice. If you have a website try to match the colors on your cards to the theme on your website or blog.

Glossy vs matte finish depends on your theme and color choices. I prefer a matte because it is easier to write on notes on the back.

Think about what you write and choose a theme that fits your genre. Westerns might have a cowboy hat or boots as a watermark or in the corner. Historical romance might have a parchment color background. A thriller writer might have artistic black on white that pops but is still readable. Regardless of your genre, a clean plain card is an excellent go-to design.

Look through the business cards you have on hand and see which ones catch your eye and why. Ask the printer you are using for suggestions. They are happy to design them for you. Vistaprint has templates to choose from and a spot to design it before ordering.

Last piece of advice

Proofread your card. Have a few other people look at it too. If there is a typo it will go to print that way. You don’t want the expense of reordering because you missed an error. Even if a printer does your cards be sure to read through it carefully. They usually have a disclaimer that they are not responsible for errors once you approve the card.

What are some things you’ve discovered as you created a business card?



A peek into Penny Cooke’s writing journey

Today I welcome Biblical Life Coach and debut author Penny Cooke to Jubilee Writer. Congratulations on being a finalist in 2020 Selah Awards. Penny, let’s start by talking a little about your writing journey.

I always wanted to write but didn’t think a nobody like me could ever get published. Then God started opening doors. I had been asked to teach a class on prayer at church. Then came an opportunity to write articles for an online magazine based on the material from the class. Then I was asked to go to a writer’s conference and enter their contest. My potential book on prayer won first place. That was just the encouragement I needed to keep going, and doors kept opening from there.

What an exciting time that was for you. Tell us about this new book, why a book on prayer?

Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World, released from New Hope Publishers last November (2019).

I have seen God work through prayer on many occasions in my life. He’s not only given me insight, comfort and strength through His Word and prayer, but He’s answered some pretty big prayers – He healed my marriage, He saved my addicted son who is now a pastor, among other things. Now I look around at how busy we’ve become and see the neglect of continual prayer and the need for more fervent prayer.

There are many books out there on prayer, what makes yours different?

My book is written from a life coaching perspective. It’s about being proactive and intentional with our prayer lives. It uses an acrostic for prayer to address the different elements of the Lord’s Prayer, which many of our on-the-go prayers may be missing. Jesus taught us how to pray, but mostly we just give Him our lists. I believe we need to get back to fervent, fruit-bearing prayer. Our families and our world are at stake.

Explain the acostic briefly.

The book is a Bible study (or personal devotional) with six weeks of study. Each week addresses a different letter of the prayer acrostic and coincides with a different element of the Lord’s Prayer:

1 – Proactively Pursue Prayer (Pray then like this…)

2 – Remember His Righteous Deeds (Hallowed be Thy name…)

3 – Acknowledge Sin (Forgive us our debts as we forgive…)

4 – Yield to His Will (Thy will be done…)

5 – Enjoy His Daily Bread (Give us this day…)

6 – Rest in Him (Yours is the Kingdom…)

How did you research for this book?

Books, commentaries, and on line resources, etc.

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

I didn’t realize my love of writing and words was because I had a calling on my life. I realized it when God led me into writing through many open doors I could not have opened myself. And I might add – many closed doors for what I had been pursuing.

Do you have a favorite verse that resonates with you?

Regarding the topic of prayer – Ephesians 3:20, God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. But, we have to ask; we have not because we ask not, James 4:2.


If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice for your younger self about writing what would that be?

Just start writing; take hold of that desire and run with it. Stop thinking small; stop thinking you’re a nobody and you can’t do it. God is a big Somebody and He can do it! Wow, if only I understood that sooner. But praise God, I have to trust His timing.

Who is your best support system to keep you focused on your writing?

I’m a member of Word Weavers International, a writing critique group. They have been so supportive and encouraging, and I have learned so much about the craft.

What is your favorite genre to read for fun?

Nonfiction, but I love getting lost in fiction every once in a while!

Where is your favorite place to write?

In my comfy chair in my family room. I do other writing-related tasks at my desk, but when I want to concentrate on the creativity of writing, I like to put my feet up and get comfortable for a while.

