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 http://www.melissaghenderson.com

 

Giveaway:

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: http://www.melissaghenderson.com

Facebook: Melissa Henderson, Author

Pinterest: Melissa Henderson

Twitter: @mimionlife

Buy links:

“Licky the Lizard” http://a.co/d/0a3COnd

“Heaven Sightings” http://www.amzn.com/B07NDMCRZC

“Remembering Christmas” http://www.amazon.com/dp/1604950595

 

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.

Addresses.

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 www.vistaprint.com 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 CBN.com and Thoughts-About-God.com, and has had two columns in Blessed Living Women’s E-Magazine. She also enjoys blogging about things of life and faith at pennycookeauthor.com.

 

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

Links to connect with her on Social Media:

https://pennycookeauthor.com

 

Twitter: penny_cooke

Facebook: penny.arakeliancooke

Instagram: pennydcooke

Buy links:

Order link: https://amzn.to/38ZuYAq

For multiple copies: http://bit.ly/2qa4g7g

Subscribe to Penny’s blog and receive her free download, “Ten Prayer Tips for Busy Days” here: http://bit.ly/32RKcE7 

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, http://bit.ly/39kYfWD )

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.

Photographer

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.