Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tues Tidbits with BJ Scott

Good day!
And what a glorious one it is in Southwestern Ontario.
We have truly been blessed this year when it comes to weather. Supposed to top the 20 degrees celsius mark by week's end and sunny! Can't ask for anything more at this time in March!
Before I start my blog post today, I want to announce that in honor of my affiliation with That's what She Said. I will be giving away a copy of my book Highland Legacy to one commenter this month on any of the Tues Blog spots.

While this is not a new topic for some, it is one that can never be stressed enough.
After spending countless hours on your manuscript, the nail biting days and weeks waiting to see if it will be picked up by an editor or agent, your book deserves its best shot at being purchased by the reading public.
In e-books, especially a striking cover, a catchy title and a blurb that leave them wanting more is imperative.
A lot of authors do not have final say in their cover, but since it is your first shot at attracting a buyer, you should advocate for the best one you can. The cover should scream buy me and be genre appropriate. If you have a sexy Scottish Highlander on your cover, it better be a book about a sexy Scottish Highlander. Book covers that deceive will only discourage readers from buying any future books from an author.
Since readers can't physically pick up and ebook and hold it in their hands, they are drawn visually to an ebook. Bold, Clear graphics, theme/genre appropriate/ something that makes it stand out. Personally, I prefer to have the couple on the book or an indicator of what they might look like, but some have found success in a scene that lures the reader.
The title is also something that you need to put a lot of thought into. Again if your book says Highland Fling...it better have a Highland theme. Short and to the point is best. Titles that go on forever are a red flag that the book might drag on as well. Tell the reader what you have written in a few well chosen words. This might be one of the hardest parts of writing a book, but if you chose a winning title, the book has a much better chance of selling.
Finally, but no less important is a good blurb. Once the reader is tempted by your cover and title, you need something to get them to buy the book. Too often an author tries to tell the entire story in a book blurb. Think about it. Why would someone buy a book if they already know what is going to happen.
Short, concise and and a hook to leave them wanting more is imperative. Three or four short sentences, giving the reader a taste of what to expect is all you need. Think of it as pitching to an editor. This is no different. The end result is the same. You want to show off your book, dazzle them with your words and leave them wanting more. You want them to buy your book.
If you have never written a three line pitch, there are many online workshops you can take and it is well worth the time and money spent.
COVER-TITLE-BLURB...make that your mantra and you will be well on your way to selling your book!
Happy writing and reading!


Shelly Bell said...

Ha! Cover, title, blurb. No problem! I've been trying to come up for my blurb all morning for my paranormal and I'm stuck! The sad thing is I'm teaching a query workshop right now!

B.J. Scott said...

Good luck with the blurb. Such an important tool for a writer to use.

Good luck with teh workshop and your books ;)

Bev Irwin / Kendra James said...

You are so right. The cover, the title, the blurb and I'll add one, a great first line.
Kendra James/Bev irwin

B.J. Scott said...

You have that right Bev. A great first line is a definite asset. Thanks for stopping in.

Shiela Stewart said...

Great advice Barb! I saw this book once in a book store that was all brown and looked like it might be leather. That was it. The title was small and the authors name was barely readable. Did it encourage me to want to buy it. Hell no. I didn't even bother to turn it over and read the blurb. Wonder how many cpoies were sold on that one.

B.J. Scott said...

I know what you mean. I know of several excellent books tht have not so appealing covers and instead of flying off the internet shelves, they sit there collecting cyber-dust. Sad to think of the work and potential being wasted because the cover was not appealing.

We don't always have a say in the final cover if working with a publisher, but advocating for a good cover is important. The Blurb is also a weak spot for many books. Way too much information and nothing to hook the reader.

Callie said...

Good article, Barb. My blurb is so much better for ARFL since you worked on it.

Best of continued success with Highland Legacy, and all your upcoming projects.

B.J. Scott said...

Thanks Callie. It is easy to do a blurb when the book is good :)

Thanks for stopping in and your continued support

Ann Montclair said...

Excellent advice, Barb. Thank you.

Casey Wyatt said...

Great advice Barb! I actually took CJ Redwine's awesome query class. It was worth every penny. I was able to use the query as my back cover copy and it helped me come up with by blurb!
Congrats on your new Tuesday blog post too!

B.J. Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by Ann
always great to see you.

B.J. Scott said...

Thanks for stopping in Casey. A query a book blurb and a pitch are all interchangeable if you come up with one that gives the reader the info they need, makes they want to read more and does not give away the story.

B.J. Scott said...

I took Kerri Nelson's (owner of the book boost blogspot)elevator pitch class and it was also worth every penny. After taking the online course, I pitched my book to three editors and all three asked for a full manuscript. A week later, I was offered my first contract.

Meggan Connors said...

Hey, I think it's going to let me comment now!

Great post, BJ! I absolutely agree that the title and cover need to match what happens inside the book.


B.J. Scott said...

Sorry for the late reply Meggan.

Thanks for stopping in