More about Penny

Penny Cooke is a Certified Biblical Life Coach, writer and speaker. She has been a leader in women’s ministry for over 25 years and has taught numerous Bible studies.

Penny seeks for women to be in the Word and for them to be empowered by His Spirit for this battle we call life. Her passion is to see women (and men) rise up (or kneel down) and pray more often and more fervently.

Penny is a multi-award winning writer and the author of Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World. She also contributed to Lighthouse Bible Studies’ Heart Renovation study and Worthy Inspired’s Let the Earth Rejoice devotional. She has written articles for and, and has had two columns in Blessed Living Women’s E-Magazine. She also enjoys blogging about things of life and faith at


Penny and her husband live in South Florida and have three grown children and seven grandchildren.

Links to connect with her on Social Media:


Twitter: penny_cooke

Facebook: penny.arakeliancooke

Instagram: pennydcooke

Buy links:

Order link:

For multiple copies:

Subscribe to Penny’s blog and receive her free download, “Ten Prayer Tips for Busy Days” here: 

Plus, everyone who subscribes March 5-9 will go into a drawing for a FREE copy of her book, Pursuing Prayer. (Winner will be announced via email and on her Facebook author page March 10, )

Thank you so much, Penny, for being a guest on my blog today.

Why bother to get a professional headshot?

my newest headshot.

Today everyone loves to take selfies. Friends and family take our pictures with their cellphones. Some are dreamy while others are just horrid. These are not the pictures you want to offer as a headshot when publishers ask for them.

Why not wait until a publisher asks before getting one taken?

If you are serious about your writing career that would be a mistake.

Professional headshots are needed for websites, blogs, business cards, sell sheets, marketing pieces, social media, back cover copy, bookmarks, article and column copy, and publisher author pages. As you can see a nice photo is essential.

Steps to take to get a nice shot

Women need to get their hair styled, their brows done and make-up. For my latest headshot, I had my make-up done at a salon and she did a far better job than I would have done giving myself a natural look.

Men get your hair styled as well and it’s even recommended to get make-up because it evens out the irregular places on your face.

Both sexes should choose colors that complement their skin tone and bring a sparkle to their eyes. Business casual works well but something more casual if it fits your genre, and a persona you wish to project for that genre. A few fantasy and thriller authors wear their hair and chose clothes that match their genre. It’s not a rule, so do what you’re comfortable doing.

I prefer an inside setting over outside because the wind inevitably messes it up.


Choose a photographer that gives you all the rights to your photos. Otherwise, there are copyright issues if you use the image for your marketing or make multiple copies without their permission.

I get them touched up. This means pieces of stray hair, lines in the face or in my last photos remove a brooch. The best headshot had the brooch on my top listing to the side. Not every photographer does headshots be sure to get recommendations. And these pros will pose you so you look your best.

Update your headshot

Every few years it’s a good idea to update your headshot. Hairstyles change, men might grow or shave a beard. And we all grow older.

I was at a book signing two years ago and I was growing out the gray in my hair. My daughter was standing next to me and they asked if she was the author.  This year I purposed to update it.

Be a professional

If you take your writing career or your almost an author phase seriously take the time and spend the money to get that professional pic made. You won’t regret it.

Next Tuesday I’ll talk about the do’s and don’t’s of business cards.


Other People’s Children Author Ellen Fannon shares her story

I’m happy to introduce Ellen Fannon as my guest today on Jubilee Writer. She is an author who fits my description of a Jubilee Writer. I hope you are encouraged by her story.  

My writing journey has been long.  I have always had an interest in writing, although life got in the way and my writing was put on hold for a long time.  About forty years ago, I wrote my first novel, sent it to every publisher I could find and was summarily rejected by each one.  So I put it aside.  Then, in 1993, I developed the idea for a pet care column for our local newspaper, The Northwest Florida Daily News, which I pitched to the editor.  He liked the idea, and I wrote the column, Pet Peeves, for six years before taking an oversea assignment with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. While on the field, among other things, I wrote news releases and newsletters. About five years ago, I pulled out my novel, completely revised it into a Christian novel, and attempted to get it published again, and again, with no success.  Meanwhile, I was starting on my second novel, Other People’s Children. Then four years ago, I attended a writer’s conference in Blue Lake, Alabama.  At that conference, I learned so much about writing, publishing, and marketing.  I also met James Watkins (an editor and editorial director, author, and writing teacher) who was the first person to give me encouragement on my second novel.  I sent it to every Christian publisher I could find, and finally, eLectio, a small traditional publisher offered me a contract.  I also learned about Word Weavers from Eva Marie Everson and became a member of the Destin Word Weavers group.  From that group, I learned even more, including writing opportunities.  Since then I have been published in One Christian Voice, Divine Moments, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and contracted for a series of ten devotionals for the fall Open Windows 2020.  I have also won two writing awards.

