How to Write a Back Cover Blurb for Nonfiction
Two Podcasts Writers Shouldn't Miss
Are you ready to write the book description for your back cover—your blurb—for a book of nonfiction but don't know where to start? Have you started writing your blurb and gotten stuck? Are you even sure you know what a back cover blurb is, what it's supposed to do for you?
The back cover blurb is probably the last thing you want to write and potentially the most difficult to create. But it is likely your best marketing tool. The pressure is on you to get it right so that sales will follow.
But writing a back cover blurb doesn't have to be hard if you understand your aim.
I know the feelings associated with writing a blurb under pressure. I've been there, a
A Peek Inside Our Group Coaching Program
Here’s some summer listening that that will enrich your writing life…
How to Write a Back Cover Blurb for Fiction
If you feel at a loss about how to market your book, or just unmotivated to do it—this group coaching program is for you.
We’ll spend eight weeks finding the right audience for you and your book and setting it up so you’ll be able to reach that audience whenever you want.
The program consists of seven group coaching sessions plus one private coaching session with me.
I just wanted to take a few minutes today to go over what we're going to be covering in each session to help you figure out if this is the right program for you right now.
The Ridiculously Simple 3-Step Method That Sells Books
Are you ready to write the book description for your back cover—your blurb—for a book of fiction but don't know where to start? Have you started writing your blurb and gotten stuck? Are you even sure you know what a back cover blurb is, what it's supposed to do for you?
The back cover blurb is probably the last thing you want to write and potentially the most difficult to conceptualize, but it is likely your best marketing tool. The pressure is on you to get it right so that sales will follow. But writing a back cover blurb doesn't have to be hard. You just need to fully understand what you're aiming for.
Do You Really Need a Book as a Business Card?
If you do a google search on book marketing, you’ll get a staggering array of tactics that makes selling books look extremely complicated and time consuming. Some of it is bullshit. Some of it is woefully incomplete. Most of it misses the big picture.
I won’t tell you that selling books is easy. Some people will find the process easy and others will struggle.
But I will tell you that it’s actually simple. And if you can wrap your mind around the fundamentals, it will help your efforts immensely because you’ll immediately see what you are and aren’t doing when it comes to selling your book.
Almost all writers who sell a lot of books are do these three things. Writers who don’t sell books aren’t doing these things. Simple.
Why you should start marketing well before your book is out
We've all heard some know-it-all business expert say something like, "The book is the modern-day business card. Write one to grow your profits." Yet Amazon is flooded with forgettable books that entrepreneurs put considerable time, effort, and money into that aren't producing returns. Check the lack of reviews on most of these books, and you'll see what I mean. It's no surprise, is it? Most people hate business cards.
What Does it Really Take to Be an Author?
If you’re like most authors, you’re probably not super excited about marketing. It’s unknown. It’s scary. It might make you feel sleazy.
But you’re likely resigned to the idea that you’ll have to do it at some point. You just hope to delay that point as long as possible.
Maybe, if you wait, your publisher will wave a magic wand and you’ll be on the Today Show and Terry Gross without any grunt work on your part and NYT bestseller list here you come!
Here comes the tough love…
How an Outline Can Pull You Out of the Metaphorical Mud
Many, many people harbor secret dreams of writing a great book and finding recognition and success as an author.
And yet, many of those same people won’t even cop to being a writer when you ask them. And I know, I talk to lots writers.
My editing colleagues and I go to packed writers conferences and ask everyone we talk to, “Are you a writer?” You wouldn’t believe the amount of “Well…sorta,” responses we get.
How on earth are these people going to get from wanting to be a writer to actually writing and then to building an audience and putting a book into the world?
How to Prioritize Your Book Marketing Efforts
Sometimes I get stuck in the writing process. At first, it's just some metaphorical mud I must trudge through. Then, it seems that I've stepped in a big pile of poo that ruins my favorite boots. Then it's quicksand pulling me under; I'm going to die.
When I get to this place, and I remember to take a deep breath, it's clear I need to step back and either consult my outline or, if I haven't already, I need to create one.
The outline is one of my favorite writing tools.
The Problem With Most Writing Groups...
One the questions I get most frequently from authors is this: “There are so many possible marketing and outreach activities, how do I decide which to do?”
