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.

 

 

Why price your book for free on Amazon?

I’ve run across more than one author who refuses to give their books away for free, for any reason. So why would I? My reason is simple. I’m investing in future sales and finding new fans. Amazon allows you to price your e-book for free or 99 cents for a few days a few times a year. This is a great way to get new readers. And a great way to find a new audience by using Bookio. Bookbub and other newsletter emails whose thousands of subscribers are looking for free or 99 cents book deals. They want to discover new authors in their favorite genres to add to their TBR pile. This gives great exposure and usually raises your sales rating on Amazon. I’ve found it successful in the past and am jumping on the bandwagon again.

The Cowboys, the novella collection my story Healing Hearts appears in goes on sale for free on Amazon from today, February 13th through the 17th.  Click link here. If you’ve never read this collection here’s your chance to read the e-book for free.

I used Bookio for my contemporary romance New Duet and it rose to #1 in Religious Contemporary Romance on Amazon during its free days. I’m hoping for the same result for The Cowboys this week in a different category, of course.

It will be offered in Bookio email list at the same time.

Click here to check out Bookio.

And to give me more exposure I’m part of the Love to Read Facebook Party. join me by signing up here. Several romance writers will be featured. We all get an hour each. I’ll be taking the 6pm Friday slot. I’m excited to meet potential new fans.

Additional exposure for the sale will be by my fellow-authors of The Cowboys who will post the sale on their social media multiplying my reach by four.

Why would I give my words away for free?

Let me repeat, I’m attempting to get more fans for one and building my sales numbers for another. These are essential if I want traditional publishers to be interested in publishing my work in the future. This is also important for those who self-publish, without the exposure, sales numbers will not grow.

Share any sales tips you have in the comments.

I’d love to see you at the Love to Read Facebook Party.  I’ll be featured at 6pm on Friday. Please stop by. Who knows you might find a few new authors to add to your TBR pile.

Biggest Reason Great Writers Get Rejected By Big Pub Houses

A fellow author shared a personal experience on her blog that resonated with me. She’s a great writer. She self-published several books and is also traditionally published with a small house.  There are awards on her wall for all her hard work. With all those books under her belt, she went to one of the larger writer conferences this past summer and made an appointment with the editor of a prestigious publishing house. She hoped to gain their interest and a contract.

Despite her fantastic writing and numerous books, let’s not forget awards, the editor told her without hesitation that her sales didn’t justify taking a chance on her. Her platform wasn’t large enough to garner the kinds of sales they expected from their authors. Heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, this is the truth of the matter. Like my friend and most authors, I too am struggling with this same quandary. Not only do our books need to be stellar to catch the eye of the larger, therefore, more lucrative publishers we need to market the dickens out of them and have the numbers to prove it.

That platform consists of multiple social media streams with sizable followings. You must interact on group sites and post every day about things, other than buy my book. And that doesn’t include making memes and producing ad copy. Writer’s newsletters must be engaging and offer something of value beyond information about the author.

Then we must find the right places to draw attention to our books in order to increase sales. Free on Amazon requires so much more than arranging the dates to be free. We have to spread the word everywhere that it’s free. Place ads to announce it’s free. It makes my head spin.

Do you often repeat the mantra, all I want to do is write?  Don’t we all wish that was true?

My goal for 2020 beyond staying on tasks with writing is increasing those numbers; sales, newsletter subscribers and followers. If I can get notoriety through other creative means then awesome. I lack the ADD drive of some of my fellow writers and have hired someone to help with my social media marketing. Even so, there are still things I must do, personally engage with followers. *sigh*.”Don’t get me wrong, I love people, but I prefer to interact face-to-face rather than on social media Call me old fashion.) So, I will cling to a motto that has helped me in the past, inch by inch everything’s a cinch, yard by yard everything is hard. I’ll take on what I can without making myself crazy and lose my creative muse and in time I hope to reach my goal. When I do I might be as nervy as my friend and pitch one of the big five publishers and see where that lands me.

What are some marketing tips you can share to help build a platform?

 

My thoughts on Endorsements

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

I’ve got a bee in my bonnet I thought I’d shared today. I love getting endorsements for my books, and I love giving them. But the thing that bugs me; fake endorsement.  Readers may stop trusting the endorser. Not what I want as a writer and blogger.

The Bee

It is acceptable among authors and publishers for writers to ask for an endorsement by sending a line or two they have written themselves. The celebrity, authority or author whose name appears on their book cover adds clout. So, they call or send a note. “I know you’re busy. You mentioned endorsing my upcoming book. To save you time I’ve written one for you. If you’re comfortable with the wording, may I add your name?”  Or something along those lines. Many are happy to do it.

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Not me. I know people are busy, and it’s hard to set aside time to read a book. But for me, it is putting words in their mouths and I won’t do it. I ask for endorsements and send the person the pdf and the summary. Then let them write it in their own words. If they don’t finish the book and still write the endorsement then they’ve read enough to feel comfortable adding their name to the cover.

I always read the books I endorse. If I don’t have time, I decline the opportunity. Just as I give an honest review, I want to give an honest endorsement. I consider being asked an honor, and I don’t take that lightly.

The Sting

I was appalled to read the words “well-written” by an endorser for a book that wasn’t. It was amateurish and lacked professional editing.  Apparently, the individual endorser didn’t read the book. Some writers think readers don’t know what a well-written book looks like, so it doesn’t matter. Oh, but they do. Readers who trust the endorser for an honest assessment will be disappointed if their expectations aren’t met. I’m referring to terms like well-written or excellent wordsmith. Granted we all have our own opinions. If the endorser found it riveting, I may not. That’s different.

