84 episodes

A podcast for authors who want to improve their copywriting skills and create better book descriptions. Hosted by author Jim Heskett and copywriting expert Abigail Dunard.

Blurbs Sell Books Best Page Forward

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A podcast for authors who want to improve their copywriting skills and create better book descriptions. Hosted by author Jim Heskett and copywriting expert Abigail Dunard.

    Headlines and Hooks | BSB84

    Headlines and Hooks | BSB84

    Today on the show, author Jim Heskett and copywriting guru Abigail Dunard tackle an author-submitted blurb to dissect it and understand how to write killer sales copy. 
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
    Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
    --Blurb: Author: Martha Henley
    Title: Simon Says : Episode 1 Reunion Pact Series
     
    A criminology student, thrown into a deadly game …
    A shamed cop, demoted over his obsession …
    The night in the past when chance produced a killer.
    The Reunion Pact : Episode 1 Simon Says
    Armed with a desire for revenge, a twisted mastermind killer takes a random game of chance and turns it deadly. His unwilling players must kill or be killed. The first one, fails and Simon upholds the rules. Both targets are gruesomely murdered.
    Criminology student, Josie Baker is the latest player instructed to take a life-threatening turn. Former detective Dennis Henson is obsessed with the Simon Says Killer. Their thirty year age gap will hinder their ability to work well as a team. Baker and Henson will reopen closed cases, prove coercion, and dare the rule master to play to win his own fatal end game.
    Simon Says is the first episode of the new crime thriller series, Reunion Pact by Martha Henley. If you’re looking for a new novella length thriller series with realistic characters and psychological twists on the pages, then you’ll love these episodes.
    Reunion Pact is a nine-episode novella serial, written to be read in order and in its entirety. Each episode tells a complete story, but they are one part of the whole incredible tale. Preorder your copy of Simon Says today!



     
     
     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip: Where have you placed your big reveals? Are readers discovering along with your main character?



     
     



    Want to submit your own blurb for consideration? Fill out the form at www.bestpageforward.net/podcast or send an email to BlurbsSellBooks@gmail.com

    • 38 min
    Infestation of Ands | BSB83

    Infestation of Ands | BSB83

    Today on the show, author Jim Heskett and copywriting guru Abigail Dunard tackle an author-submitted blurb to dissect it and understand how to write killer sales copy. 
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
    Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
    --Blurb: Author: Randy L Scott
    Title: Freedom – Just Another Word
     
    Would you believe the crazy stories of a Dream Messiah? What if those stories led you into another world? How do you judge a man like Jake Barnes?
    In wilds of the north, the land of misfits, Jake is living his dream. His survivalist neighbor who spent years in the jungle has other plans for his new friend.
    Freedom - Just Another Word... is the first novel in this psychological adventure series. The Dream Messiah series takes you on a wild journey from the forests of the last frontier to the jungle of Borneo as Jake Barnes is forced into life-changing decisions.
    Jake is building a cabin in remote Alaska when his fiancé Kat announces her pregnancy. As Jake experiments with lucid dreaming, he is thrust into a world he is unprepared for. Kat has her own agenda once their child is born. Jake doesn't know who to fear most; Kat, or his eccentric neighbor Dave Reagan, the resident grizzly bear, or the Alaska State Troopers.
    Half-way around the globe, the Punan Dyaks, a nomadic tribe deep in the mountains of Borneo, are manifesting their Messiah in the dream world. The line between dreams and reality blur, and Jake's decisions may cost him everything he cares about, including his infant son, Luke.
    More than one person wants Jake Barnes to burn in hell. Another force is pushing him into a baptism by fire. If he crosses that line, there's no turning back.
    If you want dark adventure into the unknown, you'll love this epic saga of the human spirit's quest for purpose. Unlock Freedom - today to find out how YOU will judge Jake Barnes.



     
     
     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip: Replace “ands” with “therefores” or “buts.”
     
     
     
     
    --Other Stuff:  
    Check out storyonthespot.live, the world’s only thriller fiction improv game show!
     
     
    Want to submit your own blurb for consideration? Fill out the form at www.bestpageforward.net/podcast or send an email to BlurbsSellBooks@gmail.com

    • 29 min
    Crystal Clear Non Fiction | BSB82

    Crystal Clear Non Fiction | BSB82

    Today on the show, author Jim Heskett and copywriting guru Abigail Dunard tackle an author-submitted blurb to dissect it and understand how to write killer sales copy. 
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
    Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
    --Blurb: Author: Eden Wolfe
    Title: Love In and Out of Lockdown
     
    BE A COUPLE THAT MAKES IT THROUGH LOCKDOWN.
     
    "The TV anchor announces that the lockdown is coming. We don’t know how long it’ll last, but it’s going to be a while. At least six weeks. I’m guessing at least eight. But nobody really knows. Fast forward and it's FOUR MONTHS LATER."
     
    Couples around the world have struggled to live and relate as lockdown came and went and might come again...
     
    ...and some couples don't make it through. The post-lockdown rates of divorce have gone up. Even now, stress, fear, and pressure continue to create rifts in couples, families and homes.
     
    How can you keep your relationship healthy, strong and alive?
     
    You’ve got to be creative. You’ve got to be innovative. You've got to keep your relationship healthy in the wake of the pandemic and the enduring lockdown.
     