It’s an especially important question given that most authors would like to spend as little time and money on their marketing efforts as possible.
My favorite trick for deciding on how to wisely spend your marketing resources involves nothing fancier than a paper and pen.
Reducing the Struggle: Tips for Your First Draft
There's a big problem with most writing groups.
They don't actually help people become better writers.
That's not to say these groups aren't well intentioned -- but sitting around letting a group of people correct your punctuation and criticize your words choices on an early draft is a waste of time.
If you want to write the best book possible, first and foremost you need a strong story foundation. And, sadly, most critique groups just won't get you there.
But, that's not to say you should throw out the idea of a writing group altogether.
The Pages & Platforms Podcast - Episode 1: Step One to Launching Your Book
We’ve all heard of the stereotypical drunk and depressed writer as an ill-romanticized icon. Writers are taught that struggle is inherent to the job. We expect to “bleed on the page” to complete a publishable manuscript. But what if extended periods, effort, and pain are negotiable, possible to mitigate? What if finishing that first draft could be simple, if not easy?
While editing and re-writes are required after a first draft, I have some tips and tricks that will help you overcome the blocks of a first draft (and move onto your second draft) by clearing a path toward a great story that have assisted many of my editing clients through what would otherwise be some pretty dark times. Sure, these tips and tricks might not work for everyone, but if you’re stuck, what have you got to lose?
Writing Worthwhile Secondary Characters
We’ve launched a podcast! We’ll talking book launches and editing (heavy on the book launches) as we do a real-time case study of the launch of my middle grade novel The Cat, the Cash, the Leap, and the List. Along the way, we’ll be talking to a variety of writers and be joined by the Pages and Platforms editors to talk about how to write a compelling story and what it takes to get it an audience.
What Type of Editor Do You Need?
How well do you know your secondary and tertiary characters?
A common early-draft issue is minor characters who act as mere props for the protagonist’s arc. Need a crisis for a main character? Subject a secondary character to an accident or illness. Need a contrast to your heroine? Pick a few top-of-mind traits (the nerd, the bully, the class clown), assign them to a body in the scene, and designate the body “Sidekick.”
And that’s okay. Your creative mind is giving you placeholders so you can get the heart of your story onto the page.
But when it’s time to revise, it’s your job to interrogate every one of those minor characters; to replace clichés with original ideas; to be sure that everybody in the whole story is tightly bound to your theme and plot.
Tell Us About Your Writing Career
If you’re confused about the different types of editors (which to hire and when), rest assured that you’re not alone.
For example, writers often confuse line editing with copyediting or proofreading since all three types of editors focus detailed attention on the use of language and involve "marking-up" a manuscript. But they are different processes, requiring different professional skill sets, and should occur at very different times during the writing process. Most beginning writers haven’t even heard of a developmental editor and mistakenly think they’re ready to pitch to an acquisitions editor as soon as they finish their first draft.
Uh oh. That’s a sure fire way to close some doors on their writing career.
Men Writing Women
Pages & Platforms is dedicated to helping you write a great book and get it out into the world. To help you better, we'd like to understand the hurdles you're facing and what you've already tried to get over those hurdles.
Please take a couple of minutes to help us support you. Thanks in advance for your thoughtful responses.
Do You Need an Editor?
From a male client working on a novel:
I have a question on a sensitive topic and it’s a bit scary for me to ask. I’m thinking of using a boss of mine as a model for [Character X, an antagonist]. People get criticized for making women “shrill” or “too emotional” and I know this sounds weird, but I get scared about writing a woman doing bad things for these reasons.
[Client follows with a humorous anecdote about this woman boss’s imperious behavior towards her underlings.]
Author Newsletter Dos and Don'ts
The short answer is, “Yes.”
15 Books to Improve Your Writing: From Idea to Final Draft
If you already know you need to be growing an email list and sending out regular content to your subscribers — Bravo! You’re ahead of most authors, even some of the big ones.
But if you’re stuck on how to actually execute an author newsletter, read on for some dos and don’ts.
One of the things I love about being a writer is the endless pursuit of improvement.
Here are just a few of the books that have made my editing colleagues and me better writers at every stage of the process.