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You Truly Cannot Judge A Book By Its Cover or Its Blurb – Every Book Needs Editing

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We all love to look at book covers. We enjoy the different images, the sexy ones, the elaborate ones, and the ones that intrigue us, but are the covers the most important things about good books? Then again, just because a cover draws my eye and the blurb is intriguing, will I enjoy the read? Not necessarily. I’ve read my share of books with fabulous covers where the story was so amazing, it could be wrapped in brown paper and I would still love it. But we truly cannot judge a book by its cover – or blurb.

With the onset of digital books, covers still attract but it is ultimately the blurb, which sells the book. I’ve discussed the importance of a great blurb, which captures the reader’s attention and sells the book. What happens after the blurb and the cover already hook the reader but when he/she begins reading the actual story, it just isn’t as good as was expected?

Well, in some cases the reader has actually asked for a refund. Oh yes, my friends, readers have asked for refunds on digital books which only cost them a mere 99¢. I’ve purchased my share of books, which turned out to be okay reads or even something I couldn’t finish because they were poorly written but honestly, I never asked for a refund. Print copies, I donate to a local library or book bank, and digitals, I just forget about them or delete them from reader, but I’ve never asked for a refund. I always thought it was too much like going to the movies, sitting through the entire thing and then asking for a refund because it was horrible. I say chalk it up to taking a chance on the unknown. So, when I hear a reader has asked for a refund on a digital book that cost only 99¢, I can only assume the reader is actually doing so to make a statement.

What statement, you ask? A statement I totally agree with and support. Indie publishing is competitive enough without readers being pushed away from taking chances on unknown authors who might be extraordinary storytellers by those who refuse to acknowledge that even the best authors don’t publish without an editor looking at it first. Yes, that’s where the problem is with books that aren’t even worth 99¢ – poor or worse, no editing at all.

Authors who publish through traditional publishing have editors who work for the publishing house who scrutinize the entire manuscript, make suggestions on how to improve it, point out awkward writing, grammar and spelling errors, as well as catch continuity problems. Admittedly, I still find all of the above in traditionally published works but hey, no one’s perfect. Although, I do have to wonder why everyone, including the author, editor, copyreader, proofreader, and beta readers all miss them but what can I say, I guess everyone’s not perfect.

These are all things that an author cannot see without stepping away from a work for months or even years in order to come back and look at a manuscript with a fresh eye. Who has that kind of time, right? No one, not if they want to publish it in a timely manner. It’s for this reason, every author – EVERY AUTHOR – needs an editor who will scrutinize every word, every line, make corrections, pay attention to continuity, and make sure the story makes sense, flows well, and the characters grow as well as making sure the plot coming to a sensible conclusion. It’s a lot more than just putting words on a page and telling a story – it’s creating a world the reader wants to climb into every time he/she picks up the book. It’s a creative work, which will leave the reader happy they read it and eager to read more by the same author, not return it for a refund of 99¢.

So who is your editor? Don’t think you can afford an editor who will do your work justice? Who will polish it until it shines so bright, anyone who reads it will exclaim over its ability to hook, capture, and keep the reader’s attention and never wish to ask for a refund? You can afford an editor. If you’re looking for someone to do all that for your manuscript, just give me holler. It’s what I do and I do it well, without breaking your bank.

Happy Writing Everyone!

BLURB WRITING – IT’S NOT AS EASY AS YOU THINK

author-writing-writer

It’s true that book covers help sell books because it’s the first thing a reader sees and if the cover is attractive and eye-catching, it will draw the attention the book needs, but it’s the back cover blurb that truly sells a book. With such a large variety of books in various formats from which to choose, authors need to set their book apart from the others on the shelves and amid the long lists of e-books available online. Yes, the cover catches the reader’s eye, the title might intrigue, but ultimately it is the blurb that sells a book.

A blurb is a brief description of the book that intrigues the reader to want to read more. A book blurb is not to be confused with a synopsis, which actually tells the entire story in short form and used primarily when submitting. You certainly don’t want to give away the entire story to a reader before actually selling him/her the book.

Think of a blurb like a movie trailer. It teases, it intrigues, and it hooks the reader into the story without giving away too many details. It makes the reader say, “Oooh, I want to read that one.”

Some tips on writing great book blurbs include doing your research, using the correct voice, tense, focusing on the underlying trope or theme of the story, and keeping it brief. Now this might sound easy enough to do, and for some it does come with ease but for others not so much. That’s where an editor can help but every author should try his or her hand at blurb writing before turning to a professional for assistance. You never know if you can until you try.