My Caution

In our effort to get a well-known person to endorse our work, we may find them more receptive if they don’t have to write the endorsement. Then you have a big name singing your praises on the cover. It may have little to no effect on your sales. Or your sales may skyrocket, but if your words are not well-written, the buyers will not return for your newest release. And if they trusted the endorser and were disappointed, the next book endorsed by the same person may be rejected out of hand by potential readers.

There now, the bee has escaped from my bonnet and I feel better.

What are your thoughts on getting and giving endorsements?

 

Writing When Your World is Out of Control

 

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Photo courtesy of morguefile

 

I had a dream that my writing time was uninterrupted. No family drama or emergency took me away from my words. I stayed on task. All the items on my checklist from blogs, to edits to marketing were completed. Then the alarm went off and I woke to reality. And I’m not alone in the real world of writing during crisis. Several writer friends requested prayer or shared their own struggles with meeting deadlines while family tragedies formed around them.

 

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Photo courtesy of morguefile

 

Some are dealing with aging parents and Alzheimer, illness, or tough things with their adult children. Others, it’s teens in rebellion, little ones with special needs, spouses in the hospital and the list goes on.

We will have trials

We don’t get to quit our day jobs to deal with most of this stuff, and our writing is just as important. But we can adjust. One author writes only hundreds of words daily rather than thousands as she waits by the bedside of her ailing mother.

Taking the laptop to the library to distance oneself from family drama for a few hours a day is one way we writers cope.  Unfortunate circumstances beyond our control amplify the adage, “there is no perfect time to start writing.”

Jesus reminds us that in this world we will have trials. And as a Christian the second half of the verse rings true for me. He says, “I have overcome the world”. Praying and seeking His peace and clarity is so crucial during family drama.

Keep a journal

No, this is not the time to write about the trial.  You’re too close and your emotions too raw. Keep a journal or open a file on your computer and dump all your emotions there. Someday in the distant future all that angst will be fodder for a novel, article, or how-to-endure-family-drama book.

Keep moving forward

For now, you just put one foot in front of the other. Decide what things you need to let go while you deal with the emotional, physical or legal things associated with your trial. I hired a lawyer to deal with all the paperwork for my aging parents. After my father passed, my mother is happy in her assisted living facility. My son’s family lives with us at present and there are times we are responsible for the granddaughters. Drama at work can drain my energy reducing the number of writerly things I get done at the end of the day.  Individually, these are only mild hiccups, but when they all come at you like a flood it can send your writing schedule out to sea. And you find yourself struggling to catch a breath and regroup.

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Once I established a way to deal with the small stuff the large chaotic surprises have a basic pattern to follow.

  • A few hundred words a day is better than none.
  • Go to the library or a café for a few hours to work
  • Turn off your cell phone if possible
  • Don’t accept a large project during a family drama
  • Have someone double check your work before submitting because your focus may be skewed now.
  • Ask for extensions but keep writing as if you don’t have one.
  • Reach out to family and friends for help. Don’t be a super hero. Not only will your writing suffer, but also those you care about most.

Anyone care to add to this list? I’d love to hear how you cope with big and small potholes along your writing journey.

Don’t forget to subscribe to receive new posts in your email.

 

How to Throw a Facebook Book Launch Party

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Tomorrow is my Facebook Book Launch party for my newest release, New Duet. This is my second time doing a launch party. I thought I’d share for those who’ve never had one or never participated as a guest in a Facebook Book Launch Party what it’s all about.

What is it

Launch Parties are an opportunity to both celebrate and sell your book. It’s a party without refreshments but full of fun. Like any party it needs planning. Invitations, prizes, decoration (a banner) and games.

 

Invitation-Event page on Facebook and social media announcements on all platforms

Create an event page and share it with all your friends. FB gives you step by step instructions for creating the event. Design a banner to grab attention. There are templates for FB size banners.

New Duet Release Banner

Be sure to send out the invitations to the event at least a week ahead. Then announce it a few more times before the event. Send out ticklers by talking about the prizes and show the cover.

Create a meme for twitter and other social media to announce your party also.

What to do during the Facebook Party

Here are the kind of games that make the party fun: Book trivia questions, drawings, author trivia, and background about the creation of the story. These games get the guest to comment. And comments are what make a Facebook party.

Be sure you have trivia questions or talking points already typed out, so you can cut and paste in comments to create interaction with your guests quickly. Cut and paste eliminates typos due to nerves.  Take pictures of each item that is being given away in advance too. Every fifteen, twenty or thirty minutes (depending on the length of your party) have prize drawings.

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Trivia questions are easy to do. I usually do multiple choice or true/false questions. My guests don’t need to have read my book before they can answer questions. The idea of the party is to pique interest in my book and add followers.

Help

Have someone keep track of all those who commented so their names can be entered in the drawing. At the end of the party or the next day on the party site post the winners. Request the winners send you a PM or email with their address or email (depending on the prize).

Have your street team comment and ask questions during your Q & A in the last portion of your party. This keeps the other guests engaged. Think through possible questions and have answers prepared so you can cut and paste the answers and worry less about typos or foggy brain.

New options

This time I’m planning on using Facebook Live to visit my guests in person and read a portion of New Duet.  We will see how that goes.

I’ll be showing my book trailer as well. It’s is awesome.

Hope to see some of you there tomorrow too.

Those of you who have had experience with Facebook Book Launch parties tell me how you party and engage your guests in all the fun.