Tag Archives: promotion

Write Bestselling Fiction: Your Blurb Needs People (Blurb 2)

Write Bestselling Fiction: Your Blurb Needs People (Blurb 2)

If you’re writing fiction, you hope it will be bestselling fiction. Since that’s the case, your blurb (book description) has just one function: to get its readers to take action.

What action? You want readers to read the book’s sample. Ideally, you want them to go on to buy the book, or at the very least to remember the book and the author’s name.

(By “book”, I mean ebooks too, of course.)

I coach writers, so I read a lot of blurbs. I advise students to focus on people in their blurbs. Readers want to read about people, above all.

If you doubt this, consider your favorite novels:

  • In the Harry Potter books, who’s more important, Harry and his friends, or Hogwarts? (I know that both are important, but go along with me here… :-))
  • In Game of Thrones, do you remember the setting, or the characters?

PEOPLE: who are your characters, and why should we care?

Try this exercise.

Choose your three main characters, and write a one-sentence summary of each one. Yes, just one sentence. Include each character’s major flaw, as well as his biggest virtue.

Here’s an example. “At just 26, Demetria Jones had already had 26 jobs, and she was proud of that.”

Demetria’s flaw: she can’t hold a job. You sense that she’s slightly out of step with the rest of society — and she doesn’t care. Her virtue is that she’s willing to keep trying job after job.

Are you interested in Demetria? Many readers will be interested enough to keep reading, and that’s what you want your blurb to do — keep readers reading. Then you want them to read the ebook’s sample too.

Craft your one-sentence summary while you’re writing your novel

Here’s why you need to craft your character summaries while you write: so that you remember what you’re writing. It’s all too easy, when you’re writing a novel, to wonder off onto weird tangents.

Sometimes this works. You start a scene, and you don’t know quite where you’re headed with the scene, but it seems interesting, so you keep going. If you’ve crafted a one-sentence character summary for each character, that acts as a compass, and you won’t wander too far off track.

With parts 1 and 2 of this series, you now know enough to write excellent blurbs. Have fun. 🙂

Read the first part of our “write a blurb which sells” series

This article is the second in a series.

In Writing Fiction To Sell: Your Blurb’s An Advertisement, Part 1, the first article in this series, we talked about the importance of clarity in writing your blurb. We also gave you a template, and some exercises.

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial Fiction Bonanza: Get Readers, Get Fans — Make A Solid Income From Your Fiction FAST

Serial fiction has been around since the days of Charles Dickens. Self-publishing authors love it. Discover how to write serials in our new four week class. Coaching is included — you’re not writing alone.

By the end of the program, you’ll have published several episodes of your serial fiction. You’ll also be steadily marketing, while you’re writing and publishing.

Join us: you’ll have a lot of fun, and you’ll boost your fiction writing career.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..

Write A Book, Grow Your Blog

Write A Book, Grow Your Blog

You’re writing a book, and you want to grow your blog at the same time. That’s a wonderful idea. Here’s why: you need to market your book, and a blog gives you lots of opportunities for marketing.

New to blogging? Scared of it?

Here’s how to get the blogging habit. BlogHer runs National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) each month, which isn’t just a marketing opportunity, it’s an opportunity build a blog habit. Here’s all you do if you’d like to join NaBloPoMo this month:

“Just make the commitment to (1) blog daily for the month (nothing more to it than that!) and (2) to support your fellow NaBloPoMo’ers by reading a handful of the other blogs on the blogroll. Cheer them along and they’ll cheer you on too. You can sign up for April’s NaBloPoMo until April 5th.”

I decided that I’d do NaBloPoMo this month on this blog, because Just Write a Book Blog tends to get neglected a little. And because I want to chat more about writing books, both fiction and nonfiction. I do that on Fab Freelance Writing Blog, and on the Creativity Factory too, so this blog’s a red-headed stepchild who gets left out, and it’s time to show it some love.

NaBloPoMo’s theme is “GROW” this month

Not sure what to blog about? NaBloPoMo’s theme this month is “GROW”. Use April’s prompts. You can use them, or not, all you need to commit to is to write one blog post for each day in April.

I’m sure you’re thinking that blogging is a commitment. Yes, it is. And you think…

”I haven’t got time to blog!”

