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.
Complete with Strong Language BSB 113
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:
Rich and Sexy: An Alpha Male Billionaire Romance Collection Love Alpha Billionaires? This “feel-good” short story collection gives you an “insider look” at the jet-set lifestyle in glamorous New York City. Meet Nina Brown, doe-eyed optimist virgin whose beauty and innocence captures the eye of the most coveted Alpha Male Billionaire in Manhattan. And “say hello” to Mandy Lane, spirited, fresh-faced, “escort” to Manhattan’s exclusive international glitterati. Only one of Mandy’s Alpha Male Billionaire clients knows her secrets …. Targeted Takeaway
Your blurb needs to feature strong language. No, not naughty words. Emotive verbs that show what a character is feeling and doing rather than telling the reader. By making choices like “yearns” instead of “wants”, “hammers” instead of “hits”, or “envisions” instead of “sees”, you’ll paint a picture that reveals the heart of your characters and the tension of their conflicts.
But it’s not enough to use strong language to convey those emotions. You have to complete the blurb by giving the readers a good idea of what they can expect. You can’t simply stop after you’ve painted a pretty picture. You need to follow through with a selling paragraph that gives readers a motivation to buy. Let them know that your book contains exactly the sorts of tropes they love, so they’ll want to dive in.
When you craft a description with powerful words that informs the reader that everything they love about your genre can be found between your covers, they reward you with strong sales.
Keep Your Promises BSB 112
Hypno-Planticus: An Alien Invasion Metaphysical Science Fiction R.M. Sackville
He's being held hostage...no wait, he's in an army...no wait, he's trapped in fire. Wherever he is, he better figure it out if he wants to survive. Stilhz isn't sure what kind of fresh hell he keeps waking in, but what he does know is how eerily familiar everything is, yet oddly different. With a stolen alien plant being used against its own kind, Stilhz must figure out which side of the fight he is on before an entire race is destroyed one by one. Includes bonus content consisting of two never before seen short stories--For My Boys and DUI Cry. Targeted Takeaway:
Every sentence in your blurb makes a promise to the reader about what sort of book you’re offering. From the hook to the final cliffhanger, if you introduce an idea, you have to bring it back around. Otherwise, readers can become confused about what sort of book it is.
Whether it’s tone, character details, or plot elements, an idea that crops up early in the blurb should make an appearance later. And in the later sentences, new concepts are jarring and cause readers to think they’re getting something different than they thought.
So make certain you’re fulfilling the promises you make. Living up to the expectations you create will bring home the result you want: A sale that leads to a satisfied reader.
Renegade Lori Cook Virtuous college freshman Maggie has always played it safe. That is until she ran into mysterious hottie Ethan and his eclectic group of extreme sports enthusiast friends. Now all she wants is to chase the seemingly forbidden love of Ethan on the thrilling, sexy, and dangerous adventures that Ethan experiences daily. Ethan gives off a dangerous vibe, yet Maggie has never felt so safe. She knows he’s keeping secrets and that’s the reason he won’t commit. But what could possibly be that bad? Tech millionaire Ethan is left stranded while on a camping trip with his best friend. Forced to bum a ride with a very innocent young girl, Ethan is instantly charmed by Maggie’s wholesome sweetness. He should say no and run away but he can’t. He wants her as fiercely as she wants him. But can he protect her from his perilous past?
Appetite for Detail BSB 110
The Undine's Tear (Rise of the Grigori Book 1) Talena Winters
She's destined to save the world . . . if she doesn't destroy it first.
As the most powerful healer in three millennia, Calandra has been raised to save the all-female undine race using siren magic to bond a human man. She's always done what's expected of her—except that time she promised to free a boy named Osaze, even if discovery means a death sentence. But with her powers getting weaker instead of stronger, following through on her promise might mean she can't fulfill her destiny—and then who would save her island?
Across the sea in England, her brother Zale is trying to outrun the merman identity he despises. When a beautiful sphinx-like angel tells him he's the first male of his kind in three thousand years, he's thrust on a quest to rescue his mother and the sister he's never met from an Order as old as the Earth itself. But if he can't control his fearsome elemental powers, he may destroy everything he's trying to save.
Meanwhile, Calandra is desperate to prevent the Madness that plagues all the powerful healers before she causes an accident like the one that sank Atlantis. When a mysterious dream spirit promises the answers she seeks, she jumps at the opportunity to train with him. But the more she learns, the darker and more far-reaching his intentions appear, and the closer insanity looms. If she can't find the brother her mother fled their island to raise, she doesn't have a hope of saving anyone—unless she re-bonds Osaze.
With the fate of their people and all of humanity in the balance, can Calandra and Zale break the bonds of their past in time to prevent a war with cosmos-impacting consequences . . . and to save the people they love most?
* * *
The Undine's Tear is the first book in the mind-blowing young adult epic historical fantasy series Rise of the Grigori. If you like complex characters, lush world-building, ancient cultures, mermaids, dragons, angels, and demons, join Calandra and Zale in a search for redemption that will threaten the very fabric of the universe.
Buy The Undine's Tear and dive into the adventure today!
A good book description needs some of the details of your novel, but you need to make sure you’re not overdoing it. Readers want a taste of the action, not a nine-course meal. In the Internet Age of Constant Distraction, a long blurb works against you. So make sure you’re giving them just enough to whet their appetites.
At Best Page Forward, we recommend your description have only two short paragraphs of story description after the headline. The first paragraph introduces the main character, their central conflict, and the novel’s inciting incident. The second builds in complications and sets the MC up for the final cliffhanger sentence. Then you can add a selling paragraph and CTA to convince the reader to buy.
But that’s it. Keep it short and simple. Let them have a taste of the action, but don’t force-feed them more details than they can handle.
Do that, and you’ll have readers devouring your books.
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.
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
Wonderful new tool!
Just found this podcast and love it! It’s so hard to find good, useable, straightforward advice. Very useful! Highly recommend