75 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

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 17 Ratings

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.

    BSB 130

    BSB 130

    Today on the show, BPF trainer and writer John Phythyon 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:
    The Holler Thief by Jim Heskett
    These woods hide a body. Can a rookie gumshoe solve the murder before he ends up six feet under?
    Harry Boukadakis is a little too old to start from scratch. The retired hacker launched his private eye business in the Ozarks to the sound of crickets. But a neighbor’s broken window and a box of stolen cigars bring a jingle to his doorbell, and his first real case.
    While hunting down clues with bodyguard Serena Rojas in tow, Harry hits a snag when his prime suspect turns up dead. And when pistol-packing goons try to scare him away, Harry grits his teeth and rushes headfirst into hill country to find answers.
    Will this self-made sleuth catch a killer or face a hail of bullets?

    The Holler Thief is a thrilling and funny private eye mystery. If you like small-town suspense, high-tech toys, and more twists than you can shake a stick at, you’ll love Jim Heskett’s jaw-dropping tome.

    Buy The Holler Thief to stop a crook today!

    • 51 min
    BSB 129

    BSB 129

    Today on the show, BPF trainer and writer John Phythyon 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:
    American Girls by Cecily Wolfe
    Love, loyalty, lies...twin sisterhood has a price.
    How long could you keep a life-changing secret from your twin?
    Victoria is the adventurous twin - fearless, friendly, and popular - so why is bookish and agreeable Thora suddenly distant, keeping secrets from her sister for the first time in their lives?
    Written by two sisters, incorporating real childhood and adolescent memories with fictional details, American Girls looks at the best and worst of growing up girls in the 1980s Midwest and the devastating power secrets can wield over the closest of relationships.

    • 48 min
    BSB 128

    BSB 128

    Today on the show, BPF trainer and writer John Phythyon 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 One:
    Time Blink by MJ Mumford
    Syd Brixton doesn’t want to know what happened to her missing twin…unless a dead man can change her mind.

    When Syd Brixton was eleven years old, her identical twin Isla vanished from a park in broad daylight and was never found, splintering her family apart, leaving Syd permanently scarred by guilt.

    Fast forward twenty years. Syd has a comfortable home, a satisfying job at The Merryport pub, and a stable, long-term relationship with Coop, a handsome firefighter who wants nothing more than to start a family.

    Then it all comes crashing down.

    On a blustery night outside the pub, Syd's favorite customer, Morley Scott, falls victim to a horrific accident. Moments before he dies, he gives Syd an extraordinary gift: the power to travel back in time. Back to when he was alive. Back to the day Isla vanished.

    Will Morley be able to convince Syd to uncover the truth about her sister's disappearance? Or will Syd avoid that painful and dangerous truth at all costs to focus on saving Morley's life instead?

    If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything...her home, her family. Her life.

    All in the blink of an eye.
    Blurb Two:
    Our Once Warm Earth by Matthew Rasnake
    A deadly storm.
    A beacon of hope.
    One peaceful night on the mountain may be humanity's last...
     
    Restless Army-brat Mel wants nothing more than to settle down to a quiet suburban life. A week after their honeymoon, Mel and her new husband are camping on a northern California mountain with her adoptive father when a deadly storm rises over the mountain. A government signal promises protection from the growing global catastrophe that may yet bring the world to its end. Mel must choose whether to stay put and die together or to drag her family through the storm and across the mountain in search of safety.
     
    With her dream shattered and her family torn apart, Mel lands with other broken, weary survivors under the Army's familiar heel. Can she hold on to hope and find the strength to inspire and free them all, or will she finally give into the darkness and let the Earth swallow her up?
     
    Our Once Warm Earth is the first novella from a near-future sci-fi post-apocalypse series. If you like realistic settings; believable, relatable characters; a dash of science-futurism; and a rich vein of hopeful promise, you'll love this compelling story of one woman's fight to preserve her family and humanity itself.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    BSB 127

    BSB 127

    Back at our regular time, BPF Lead Trainer John Phythyon and the Blurb Whisperer Abigail Dunard get into the nitty-gritty book descriptions!

    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.

    Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
    Blurb:
    Shattered Loyalties by Ellen Martin
    Revenge may be sweet, but is it worth betrayal, murder, and Shattered Loyalties?
     
    Presidential hopeful Dylan Randle the III is no angel. Journalist Penelope "Pepper Mills" tried to reveal his darkside, but like always he and his reputation slither through the cracks unscathed. Pepper, who once interviewed global heads of state, lost everything and was condemned to writing obituaries in New Orleans. 
     