My latest published project was in Divine Moments, Remembering Christmas, which came out in November.


Ellen, tell us about your novel.

Other People’s Children is based largely (although highly fictionalized) on my husband’s and my ten years’ experience as foster parents. My research was living the experience. Lol.


Several things inspired me to write Other People’s Children. First, I felt it was a timely book with a story which needed to be told.  With a child entering foster care every 120 seconds in this country, the numbers of children in the system just keep growing. This is largely due to an increase in substance abuse by parents. Sadly, as the number of children in foster care grows, the number of available foster homes is decreasing. I highly recommend that anyone considering becoming foster parents read this book.

Second, I have not seen another book written from the perspective of a foster parent. Most books, movies, etc. portray foster parents in a negative light, which gives those who are truly trying to make a difference in a child’s life a bad name.

Third, I wrote it for entertainment.  Other People’s Children is the humorous look at a very imperfect woman whose concepts of how things should be and how things actually often collide.

Fourth, I wrote it to present Christ.  Although not “preachy,” I wanted the message to come across that the main character, although often falling short, tries her best to be a good Christian wife and mother, who will not compromise her beliefs for anything, including political correctness.

What a great concept and so relevant. When did you feel called to write?

I guess my calling came quite early, although I didn’t realize it.  From the age of three, I drew pictures and “told myself the story” aloud (since I didn’t know how to write) as I went along. At the age of six, I wrote a book about John Glenn’s first space flight.  I was always making up stories throughout school, and in high school, I was the editor of the yearbook and the literary magazine.

Definitely have the writing gene. What verse inspires you?

I have so many favorite verses it is impossible to pick one. But I especially like Rev. 7:9 “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count from every nation, tribe, people and language standing before the throne . . .”  There is nothing more beautiful to me than to hear someone praising God in another language; and to know that people from all over the world are my brothers and sisters and will be in Heaven all together is beyond imaginable.


Thanks for sharing that. I love to ask my guests what they would tell their younger writing self.

Wow, that’s hard.  I suppose I would tell myself to start taking my writing seriously, earlier.  It is much easier to get published if you are already published, which makes breaking into the writing arena a vicious cycle.  If I already had an established name as a writer, I wouldn’t be working so hard in my old age!  But I had other priorities when I was younger, so I don’t know that I would have had the time.

God had his perfect timing for you. Still like the idea of not putting it off as advice for young writers.

Who is your best writing support?

My Destin Word Weavers group is my best support system.  These amazing people give me encouragement, honest critique, and a fount of helpful information.  Moreover, in a field where competitiveness is the norm, this group of people is always willing to celebrate every individual’s victory or commiserate each person’s struggles, whether they be professional or personal. I have learned so much from these talented, godly people, and not just about writing. Every time I am with this group I can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

I read a lot of contemporary fiction.  My favorite is light, clean humor, like Kristen Billerbeck’s novels. But I also love medical and legal thrillers, suspense, and just about anything with a good story.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

My favorite (only) place to write is at my computer in my bedroom.


Back Cover of her five-star review novel: Other People’s Children

A journey about becoming the mother to more than forty children!

As a mid-thirties childless woman, Robin has all the answers on proper parenting. It doesn’t take long, however, for Robin to realize that her perfect parenting ideas and reality often collide – the result being an amusing journey of finding out that God, indeed, has a sense of humor. As she deals with the baggage, idiosyncrasies, unique personalities, and special gifts of each child that crosses her path, she finds that there is no “one-size fits all” to parenting. However, in spite of the challenges she and her husband face, they are determined to become the children’s strongest advocates in a flawed system that often fails the very victims it is designed to protect. The journey is often heartbreaking and frustrating, but these foster parents are firmly resolved that for whatever time they have children in their care, the children will know they are safe, protected, and loved by God, as well as by their foster parents.