Me neither. My schedule this month is much fuller than it normally is, which is why I’m committing to blogging. Does that sound like insanity? It’s not. This month promises to be stressful, so my daily blog post here will be an small island of comfort and sanity. An anchor if you like.

I’ve written about using blogs to build books before. I like to write books AND blog because the two activities go together well.

When writers tell me that they don’t have time to blog, I tell them that blogging helps me to write. Over the years (16 to date), blogging’s been my default setting; it helps me to explore ideas, and think about readers. And that’s a good thing.

Short stories are selling again, and writers are paying attention

Join us for Story Power: Write and Sell Short Fiction — 4-Week Video Tutorials and Workshop. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited has made short fiction profitable, so why not have fun with “snackable” fiction?

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Selling Nonfiction Ebooks: Win With Series

When Amazon released the Kindle in 2007, it changed publishing. In 2015, ebook publishing will become tougher for indie publishers. Here’s why. Writing nonfiction ebooks is one thing. Selling nonfiction ebooks is something else.

Take heart. Even though the competition is tough, and getting tougher, you have many opportunities to write and sell ebooks. One of the biggest opportunities lies in creating your own series.

Here’s why:

  • A series gives you a chance to brand a name;
  • A series increases your visibility;
  • A series gives you an opportunity to build a readership; and
  • with the right series, you can build a great income.

Popular series: think Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup for the Soul was a early-1990s self-published book which turned into a bestseller. These days, it’s an entire conglomerate, which not only publishes books, but also sells pet food and makes movies. That’s what I mean by a brand. 🙂

At this stage, very few writers think longterm. They think about the ebook they’re writing now, worry about their ebook sales, and think about the other ebooks they hope to publish.

Think Chicken Soup. If you hit the right series, you can turn it into an empire.

Is it easy? Heck no. Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected many times, but Jack Canfield believed in the book. Over the years, there are endless stories about how tirelessly he worked to push Chicken Soup for the Soul. According to his website, there are now 123 million copies of the book in print.

Toss your hat into the ring: you never know what will succeed

As you may know, I coach writers. I love it, because I love writers and writing. However, it can be frustrating when I see writers make the same mistakes I made. Here’s one of my biggest mistakes.

Early in my career, I spent way too much time waiting for my editor and agent to get back to me. Finally I dumped my publishing house, and my agent, and struck out on my own. No, that wasn’t the mistake.

The mistake was waiting. I waited around for others to do stuff, instead of writing, and I listened to others, instead of believing in myself, and taking risks. These days, I believe in myself. I know that if I make a mistake, it’s just feedback on something that didn’t work, and the mistake is MINE. After suffering through others’ mistakes instead of taking control,  I’m proud to take the blame when things don’t work out.

Don’t wait. Write, and sell.

As soon as you finish one book, write another nonfiction book on the same topic. And then another one. And another. By the time your third ebook in the series has been published, you’ll have some idea whether you’re making enough sales.

Trust yourself: what do YOU think?

Let’s say you’ve written four books in a series. You’re selling ten copies a week. That’s not a huge amount. On the other hand, you haven’t done any promotion yet. Now it’s up to you. Consider that you have FOUR ebooks.

You could:

  • Create a bundle, so that you have FIVE books in the series;
  • Make one of your ebooks permanently free;
  • Create audio books out of the ebooks;
  • Create print books from your ebooks;
  • Buy advertising;
  • Create a mailing list…

I could go on, but you get the message. Once you have three or four books in a series, even if they’re only short ebooks, you can make a splash. If you want to…

On the other hand, perhaps you think that the topic you’ve covered doesn’t have an audience which is eager for your ebooks. In that case, let the series lie fallow for a few months. Do a little promotion, but focus on writing your next series.

A series gives you options that you don’t have when you write standalones

One of my students wrote 20 ebooks, on 20 different topics. When you write standalones, it’s a real challenge to build a following. I encouraged him to turn his bestselling standalone into a series.

Just three months later, he’s selling 100 ebooks a week. That’s not enough to make his fortune, but it’s showing him the value of writing in series.

If you’re selling nonfiction ebooks, keep writing in series in mind.

Ebook Dominance: sell more copies of your ebooks, every day

Ebook Dominance: Market and SELL Your Ebooks In Just 15 Minutes A Day

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How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?

Ebook Dominance helps you to turbocharge your marketing, and sell more ebooks today.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Earn while you learn, with Angela’s Writing Classes..