63 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

    • Books
    • 4.5, 14 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.

    Twisting Tropes: BSB063

    Twisting Tropes: BSB063

    Does writing salesy text for ads and book blurbs make you cringe?
    Never fear: expert copywriter Abigail Dunard and her apprentice Jim Heskett teach you all about writing effective sales copy by breaking down 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: Author: Jeff Chapman
    Title: The Great Contagion: A Merliss Tale
     
    Plagues kill in more ways than one and Merliss soon discovers she has far more to fear than a disease.
     
    Merliss is no ordinary cat. She's a young girl's spirit trapped in a cat's body. While the magic that banished her has snatched away her human speech, it has given her a life spanning millennia. For centuries she has lived with the cunning folk, assisting their efforts to heal the sick and ward off malevolent creatures. Now a bleeding sickness has thrown the community into chaos.
     
    The cunning man and his apprentice are in danger from the disease. The life Merliss has worked so long to build is in jeopardy. Before she entered the cat, she had trained to be a shaman. Do her centuries of experience hold a secret to a cure? But disease isn't her only nemesis.
     
    A pair of malevolent creatures move into the neighborhood threatening more havoc. With disease and monsters ravaging the land, Merliss is up to her whiskers in trouble. It couldn't be worse, until a mob looking for a scapegoat turns its wrath on Merliss.
     
    The Great Contagion is the gripping first novel in the dark fantasy Merliss Tales series. If you like strong and dynamic characters, rich description, magic and intrigue, then you’ll love Jeff Chapman’s imaginative Merliss Tales.
     
    Buy The Great Contagion today to watch Merliss use her wits and magic to rescue her friends and herself.




     
     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip:  
    When and where does your story take place? Take a close look at your word choices and supporting details to ensure there are no contradictions or confusion.
     
     
     
    --Other Stuff:  
    Don’t forget to visit www.storyonthespot.live to be a part of all the hijinks!
     
     



    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

    • 36 min
    Synopsizing vs. Selling: BSB062

    Synopsizing vs. Selling: BSB062

    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 great sales copy. Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
     
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
    --Blurb: Author: Stephen Cataldo
    Title: Cognitive Politics: a Communications Workbook for Progressives
     
    How can you have more effective and engaged political conversations?
    Cognitive scientists are discovering the underlying differences between liberal and conservative mindsets. Scientific discoveries are not leading to better conversations — yet. Cognitive Politics reviews recent scientific discoveries, successful historical campaigns, and communications strategies. We’ll integrate ideas that are rarely combined, and explore the contradictions.
     
    After introducing these ideas, Cognitive Politics is a workbook, applying a variety of techniques to different issues that are notorious for getting us into confusing and unproductive political arguments.
     
    Cognitive Politics is both a difficult book and a hopeful book. It doesn’t give easy answers. It doesn’t fall into either camp, neither saying we should just hug it out nor just shout louder. There is no single trick, no sudden understanding of value differences or marketing techniques that can by itself erase the ugliness of modern American politics. It’s not instant gratification. The ideas and techniques require not just rallies and money but turning inward, examining old habits, going deep. These are not the same requests that political campaigns ask of us — but it is a practice for healthier politics that could work, that will make your political conversations more interesting, more connected, and slowly more effective.
     
    Political conversations are among the most difficult conversations, which means they are a great way to learn about ourselves and learn how to communicate better.




     
     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip: In nonfiction books, it’s even more important to establish how your book differs from similar titles. Do your research! 
     
     
     
    --Other Stuff: The Juggling Author: Time Management for Authors Story On The Spot: improv for authors!


     



    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

    • 39 min
    Confusing Words: BSB061

    Confusing Words: BSB061

    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 great sales copy. Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
     
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
    --Blurb: Author: Aurora Weiss
    Title: Dungeon Worlds: A Reborn Online LitRPG Adventure Kindle Edition
     
    The car crash was the last thing I remembered... then I woke up here. Where "here" was felt like an impossible nightmare. I died, but this wasn't what I'd expected to find when they said I'd meet my maker.
     
    The afterlife is just like a video game, except I didn't start in a noob world like everybody else. I started out on one of the most challenging dungeon worlds meant only for ancient souls who've been dead much longer than I have...
     
    Welcome to Epoc.
     
    I don't have the right stats for this place, not even a little bit. I'm in complete noob gear with the standard human sword and shield. I don't even have any crafting skills to make a decent breakfast with the high tier ingredients in this place.
    Dying in the afterlife is even worse than dying on Earth. Earth, you only die once, but here, you can die over and over again and each one is just as miserable as the last.
    There's only one way I can survive the cycle, one way to stay sane.
    I need a power leveler... and fast.
     
    Dungeon Worlds is Book 1 in a new LitRPG / GameLit series "Reborn Online" filled with unique monsters, challenging crafting quests, and skipping the grind with some much needed power leveling in an endgame world that'll make you look forward to the afterlife! Just... we recommend building up those stats up first.





     
     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip: When death isn’t the worst that can happen to your MC, establishing meaningful stakes becomes more difficult. Ask yourself: what does your MC stand to lose? What serves as collateral damage? 
     