Do your research – read as many blurbs as possible. If you have shelves full of your writing genre, you’ve got all you need. Look at your favorite books. What was it about the blurbs that made you purchase those particular books? Get a feel for the format and style of the best blurbs. Take notes on what stands out most and intrigues the reader in you. What makes you want to read more about the characters and the story? What is the hook? Use those blurbs and your notes in preparing to write your own book blurb.

Write your blurb in the same voice as your book. If your book is dark and tragic, be sure the blurb carries the same emotion. If your book is light at heart, and filled with humor share that feeling in your blurb, but don’t give it all away - no spoilers allowed. 

Write your blurb in present tense. Whether you have written your book in third-person past, first-person present, or any other combination, make sure you write your blurb in third-person present. Think about those movie trailers. “Life is changing for Maggie, how will she accept it? Dave was a star once, but now he’s working toward a comeback? Will he make it or fail?” 

Charge your blurb with focusing on the underlying trope or theme of the story such as it being a suspense, second chance romance, or tragic love affair. Your full-length saga may seem too intricate in plotting to pull together into about 150 words, but writing the blurb can actually benefit you by making you focus in on what is truly the most important aspect of your story without minimizing the rest. Hone in on the main points of your story, and what pushes the story along more than anything else. It might help to write a 3 to 4 page synopsis before attempting to write your blurb. The synopsis will give you the full story. If you’re going by way of traditional publishing, you will need to write a synopsis anyway, so you may as well get it out of the way. Once you have the full story pared down, drop the ending and pull the whole thing down tighter into one page focusing on the most important points in your story and the effects those points have on the main characters.

Keeping it brief – as I already mentioned, a typical blurb is only about 150 words and consists of 2 or 3 paragraphs at most. This is what makes writing a blurb so difficult, and even frustrating. You only have a short amount of space consisting of only a small number of perfectly chosen words to entice, tease, and hook the reader before that reader moves on. Remember that movie trailer, well, in a crowded theater, with people seeking seats and getting settled, the trailer only has a few minutes to convince the viewers into coming back to see the movie. In that same manner, your book blurb only has a moment in a crowded bookstore or while browsing a long list of titles online to capture the reader’s attention, and sell your book.

Now, I’ve given you the tools to write your book blurb but if after several tries, you still feel you’re at a loss and need assistance, I am here to help. Whether you need assistance writing it from the start, or simply need a good polishing to make sure that it is all that it can be to make your book present itself with the best-selling face, I can help you achieve the polish you want at reasonable rates. Feel free to check out my services by clicking HERE.

Thank you and Happy Blurb Writing!

Wonderful Client News!

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Great news!

One of my clients, Susan Davis, has just signed a three-year contract with Secret Cravings. I’m proud to say that I edited her debut novel and polished it to shine so bright that it was picked up right away. Huzzah, Susan! I’m so proud to be traveling on this exciting journey with you.

So remember, if you, or anyone you know writing romance, is in need of an editor who can give their manuscript the polish it needs to perhaps get picked up just as Susan’s did, please send her/him on over. I’d love to discuss her/his needs with them.

Happy Writing Everyone!

IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE REFERENCE BOOK …

Writing The Bestseller:

Romantic And Commercial Fiction  

by

Jane Porter (Editor), and

Rebecca Lyles (Editor)

 WritingBook_Rnd2Mck11

 Is there a great book in you? Or several great books? 

Writing the Bestseller offers practical advice and wisdom from a dozen successful authors who have sold hundreds of thousands of books, experiencing all the ups and downs of the publishing industry. What to do, what not to do, as romance and commercial fiction have their own rules.

Writing the Bestseller doesn’t sugarcoat the work involved. Instead, authors who’ve been there tell you how to understand the genre and reader expectations. The rewards of writing a bestseller are worth the effort, and these authors share what they’ve learned over the years so you, too, can succeed in today’s competitive market.

“A master class in writing compelling and unforgettable fiction. Writing the Bestseller deserves a spot right beside your keyboard…” – Elizabeth Boyle, NYT bestselling author of LOVE LETTER FROM A DUKE and IF WISHES WERE EARLS.

*                  *                  *                    *                    * 

Do you write romance, or any commercial fiction for that matter? If your answer is yes, if you’re an author, or an aspiring author, this is the book you need at your side.

This amazing new writer’s guide to writing a romance or commercial fiction novel will make you feel even more confident about your work and assist you on starting yourself on the path to writing a manuscript that will surely gain the attention of editors and readers alike.