    In this book, you'll get insight, ideas, and activities for you and your loved one to try on your own and together, covering topics like:
          What's happening in your brain during lockdown       Understanding your triggers       Speaking the languages of love       Hot Potato Topics       Finding and keeping your happy       Quality time truly together and Quality time apart: creating space       The healing power of laughter       How to Feel Heard       Maintaining the Mystery       And many more!  
    Read true stories from ordinary couples that survived some extraordinary circumstances in lockdown.
     
    They learned together. They made it through.
     
    The wisdom in these pages, tried-and-true methods as well as innovative experimentation, can help you and your partner navigate not just current circumstances...
     
    ...it can help you to be stronger in the unknown that is yet to come.
     
    Lockdown leaves a wake behind it, and these waves will rock your relationship. Stories abound of couples breaking up when lockdown hit.
     
    Take action now to be the strongest couple you can be.
     
    This pandemic doesn't have to break you up.
     
    Use this book to keep your couple moving on the right track.
     
    Get Love In and Out of Lockdown today!



     
     
     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip: How is your advice and/or main argument delivered to readers? Make this mode of education crystal clear.



    Want to submit your own blurb for consideration? Fill out the form at www.bestpageforward.net/podcast or send an email to BlurbsSellBooks@gmail.com

    • 42 min
    Idea Stuffing | BSB81

    Idea Stuffing | BSB81

    Today on the show, author Jim Heskett and copywriting guru Abigail Dunard tackle an author-submitted blurb to dissect it and understand how to write killer sales copy. 
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
    Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
    --Blurb: Author:  Cyn Mackley
    Title: American Goth - A Goode Grace Mystery
     
    When her grandfather dies mysteriously, New York City artist and goth chick Trinity Goode heads back to her small Ohio hometown to take over the farm and figure out what really happened to the man who always accepted her just as she was. Trinity’s ready to lace up her Doc Marten boots to be a church lady and bake pies for the county fair, but is her hometown ready to welcome her back?
    With some help from her old friend Deputy Bobby Grace, she tries to solve the mystery of her Grandfather’s death and track down just who has been hell-bent on ruining her reputation. What she finds out could get her killed.
    You can take the girl out of the country, put red streaks in her hair, and dress her all in black, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. Pitchfork in hand, this American Goth is ready to find a killer, save the farm, win a blue ribbon for jam, and just maybe snag herself a good ole country boy.

    --Abigail's Targeted Tip:
    Put each sentence in your blurb on its own line, so you can see them individually and  adjust the length.


    Want to submit your own blurb for consideration? Fill out the form at www.bestpageforward.net/podcast or send an email to BlurbsSellBooks@gmail.com
     

    • 33 min
    Sales Copy Masterclass Part 3 | BSB80

    Sales Copy Masterclass Part 3 | BSB80

    Your hero drives the action. In blurbs, you almost never need to mention side characters. Most BPF blurbs mention only the hero (or dual heroes in a romance) and maybe the villain. Sometimes a character’s mentor will be mentioned, etc. But add too many and readers will get confused when they have to remember all the name soup (people skim!). Since your protag drives, every sentence in the blurb should be from that POV. When driving the action, verbs and plot points matter. In your blurbs, are your characters doing things like “realizing” and “deciding”? (unless enlightenment plot). Show us your character affecting the plot. If at some point your character has a serious dilemma (“point of no return” or “best bad choice”), show us that. That’s what keeps readers invested as they progress. A blurb should show an arc. Remember, you’re a storyteller. Your blurb should show us a microcosm of your character’s emotional journey through a series of escalating plot points (and don’t worry so much about spoilers!). Maybe in the first sentence, we see a shy-but-plucky teenager who has unexplained powers. Halfway through the blurb, she begins to accept her chosen one-ness during her first battle (or with death of mentor), then by the final cliffhanger, she’s going to war against the evil mega-demon. Look how far she’s come! Readers won’t consciously evaluate this, but showing change in a blurb is a great way to hook readers. It shows them you’re a storyteller. Always do your best... revisit your old work after you’ve learned more. Copywriting isn’t like riding a bike... it’s a skill you have to practice to stay sharp.  

    • 28 min
    Sales Copy Masterclass Part 2 | BSB79

    Sales Copy Masterclass Part 2 | BSB79

    12 lessons Jim learned about copywriting:
    Echoes are not fine: what you want to avoid are “twice told tales” of repeating uncommon words too closely or saying the same thing more than once. Word count matters! Sentence construction is also important. You want your blurb to be a rollercoaster, not a pub crawl. People shouldn’t “self-pace” when reading your blurb. You want to grab them from the first line and propel them forward. You do this by mixing short and long sentences and transition words like “and, but, while, so.” Also, each sentence should contain up to one comma. Two commas is too long, and it probably means you’re stuffing too much info into a sentence. Finish strong... always put key words and phrases at the ends of sentences and the ends of paragraphs. “But when she finds a corpse in the bathroom, she wonders if she might stay a while in town.” vs. “But her visit might extend a few days when she finds a fresh corpse in the shower.” This is part of the rollercoaster, always propelling people forward. CTA goes at the very end... Have you ever received a long email with a question buried halfway in the text, then you get to the end and forget the question? Tell your audience what to do, then back out like George Costanza. Don’t give them a CTA then dilute it with reader reviews or a list of the books in the series.   Tune in next week to hear the final four lessons!

    • 33 min

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