Publishing

Writing a book blurb is very difficult if not impossible for writers.

The pain of writing a book blurb

Writing a book blurb or description for book distribution sites such as Amazon, ibook, Kobo, etc. is a painful process for writers. You might as well ask us to stop writing. The process of distilling our 80K, 90K, 100K+ book into 100-150 words is impossible. Writing a book blurb is a thousand times harder than writing a synopsis because a) it’s shorter b) it’s on public display forever.

Writing a book blurb is very difficult if not impossible for writers.

The easy way to write a book blurb

Like all writers (or all that I know), I’m on a continual hunt to find the easiest, fastest, less brain disrupting way to do any writing related task. Including writing a book blurb. So, I did a little research (Pinterest is my go-to search engine now). The best book I’ve found so far on writing an effective book blurb is Libbie Hawker’s Gotta Read It! 

Gotta Read It outlines 5 steps to take in writing a perfect book blurb

For an easily affordable 99 cents, you’ll learn the five steps to a perfect pitch:

  1. A character who
  2. Wants something, but
  3. someone or something stands in her way, so she
  4. struggles against that force and
  5. something important is at stake

Ms. Hawker goes into more detail, including why you shouldn’t write the blurb as a mini-synopsis; what not to write; what elements you need to flesh out your basic blurb; and how to write a book blurb with more than one protagonist, including romances.

My early attempts at writing a book blurb for my upcoming release, Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe

Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe

(New attempts are separated by *****)

Rosewyn loved her family, but love wasn’t enough to give her brothers and grandmother a better live.

*****

As village baker on the edge of the Enchanted Forest, Roseweyn struggled to keep her family afloat.

*****

For Rosewyn, baking for the village on the edge of the Enchanted Forest isn’t enough to give for her brothers and grandmother a better life. So far, her ambition and what little magic she possesses means they barely scrape by.

When the newly crowned King lands at her feet, she sees a clear path ahead. What could be more simple than seducing a King with her charms and a little magic?

Living with the deceit he won’t understand, Rosewyn must face the reality of her decisions. Has she jeopardized their relationship? Is her magic strong enough to stop his change? Or do mysterious forces in the Enchanted Forest control them both?

Final copy

I spent a couple of hours arriving at this, and I bent a rule, but this is what will appear on Amazon, etc

In the second book in The Enchanted Series, Cheryl Sterling once again follows a commoner in pursuit of a better future and a royal fighting for his place.

Rosewyn lives a precarious existence as village baker on the edge of the Enchanted Forest. Any setback—an illness, a fire—threatens her ability to care for her Grandmother. After both strike, her desperation climbs. When the handsome, newly crowned King lands at her feet, she sees a clear path ahead. Using charm and a little magic, she inflames his desire.

Oliver Wolfe has lived with the secret of his werewolf blood for years. When he returns home from the exile his father imposed, he seizes the opportunity to restore the neglected realm and make a difference. While sweet Rosie eases his nights, a missing treasury and his subjects’ unrest hamper his plans. Then his right to the throne is challenged. With his future dependent on an unreliable witness, and his trial set the night of a full moon, can he trust Rosewyn with his secret?

With the fate of the man she loves weighing on her, Rosewyn must test the limits of the power buried within her. Is it strong enough to break his ancient curse, or will she lose everything?

Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe is an adult fantasy loosely based on enchanting fairy tales. Strong heroines and sexy heroes battle outside forces that threaten their love story.

Tell me what you think in the comments.

p.s. Stay tuned in the next day or two to receive news of the official launch of Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolfe and a special offer.

Blessings,

Cheryl

 

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Writing tools, 26 ways to improve your writing is now available as a free download

Announcing the release of Writing Tools: 26 Tips on How to Improve Your Writing: Writing and Marketing Better Books.

Release day for Writing Tools

Writing tools, 26 ways to improve your writing is now available on Amazon.comWhen I accepted the task of participating in this year’s AtoZChallenge, I didn’t know what I faced. I almost didn’t enter, as I found out about the annual event at the last minute. I had no idea the twenty-six blogs I wrote as a way to train myself to blog more often would turn into my latest release, Writing Tools.

My New Year’s resolution for 2017 was to blog twice a week—Mondays and Thursdays. Like all good intentions, it quickly fell apart. When I saw a Tweet in late March about the AtoZChallenge, I thought, Why not? If nothing else, blogging every day would (almost) be the same as participating in NaNoWriMo, which I’ve done several times, officially, in my old writing group, and on my own.

Writing Tools: The Challenge

I’m not going to lie, it was a challenge. Not only did I have to write every day, I had to publish every day. And find appropriate images (thank you Pixabay and Canva), and spread the news through various social media outlets.

Editing for Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolf was pushed back a month. Thank goodness I’d published Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf In March, so I was “between” books and had time to spare.

The most challenging aspect of blogging every day was finding subject for those awkward letters—Q, X, Z, but I persevered. (maybe with a little cheating when it came to J).

I banked a few days and pre-scheduled blogs as I faced a four day grand-babysitting job in the middle of the month (my son and daughter-in-law celebrated their tenth anniversary with a trip to California). At the end of the month I’d proven I could write 1,000-1,500 words on random subjects, publish and promote them.

A Big Thank You to BlogChatter

For unknown and mysterious reasons, when I signed up for the challenge, I did so under the umbrella of theblogchatter.com, a blogging powerhouse based in India. I received awesome support, met brilliant writers, and received free promotion on their website.

