Book Description Basics

book descriptionThe number one problem we run into during the vetting process here at Indies Unlimited is a book’s description, also sometimes known as the book sales pitch or the book blurb. Too long, too short, too detailed, too vague, too too too, blah blah blah. What it comes down to is: many authors cannot write a book description on their own.

There’s nothing wrong with this. In most instances, it takes an outsider to point out what’s missing from (or not needed in) a book description. After all, an author has been married to the book for years. An author is most likely going to overlook points that a potential reader needs to know. It’s like explaining how to use a computer program that you know like the back of your hand. You’ll always skip over the basics or the foundation and get right to the good stuff. Meanwhile, your pupil is sitting there with a stupid look on his/her face, completely confused.

The basics for writing a good book description don’t change. Who, what, when, where, why, and how, and why do I want to read/buy this book? We’ve had plenty of articles about this already. We have an article that specifically explains how to write a book description. We’ve had a post on the most common book description issues. The Evil Mastermind even felt the need to break down book description epic failures into categories.

I’ve put together a list of the questions I most commonly ask after reading a book description that has confused me to the point of needing Dramamine. Reading these questions won’t replace the lessons in the articles linked to above. But hopefully, they will help prevent you from achieving the Epic Fail categories. Continue reading “Book Description Basics”

Our Gift to You: Knowledge and Author Humor

snowflake holiday shopping timeHere at Indies Unlimited, we’ve been taking pride in supporting the indie author community for more than six years. We’ve won accolades and honors, and those are great – but that’s not why we do it. We do it to help others – to prevent them from being preyed upon by vanity presses, and to save newbie authors from struggling to figure out how to publish.

Everyone at IU – minions past and present – works for free. And not only do they work for free here on the blog, but many of them put themselves out there and give self-publishing seminars free of charge. This is, indeed, a wonderful community.

And speaking of free – yes, IU is free, but we do incur quite a lot of expenses each year maintaining this monstrosity of a superblog. If you want to help out, you can donate through PayPal, or you can simply click through on a Thrifty Thursday book (or a book in the sidebar) and then make some purchases on Amazon. Every little bit helps.

In the spirit of free – here’s a little something I put together this year to help authors. I hope you enjoy the video – and all of us here at IU hope you are never “that guy.”

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

How to Produce a Professional Book from BiblioBoard Library on Vimeo.

How to Link Book Editions on Amazon’s Author Central

Author Central LikefestIn case you’re not aware, Amazon’s Author Central is a FREE service. If you missed our very first tutorial on setting it up, see that HERE. If you haven’t already, read it. Do it. Then come right back here and I’ll show you how to merge your books. I heard that grumble. Yes, you need to merge your books. Here’s why. Continue reading “How to Link Book Editions on Amazon’s Author Central”

The Case for Legible Titles: Book Covers in Thumbnail

illegible titlesAs you are aware, the most common issue we see with books during the vetting process is an unclear or confusing book description. The second most common issue: unreadable titles on book covers in thumbnail size.

Who cares? Right? It’s just a tiny book cover. No one expects to read it in that size.

Um, wrong.

Just last week, our Lynne Cantwell wrote about the Marketing Rule of 7 – that it takes at least seven instances of someone seeing your book before they actually purchase it. Well – what if those seven instances are in thumbnail size? Do you think they will remember to purchase a book when they can’t read the title? Moreover, will they even notice it to begin with? Probably not. Don’t waste a chance to get in front of someone and make an impression.

Here at Indies Unlimited, thumbnails are generally 120×177 pixels, which on my laptop ends up being around 1.75 inches high by just under 1.25 wide. There is no specific industry standard for thumbnails, (on WordPress it’s 150×150) and the size varies from site to site. Then, add to it people viewing sites on their tablets and cell phones – and you can end up with some mighty small thumbnails. Can you read your title under those circumstances? You may want to check. Continue reading “The Case for Legible Titles: Book Covers in Thumbnail”