Writing a Hella Good Book Description

I am working on a kick ass book description. It will be the first thing people read on Kindle when deciding if they want to buy the book or not.  I have to say that I’m struggling with this task a bit.  Here’s what’s making it tricky…

The book, titled Blue Violet, is paranormal (with a little romance thrown in too).  Sort of X-men meets Twilight – only no vampires.  The tricky part is that many of the coolest parts of the book that would catch people’s attention in a book description are revealed a little at a time.

For example, you start the book not knowing if the main character, Ellie, is a normal girl or someone with powers (and no, I’m not going to tell you which it is).  And the “bad guys”, called the Vyusher (see if you can figure out what that word means), don’t really make an appearance until several chapters in.

So the question becomes, how much do I reveal in the book description to make sure I snag people’s interest without spoiling the book?  It’s a conundrum.

And this is where the power of the internet is my best friend.  There is a lot of great advice for first-time, self-publishing writers out there – if you can wade through a lot of useless drivel.  I found this blog post by another self-published author, Karen McQuestion, and it was the exact advice I was looking for – and 30 minutes later, I was done.  (Needless to say, I’ll be following that blog from now on.)

http://mcquestionablemusings.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-method-for-writing-book-description.html

To do item #549: First draft of my book description – check. So without further ado, here is the book description for Blue Violet:

Other than her twin brother, Ellie Aubrey is all alone in the world, their family having been murdered by a rival clan called the Vyusher many years before. But a mysterious dream reveals to her a potential new family in a group of people with extraordinary powers. Despite her brother Griffin’s warnings, Ellie risks coming out of hiding and moves to Colorado to find the Jenners, although she attempts to remain safely anonymous as she slowly befriends them. In finding them, she may have also found a soul-deep love with Alex Jenner. But at what cost? Ellie has unwittingly placed them all in terrible danger as the Vyusher once again threaten everything she holds most dear. Now Ellie must fight to save all of their lives.
Exceptionally imaginative and magically romantic, Blue Violet delivers equal parts fantasy, romance, and suspense. A must read for paranormal fans everywhere.

I am very open to feedback if you have any.  This is a first draft after all.

Social Media – An Author’s Best Friend? Or Worst Enemy?

Has anyone else born before about 1990 secretly questioned why so many college grads these days are offering up their services as social media consultants? Ha! Well I am finally starting to get it.  Here’s why…

In writing my first book, I’ve decided to go the route of self-publishing through Amazon Kindle.  I’m only at the beginning of the process, and I’m starting to learn that self-publishing might be even more time consuming than writing and editing the book itself (more on that tomorrow).

Logically I started at the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) section on the Amazon website.  Incredibly helpful, but a TON of information to wade through.  And I found that it generated a “To Do” list three miles long.  (More on that on another day.)

One of my key “ah-ha” moments while fishing around on the KDP site was that once I get my book posted on Kindle I need to do the marketing to get it moved up in the search list so that people will buy it.  Many of the the posters on the “questions” section of the site mentioned smart use of social media as critical to this goal.

I thought, “Hey… I’m a smart person!  I can do that.”  And off I went to create my Facebook author page, blog, and Twitter feed.  Four hours later, I was still at it, and I’m already amazed at how much work has to go into this endeavor.

For example, on facebook, I can’t get my “Likes” to show up on my author page, they only show up on my personal page, which is what I don’t want.  Same thing for my tweets which I finally got linked to facebook, but to the personal page, not the author page. And don’t even get me started on tweeting. What the heck is a hashtag used for? And is it incredibly sad that I don’t already know? At the very least, it probably dates me, right? The blog was the easiest of the three options to get going (thank you to all things good and holy for small mercies).

In addition to the set up, I now have to maintain my presence on all these social media forums, which means posts (or at least tweets) daily.  Now I have to say that social media as a form of self-marketing for writers is a pretty natural fit because we like to… well… write.   So this part I actually enjoy.

That said, it is still one more thing to do when I could be concentrating on, among other things, editing my book so that it actually gets published and all this work on social media forums isn’t for a book that never makes it out there, let alone gets read by someone other than my parents, much as I love them.

So I totally get it.  Social media consultants would be very useful to businesses, large and small.  There are a lot of ways to take advantage of these technologies and I’m fooling myself if I even think I’m scratching the surface. But I’m a fast learner, and pretty darn stubborn.  So I say bring it on!

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Tomorrow’s post… a little about my book!  I’m trying to put together a kick ass description and will try it out on this forum.

1st Time Author – Think I Can Do It?

After years of walking around with stories and book ideas in my head, and trying to write them down non-stop, I am finally getting around to trying to publish a book.  I am still in the beginning phases of the process.  The book is written.  I have found an editor, Wendy, who is incredible.  (More about Wendy and the edits later.)  My plan is to self-publish via Amazon.com through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).  I am swiftly learning that writing the book is the easiest part of this process.

Follow me as I  go through the fascinating, and I suspect often painful, process of trying to publish my first book!