Fun With Indie Publishing Part 5 - Promo File

You can find Part 4 - Cover Design here. Each week I'm covering a different aspect of Indie Publishing and sharing some of my experiences to help other people skip some of the mistakes I've made. :-)

Okay, your files are formatted for Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. Your ebook cover should be designed. Now I want you to make a promo file: Title Promo. In your promo file, you will put in your Blurb (Back Cover Copy), Logline, and Author Bio. These are your marketing tools for selling your book. This is the last thing you will need before you upload your files.

Blurb
You will want to write an engaging blurb telling the basics of your story. Go out and read the back cover copy of books in your genre. Get an idea for how they are written. A good rule of thumb is to write your blurb in active present tense. This gives it tension. You can go long or short with your blurb. I tend to go shorter, but I know a recent study released pointed to longer blurbs being better. But go with what you are comfortable with. I use the same skills I used for those query letter blurbs for my back cover blurbs. Some difference is you might be putting more "telling" information about a character in a back cover blurb than you would in a query letter blurb. Writing blurbs takes lots of practice and I continue to tweak and usually have a couple of different versions for each book

Here are some examples from my own books. Ask yourself, do you want to know more or buy the book when you read the blurb?

Horse Charmer 
A gifted princess. A special horse. A quest for the truth.

At sixteen years old, Cassia would rather spend her days in the royal stables than in the royal court. But as the eldest child of King Robet and Queen Sarahann she obediently performs her duties as the Princess of Karah.

Her safe world changes forever when her father is murdered in the neighboring kingdom of Vespera. Cassia grapples with his loss as her mother prepares her for her new role as queen. Her first task - she must travel to Vespera to marry a prince she barely knows to fulfill the treaty her father signed just before his death.

Nothing is as simple as it seems with political intrigues and unusual powers shadowing Cassia on her search to find out who killed her father and why.

Spectors
Space pirate Kristy Ryan is having a bad day.

First, her pilot and lover, Andrew Bennet, picks a fight with her.

Second, the Military Space Alliance comes across her ship when she’s running a not-so-legal job.

Third, she finds out her father, a notorious space pirate himself, disappeared while working for the MSA.

Fourth, and the final straw, the MSA is blackmailing her to continue the dangerous mission her father started.

What else could go wrong?

Immortal
Arianna seeks help from rogue adventurer, the Hawk, to save her criminal brother from the gallows. If her brother is hanged her entire family will be exposed as immortals when he doesn’t die. But is she willing to pay the price the Hawk asks in exchange for his assistance?

Whitelighter
Lily Conner is a witch with an unusual side affect to her powers – she glows like a neon white light to all supernatural creatures. A vampire who kills her will absorb her light gaining the ability to use magic. Two years ago her family was killed when a pack of vampires followed her home. She barely escaped with her toddler sister in tow. Now she lives on the run with her four-year-old sister and a vampire bodyguard.

Reyes Vega lost his whitelighter sister to vampires several years ago. When he meets Lily and her sister he knows he can’t let another whitelighter fall victim to the vampires and sets out to protect her from the same fate as his sister.   

Logline(s)

Loglines are very important sales tools. If someone asks you about your book, can you tell them what it is about in one to two sentences? That's what a logline, and sometimes called an elevator pitch, is called. You'll need your logline for your "short description" for Smashwords (they have both a short and long description section). My trick for loglines has been to take my three to five sentence query letter blurb and keep editing it down until it is one or two sentences. Loglines should always be written in present tense with active and descriptive words. Generalizing is good. Instead of saying, Lily Conner a witch; I would say "a young witch." I don't use character's names in loglines unless the name is important for a particular reason. Screenwriting books have lots of great tips on how to make a logline.

Here are some of my loglines to give you an idea. I often have several different loglines, shorter ones, longer ones, etc. for each book. But I try to have one, my main, logline memorized for each book so if someone asks me, what's your book about? I can immediately give them a clear and concise answer. Sometimes your logline will need to include the title and the genre. When you do that, you would say/write "TITLE is a GENRE about LOGLINE."

Horse Charmer - A sheltered princess discovers her remarkable gift with horses while on a dangerous quest to find who murdered her father.

Spectors - A space pirate is blackmailed by the military into running a dangerous mission.

Whiteligher - A young witch's special powers make her a target to any vampire who catches sight of her.

Immortal - A young immortal seeks help from a rogue to save her family. 

These are all examples of shorter loglines. You can go a little longer adding in some description or complication to the plot, but I generally find shorter is better for my memory (the longer loglines tend to get tangled up when I try to say them). 


Author Bio

My least favorite part is probably the author bio. :-) Maybe if I lived a more exciting life I'd find it a little funner. I have been altering my bio for each book to make it a little more interesting. I start with my basic, who I am, an example can be found in the section front and back matter. I might just leave it at that, but for a few of my books I have gone a little farther. For Horse Charmer, I included a few sentences about how the idea of Horse Charmer came to me. For Spectors, I talked about growing up watching Star Trek and Star Wars. Read other author bios to give you an idea of the type of information to include and only include what you are comfortable with.

Okay, that's what goes into your promo file. Next week we'll tackle the actual uploading.

Comments

  1. I'm with you on the Bio. It's my least favorite too. Great tips on writing blurbs. They can be fun once you get the hang of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mariah. Yeah, the bio is always the one I tackle last. :-)

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  2. Thank you for the tips, Angelia. They're fantastic.

    I tagged you in a game of blog tag. Come over to my blog to see the rules. :)

    http://katrinadelallo.blogspot.com/2012/02/blog-tag.html

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Katrina. And thank you for the tag.

      Delete
  3. Oh how I hate to write log lines. Thankfully my agent writes them for me because I was terrible with those. Blurbs I can do, but log lines... ugh!

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    Replies
    1. LOL. Loglines can be a challenge. Glad your agent does them for you. But should you ever choose to tackle them again. I finally learned how to do them without pulling teeth in a screenwriting class. Movie writers really have the skill down.

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  4. I'm working on blurbs for two books right now. Although I prefer it to writing a synopsis, I still find it tough. Thanks for the tips, and all the great examples.

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    Replies
    1. Takes practice and even when you become comfortable with writing them it still is something you have to work through to figure out what the heart of your story is about yet not reveal anything about what happens. I find that can be the hard part for me. I'll have the blurb written and suddenly realize I have completely given a way a key plot point so need to go in a redo.

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