    Four years later the ostracized journalist convinces her editor to give her a second chance to redeem herself as a serious reporter. Just as she was getting her life and career back on track, Dylan, now a Presidential candidate, makes a campaign stop in New Orleans. 
    At the end of the New Orleans campaign rally and the crowd dispersing, Pepper will unexpectedly witness Dylan physically intimidate his wife. The inner demons she has carefully kept in check for so long reawaken with a vengeance. Unable and unwilling to control her compulsion to destroy Dylan's dreams, this tenacious journalist becomes even more determined to unmask him for the degenerate he actually is. 
    With the help of a cast of characters, "Pepper" will doggedly unravel Dylan's twisted past, but not without triggering a tsunami of life altering consequences. 

    • 38 min
    BSB 126

    BSB 126

    Today on the show, BPF trainer and writer John Phythyon and special guest BPF Writer-editor Robert Scanlon 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:
    Breaker by Amy Campbell
    Break or be broken.
    Blaise Hawthorne fears all he’ll ever be is an unwanted outcast, stuck living at home with his parents for the rest of his days. Born a Breaker, his unbridled magic wreaks havoc with a touch. When enemy soldiers storm his town hunting for spellcasters, he escapes and flees the only life he’s ever known.
    Chance encounters with a pegasus and a surly gunslinger set Blaise on the path to a new life where he’s accepted for who he is. But even an outlaw mage can’t outrun the past, and his returns with a vengeance. When his chosen family is threatened, can Blaise find the grit to harness his volatile magic into a saving grace, or will his most dangerous challenge be his last?
    This gritty, uplifting fantasy is the first book in the Tales of the Outlaw Mages series, set in an Old West-inspired world. If you enjoy found family, LGBTQ+ representation, baked goods, and a whole lot of heart then look no further. Break away from the beaten fantasy path with Breaker today.
     

    • 55 min
    Whom to Follow BSB 125

    Whom to Follow BSB 125

    Today on the show, BPF trainer and writer John Phythyon and former cohost Jim Heskett 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:
    Good Vibrations by Patrick J. O'Connor
    A human. An alien. A one-afternoon stand and a fertilized egg. What could possibly go right?
    Greg and NaDii are going to find out. They're about to become a hybrid family, it turns out. In book one of this series, during the life of their first child, Robby ( or Bobby) Firestone, the two parents discover their children have a hybrid vigor that makes them far more than the sum of their parts. When his unexpected, half-human genius is revealed, Bobby galvanizes the Terran and HaChii races both ways. The admirers, and the ones who want him dead.
    Can salvation from the future save Bobby in the present? Can Bobby's sister keep a low enough profile to avoid the people—dangerous ones—who stalk her brother? Why bother? She's way more dangerous than they are!
    Targeted Takeaway:
    A good blurb is all about simplicity. It doesn’t matter if you have written a fantasy epic with ten major characters all working to save the world from evil, a layered and deeply complex literary novel about the triumph of the human spirit, or a clever murder mystery with a ton of twists and a criminal mastermind slipperier than Professor Moriarty. To get the sale, the book description has to boil things down to their most easily digestible state.
    To do this, you need to follow one character. No matter how important the others are to your narrative, your blurb needs to zero in on just one. When readers are skimming through Amazon listings, their brains are not in Absorb Complicated Ideas mode. They’re glancing quickly, trying to determine if what they’re looking at sounds like it’s worth gambling their money and time on. And in that mindset, they aren’t interested in lots of detail or remembering the names of everyone important to the story.
    So, pick your “most” main character and focus on them. Follow their emotional journey through the early part of the novel. Make readers care about them, and they’ll buy.
    And if you’re lucky, they’ll choose to follow you … through every book you write.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

KellyV04 ,

It’s like being in a workshop (without the work)!

Who knew listening to blurb critiques for others’ work could be so helpful! Thank you for doing this and creating such a valuable podcast.

Randrifter ,

Sure helped me!

I started following this podcast, the facebook live version, from the Sell More Books Show. It's great example of experts sharing their time and expertise for the benifit of us, the listeners. I sent in my blurb which I knew needed help. They dissected it and came up with some great ideas and suggestions. Thank you both! -Randy L

Amaaaazed ,

Wonderful new tool!

Just found this podcast and love it! It’s so hard to find good, useable, straightforward advice. Very useful! Highly recommend

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