More about Ellen Fannon

Award-winning author, Ellen Fannon, is a practicing veterinarian, former missionary, and church pianist/organist. She originated and wrote the Pet Peeves column for the Northwest Florida Daily News before taking a two-year assignment with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board. She and her husband have also been foster parents to more than 40 children, and the adoptive parents of two sons.  Her first novel, Other People’s Children, the humorous account of the life of a foster parent, was released November 2017and is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the trunk of her car. She lives in Valparaiso with her husband, son, and assorted pets.

Please visit my website and sign up to follow my blog at:

The Northwest Florida Daily News, also posts my additional blogs online.  Please follow them there.

Other People’s Children can be ordered on Amazon:

Author Rebecca Waters shares how she started writing again after a tragedy

I’m delighted to have Rebecca Waters with me again today. Life events can happy which gets us sidetracked from writing. But it doesn’t have to be the end. I hope Becky’s story inspires you to press on and you discover a new author.

The Journey

by Rebecca Waters.

It was October 2014. Breathing on Her Own, my first novel, was a mere seven months old when my husband died in a bicycle accident. For months I lived in a fog. Although I had several “works in the mill” at the time of Tom’s death, I lost all interest in writing. I have often thought of that season of mourning as the time when the ink ran out of my pen.


I prayed about it. I know our days are numbered and trusted this was Tom’s time. I found comfort in that bit of knowledge. I also know God can see around the corners. I was sure He had given me the opportunity to write and publish because He knew I would need a dream I could lean on, something to occupy me, after that horrible October day.


Before Tom left this earth, even before Breathing on Her Own was released, I crafted two more novels and started a third. But even months after Tom’s death, I couldn’t bring myself to write. I wasn’t interested in talking with publishers. I felt guilty. I thought I was letting God down. He had given me this incredible opportunity and I was doing nothing with it.


I muddled through.


Eventually, I moved. First to a smaller house, then halfway around the world to the tiny southeastern European country of Kosovo. I accepted the challenge of teaching

Albanian fourth graders at an American school. Living in a different country was interesting, challenging, and rewarding. Moreover, I believe it fast-tracked healing in my life. While there, I managed to write a short blog post every week. It was all the writing I could muster. I did it mostly to assure my family I was safe, eating healthy, and making friends.


I had been in Europe for nearly seven months when a writer friend emailed me. She said, “I’ve been reading your blog. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but you’re writing again! You have your voice back!” She convinced me to submit my work to publishers via email. Encouraged, I submitted Libby’s Cuppa Joe to a publisher. Before I heard back, another small publishing house asked me if I had a story taking place in Ohio. They were putting together a collection of stories by Ohio authors with stories set in Ohio. They wanted a novella. I cut more than forty thousand words from one of my earlier works–in-progress and submitted it.


In June, when I returned to the United States, it was with a full heart and two publishing contracts. The novella was released in an anthology called From the Lake to the River in the fall of 2018.  Libby’s Cuppa Joe released in March 2019. I’m writing again. It feels good.


Now I understand. I didn’t let God down by not publishing after Tom died. I didn’t let God down when I didn’t feel like writing. He knew what was on the horizon. He knew I wouldn’t be able to write. He knew if I had forced myself to write during those early days following the funeral my stories wouldn’t be at all inspiring. They would be dark and sad so God gave me the books beforehand.

Libby’s Cuppa Joe has met with great success. It is the story of a young woman who opens a coffee shop in Door County, Wisconsin. But perhaps my favorite part of the story is the success of the Breakfast Cookies she serves at the shop. What makes those cookies special to me is that my sweet husband taste tested every recipe I tried. I know he would be happy I am once again finding joy in writing. Click here to buy.


Rebecca Waters Bio


Libby’s Cuppa Joe is Rebecca Waters’ second novel. Her first, Breathing on Her Own remains a successful stand-alone read. Rebecca has published several stories in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books as well as three books for writers: Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing, Marketing You 101, and Writing with E’s. To learn more about Rebecca or to read her weekly blog, visit

If you have any questions for Becky put them in the comments.