     
     
    --Other Stuff: Visit www.storyonthespot.live to see what it’s all about! Big announcement next week  
     



    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

    • 25 min
    CTAs Aren't Pushy: BSB060

    CTAs Aren't Pushy: BSB060

    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 great sales copy. Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
     
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
    --Blurb: Author: Amber Morant
    Title: Kalla
    A government conspiracy uncovered. A powerful underground agency. A lone girl to unveil it all.
    Abyss, with the help of the government, has weaponized humans who had the ability to control time and space. They planned for every contingency, except Kalla. They weren’t prepared for a coup d’état from their own creations led by Kalla. Assisted by her ability to manipulate the climate around her, Kalla embarked on a mission to stop the underground government agency before they send the whole world careening into an abyss. Traveling through the deep alcoves of the Abyss Experimentation Labs and the forests of the renegade Myst, Kalla learned that not every battle can be won, and some victories come at a dire price.
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip: Find the subject in every one of your sentences. We challenge you to rework any sentence in which your main character(s) is not taking action. 


    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
    Random Stuff we talked about: Story on the Spot (the improv story prompt experiment with Jim Heskett, Kevin Tumlinson, Nick Thacker, and RA McGee)  

    • 30 min
    Fan-Favorite Elements: BSB059

    Fan-Favorite Elements: BSB059

    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 great sales copy. Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
     
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
     
    Random Stuff we talked about: Story on the Spot (the improv story prompt experiment with Jim Heskett, Kevin Tumlinson, Nick Thacker, and RA McGee) Chris Fox vegas 2019 Lecture --Blurb: Author: Jack Massa
    Title: Cloak of the Two Winds: Epic Sword and Sorcery Adventure (The Glimnodd Cycle Book 1)
     
    Pirates, sorcerers, and witches battle for an ancient magical treasure
    To the Iruk people of the South Polar Sea, the crew of a hunting boat is sacred—a band of men and women warriors bound by oath and a group soul. But when Lonn leads his crew away from the hunt to pursue his dream of a treasure ship, they find more than an easy bit of piracy.
    The ship belongs to the witch Amlina, and after the Iruks carry off her possessions, they are robbed in turn. Worse, one of their band is also taken—Glyssa, the woman Lonn loves.
    To rescue her, the Iruks must join forces with Amlina on a perilous voyage far from the seas they know. To Lonn and his mates, nothing matters but saving Glyssa. But Amlina knows much more is at stake. Among her possessions is an object of ancient power. In the wrong hands, the Cloak of the Two Winds can unravel the age-old magic that keeps the world from chaos.
     
    What readers are saying
    "Piracy! Magic! Strange creatures! Sword fights! Love!
    Masterful, original fantasy"
    “If well-written sword & sorcery is your thing, you’ll love this novel."
    "Great book! I easily give it five stars for character development, pacing, and imaginative setting, adventures, and abilities."
    "Loved it! Great original story with plenty of action, interesting well-developed characters and unique world.  I can’t wait to read the next adventure! "
     
    Do you enjoy fast-paced fantasy with plenty of action and magic? Then you will love Cloak of the Two Winds.
    Start your voyage now on Kindle or Kindle Unlimited.





     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip: Blurbs should combine both fan favorite elements and elements that are unique to your book. 
     
     





    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
    Don't Hold Back on the Stakes: BSB058

    Don't Hold Back on the Stakes: BSB058

    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 great sales copy. Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
     
    To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
     
    Adventure Writers Summit  
    Adventure Writers Website
    Adventure Writers Facebook Group
    --Blurb: Author: Daniel MacLagan
    Title: The Pulse (Greenlight Boys Book 1) 
     
    Billions dead worldwide. A new threat looms. Can a pair of grieving sons and their former Black-Ops father stop a terrorist group?
     
    Alex and Danny have been training with their former Black-Ops father, Dean since the "Pulse" was set loose on the world five years ago. A terrorist group wants to destroy the remaining governments and military with a new virus. The US Army calls on their father and Alex and Danny to stop the terrorists before the remaining world order is destroyed. Can they stop the terrorists from destroying the last bit of order in the world? What if there is a secret bigger than the "Pulse" itself that could change everything they know and thought?
     
    The Pulse is the first book in the Young Adult fiction dystopia series, the Greenlight Boys, that features compelling characters, a pair of kick-ass brothers and surprising plot twists. If you liked The Mazerunner, Divergent, or The Hunger Games series, then you'll love Daniel MacLagan's brand new dystopian adventure.
     
    Grab your copy of The Pulse to discover this exciting new series today!




     
    --Abigail's Targeted Tip:  In setting up stakes, don’t restrict yourself to what happens in your book. What’s the worst possible outcome that could have happened in your book? 
     
     





    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

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

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

Denthewise ,

Instructive and Entertaining

Jim and Abigail do a great job breaking down blurbs in this podcast. As a writer I love to test my own critical thinking against Abigail’s expert analysis. Every time I take away another nugget of insight. Besides which the sounders are a hoot. I laugh every time they take me “down under”.

KathyKulig ,

An excellent new podcast to help authors sell more books!

I really enjoyed this new podcast that gives helpful and detailed examples for writing and improving book descriptions. You may have a stunning cover, a perfect title and a beautifully written book, but if you get the book description wrong, readers will move on to another book. I like how Abigail and Jim go through each blurb line by line to show what works, what doesn’t and how to make it better. Reviewing examples is a great way to learn.

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