With chapters on getting your attitude to a place where you’ll feel the desire to write, to setting your goals, creating characters with not only your head, but your heart, and using yourself to understand  your characters along with information about today’s market. you’ll be eager to start writing. These wonderful ladies even give you great advice on writing hot, steamy sex scenes. With WRITING THE BESTSELLER: ROMANTIC AND COMMERCIAL FICTION by Editors Jane Porter and Rebecca Lyles at your side, you’ll be on your way in no time. They’ve pooled their talents, experience, and publishing know how and are giving it to us. This is a must have guide for understanding the breakdown of plot, scene progression, and building dramatic tension, even crafting the perfect Alpha hero.

Check it out for yourself. The Kindle edition is a bargain, and if you’re like me and don’t have a Kindle, that’s okay because it can be right at your fingertips at all times on your Kindle app. Check it out, if you only have one reference book at your side, this is the one you need.

Writing The Bestseller: Romantic And Commercial Fiction by Editors Jane Porter and Rebecca Lyles, Amazon Digital Publishing, available now in ebook format at Amazon.

NAVIGATING THE WORLD OF E-BOOK PUBLISHING by Deena Rae Schoenfeldt #EBBB

A fellow blogger, Deena Rae Schoenfeldt, has written a book for aspiring authors and I believe it is an absolute must have for those of us venturing into the world of self-publishing. I’ve got my copy. Please check it out and do a small thing to support an indie author and a huge thing for your future success.

Navigating the World of E-Book Publishing

NAVIGATING THE WORLD OF E-BOOK PUBLISHING

E-BookBuilders Basics of Getting Started in Indie Publishing

by Deena Rae Schoenfeldt 

Genre: Non-Fiction

Description: With a no-nonsense, conversational style, Deena Rae of E-BookBuilders gives advice to aspiring authors about indie publishing. Filled with information about social media, pricing, formatting styles, covers, reviews and platforms (to a name a few) there is a wealth of information for the novice author. Even experienced authors and publishers will find this book helpful and informative.

With sections such as ‘Authors — Quit Doing This!’, ‘In Praise of Audio(books)’, ‘Twitter Primer for Authors’, and ‘Should You Use Amazon’s Author Central’, Deena Rae gives detailed information that anyone in the industry of publishing should know and consider.

Whether you are just starting on your publishing journey, considering entering the literary world or have 30 books for sale, there is something for everyone in this book.

About the Author:

E-BookBuilders is the online alias of Deena Rae.  She was born and raised in Texas — home of bluebonnets, boots, beef, and big hair — into a family that was in the printing and publishing industries.  Her father was a computer programmer for major newspapers when the equipment took up whole rooms and mother has been a publisher for almost 30 years — trying, unsuccessfully, to bring her into the family business.  She is a second-generation genetically perfected super-nerd.

She was happily living her life, having three third-generation genetically perfected super-nerds herself, but then through a series of  events (unfortunate and fortunate), she officially joined The Book Connection — her mother’s publishing and packaging company — as the Digital Director, to create the e-publishing division in 2011. Her computer skills, willingness to help authors, love of literature, no-nonsense attitude and quick wit has helped shepherd many authors through the maze of digital publishing.

Through her work with E-BookBuilders, Deena Rae has been able to meet authors and writers from all over the world and in every genre imaginable.  She has a biting wit, obscure sense of humor, awareness of the absurd, and a love of literature all which led to the creation of Bluebonnets, Bagpipes and Books, the #NSFW publishing discussion podcast she produces and hosts with Janet Wrenn and Peter Burnett. Her no-nonsense attitude makes for some hilarious discussions and plenty of “Oh my God, did she really just say that?” moments. Sometimes it is as if there is no filter between her brain and her mouth. But if she likes you she tries to be nice — sometimes. Deena also has the safe-for-everyone author interview show, B3′s Bookworm. You can find her most hours of everyday attached to her computer either researching, tweeting on her 6 accounts, posting on her different Face-book timelines and pages, coding e-books for her fabulous friends/clients or with her nose buried in her Kindle reading.

Social Links for Deena Rae:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/deenarae

Website: http://www.e-bookbuilders.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eBookBuilders

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7692341.Deena_Rae_Schoenfeldt

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DeenaRaeEBB

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/deena-schoenfeldt/13/875/330

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/ebookbuilders/

Blog: http://www.e-bookbuilders.com/category/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eBookBuilders

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/eBookBuilders

Wattpad: http://wattpad.com/DeenaSchoenfeldt

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/tP1W1

NAVIGATING THE WORLD OF E-BOOK PUBLISHING, E-BookBuilders Basics of Getting Started in Indie Publishing by Deena Rae Schoenfeldt, E-BookBuilders Publishing, officially releasing January 13, 2014 but available now at Amazon.

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