In May, they announced they would host our books if we wanted to compile our twenty-six blogs into a book. Heck, yeah, why not? I formatted my blogs, made a cover (thank you Canva) that complemented my other non-fiction book, The Plot Thickens: 21 Ways to Plot Your Novel (what is it with numbers in titles?), and sent it to blogchatter, which hosted it as a free giveaway for two months.

The Next Step

With encouragement from blogchatter and using the experience I’ve received from publishing my other books, I’ve uploaded Writing Tools to Amazon. I hope you’ll download it and benefit from the tips, techniques, and tools I’ve discovered over my eighteen year writing career.

From the blurb:

” . . . a valuable collection of tips for all aspiring authors, content writers, digital marketing students and anyone who wants to know the precious tools in the content marketing world.” —soulmom.in

If you’ve written a book and seek ways to improve it and, once published, how to market it, Writing Tools has the answers.

Writing Tools, 26 Tips on How to Improve Your Writing explores writing, marketing, and social media knowledge and shortcuts, making you a better writer. In this instructional ebook, author Cheryl Sterling delves into her eighteen years of experience to share:

  • How to set up an effective Amazon Author’s page.
  • Character development using Myers-Briggs and Numerology.
  • Scheduling of social media using BoardBooster and Hootsuite.
  • The benefits of Facebook groups, Goodreads, and Pinterest for writers.
  • The effective use of writing scene and sequel.
  • 3 and 4 act structure, which is best for you?
  • Improve your writing speed and how to revise your rough “vomit” draft.
  • Outlining and The Hero’s Journey
  • The importance of back-links and universal book links
  • 26 essential tips on writing and promoting your best work

You are a writer. Ensure a quality book and your best marketing practices with this how-to guide.

Click on the “Buy Now” button and start today.

Praise for Writing Tools, 26 Tips on How to Improve Your Writing:

It has all the necessary points for non-fiction writers and fiction writers. And the most important of all . . . to promote your published work.

It is easy to read, has some great insights with a dash of unexpected humour, and a ready-made cheat sheet to help you market your book better.

A Special Thank You

In conjunction with the release of Writing Tools, I’m re-releasing The Plot Thickens at a special price of 99 cents (down from $2.99). The book has been re-formated, re-indexed, and I’ve added images. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book but didn’t know where to start, The Plot Thickens offers 21+ ways to plot your book and get you started on the path to publication.

Please consider buying either or both of my books. And, as always, if you do purchase, please leave a review, however short. Reviews help Amazon bring better books to you.

Thank you and many blessings,

Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

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Making a publishing decision? The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

It’s Throwback Thursday with an important publishing decision.

It’s Throwback Thursday, and I’m republishing a blog I wrote in 2011. Yeah, that long ago, when making a publishing decision was almost a no-brainer—traditional publishing or this relatively new thing called self-publishing.

Making a publishing decision? The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

Here’s the blog:

I attended our monthly writers’ group meeting today. As always, I returned home in total awe of our members.  They are a fantastic group and never take no as an answer.

It’s easy to forget between meetings, when you’re sitting in the basement staring at a blank screen, that there are others just like you. As Emily, our newest member said, “Writing a book is hard.” Yes, it is, but we keep plugging away, writing, critiquing, editing, submitting and hoping for publication.

But boys and girls, the road to publication is no longer a small trail with a select group of tollgate keepers deciding who gets to progress forward. The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

Is that a problem? Will junk and dreck clog the choices we have? Probably. But think about that for a moment. How many people actually write a book? As Emily noted, it’s hard. Damn hard. Your competition will remain the same. If xxxx people finished a manuscript in 2006 b.k. (before Kindle), a similar amount will write a book in 2011. The only difference is that more of them will become available to readers.

How many of your fellow authors are really, really good, on the cusp of being accepted for publication but have never quite got the nod from New York? I can tell you, their chances lessen more and more. Publishers can’t scramble fast enough to keep up with the minute-to-minute changes in the industry. They hang on to their best selling authors, squeeze the mid-list and don’t take chances on newcomers.

Making a publishing decision? The publishing industry is in the midst of turmoil. Those cart tracks have expanded to four-lane super highways. Anyone who wants to be published nowadays can be.

How are you going to get a break if you don’t make your own?

Yes, there’s something to be said for traditional publishing. I’ll always love the feel of a book in my hand. I miss being able to thumb through the pages to the part I want to re-read (2/3 through the book on the left hand side.) But, I can carry dozens of books in my purse on an e-reader. (which will be super handy during my upcoming eight hour flight). I can have what I want to read available within seconds instead of ordering it through the mail or hunting through library lists.

Ebooks have their drawbacks, but, at Amazon, they’ve already surpassed sales of paperbacks. The Kindle (I’m using it as the standard of all ereaders) is not even four years old. Wait until the price drops below $99.

Traditional publishing might not go away, but do you want to miss out on the greatest opportunity that has ever happened to the industry? The industry you’re so desperate to break into?

Think about alternative ways to offer your book to your readers. That’s all I ask. Think about it.

I know I am.

****2017 Cheryl back again****

Has your publishing decision changed since this was written? Do you still crave the legitimization of “traditional” publishing? How’s that going for you? It’s harder, not easier to be traditionally published, and the doors are shrinking.

Do you still think of self-publishing as not really being published? Or have you embraced it?

Tell me your views in the comments.

Blessings,

Cheryl

p.s. Kindles are available for under $99 if you’re interested. I no longer own one. I read on my laptop or my phone using the Kindle app.

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