One of the top speakers at the AuthorU Extravaganza in May was Sandra Beckwith. In a recent blog, she cited her experience in a session she attended presented by BookBub at the Book Expo in New York.
Below is a portion of her excellent blog on how to create the blurbs and leads for copy to get both media and book buyer/reader attention. Think about anything promotional that surrounds your book: your Amazon descriptions, any announcements you pop out via press releases, email marketing, postings on your various social media platforms. The direct link to the blog is here.
You want to read the full blog and if you aren’t subscribing to BookBuzz, you should be. One of AuthorU’s favorites.
Here are the lessons from BookBub’s research in Sandra’s words:
- Quote a person, not a publication. When adding a blurb to your description (“A must for your beach read bag!”), quote an author, not a publication. Tests showed that descriptions with an endorsement from an individual sold more books than descriptions with blurbs from the press, such as Publishers Weekly.
- Help your target audience see themselves in your description. “If you love thrillers, don’t miss this action-packed read!” sold more books than “An action-packed read!” In other words, tell sweet romance readers, history lovers, etc., that your book is for them. Don’t force them to figure it out for themselves.
- For historical fiction, add a time period. Again, you’re helping your target audience by saying, “This is for you.”
- Tell people you have good reviews. Citing the number of Goodreads reviews sold more books than not referencing them at all. I have to admit that this trick does work with me. I buy through BookBub regularly and when I see that there were 500 five-star reviews on Amazon, I pay attention.
- When you’ve got reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, reference the higher number. In the example presented, the description that referred to more than 1,000 give-star reviews on Goodreads sold more books than the description that referenced more than 150 five-star reviews on Amazon. It’s the number of good reviews then, not the site of the reviews, that matters.
- Include awards. If your book won an award, mention it. You’ll sell more books.
Here’s what didn’t matter:
- Bestseller type (New York Times vs. USA Today, for example)
- Posing a hook as a question rather than as a statement
- Mentioning the age of the protagonist
- Mentioning it’s the author’s debut book
To learn more, download BookBub’s uPublishU presentation with the data at http://insights.bookbub.com/bea-halli/.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 34 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #34 was published this summer: The CrowdFunding Guide for Authors & Writers. Get your copy.
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