Listen to or download this article:
Number Two of Twelve Must-Do’s for Authors – Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Publishing
We discussed in Point Number One of Twelve — Pay Attention to Your Computer
Our second post (No. 2 of 12 – Part A) discussed developing the Big Picture for your marketing and promotion strategy. Ten Points to Consider and Implement were given.
If you have not completed the work for the Ten Points, I invite you to go do so now before proceeding.
Point One: Identify 10 best-selling author in your genre that you would like to ask for an author blurb?
Tips on How to Obtain a Notable Author’s Blurb for Your Book
First WHY should you do this?
There have been a number of studies done using A/B testing. These tests show that book descriptions that include book blurbs by Notable Authors receive at least a 30% higher click through rate on selling platforms. BookBub is one of the companies that conducted the A/B testing.
[Note: *I am using Notable Author in place of names of real notable authors and sometimes abbreviating to NA. ]
Task #1 Begin following and interacting with your selected Notable Authors in Social Media. Search for them in social media and then make a friend request, follow, LIKE, SHARE their posts.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, —wherever you can.
Schedule to interact in social media platform at least twice a month for each notable author on your list and M&P calendar (Marketing and Promotions Calendar).
If you have time, you start with two Notable Authors and keep adding to the list on a monthly basis.
Schedule these events on your calendar. Social media — twice a month, maybe three times if there is a major event such as a book release or an appearance. You don’t want to flood their comments with your stuff or appear “creepy.” But you do want to be on the notable author’s radar just enough to be recognized but not nagging or stalking. Or worse yet, not be like that super chatty person who corners you at a cocktail party.
Task#2 Purchase and read at least one book a year by the Notable Author. Then LEAVE a REVIEW on Amazon. The review can be short and sweet, but make sure that it is well worded and sincere. Showing off your writing prowess is a good thing. Make sure that the review can be traced back to you –-if it is positive. If it in not, then don’t post it and maybe reconsider your selection of Notable Authors. If you have a different name for reviews, then use that. But, then submit the review to the Notable Author using “contact info” on the Notable Author’s web-page with your writing/as name.
Interesting factoid: Amazon’s share of ALL new book unit purchases was 41% and 67% of the e-book market. Amazon controls 64% of printed books that are purchased online. Source: The Atlantic. Note: These percentages continue to increase from the time this article was published.
If the Notable Author has a back-list, then leave another review for another book in three months.
When you are ready to ask the Notable Author if you may send your ARC (advance reader’s copy) to her, hopefully, she will be familiar with you and your writing-as name (pen name). You may be able to ask for “the favor” in Messenger or Direct Message. Or at the very least complete the contact form on the Notable Author’s website for your request.
The reason to identify 10 Notable Authors? It is because you will have about a 20 percent (2 authors) chance of having a NA respond to you (as opposed to zero by not doing tasks). Of these 2 authors, you may only end up with one blurb from your original 10 authors selected. Everyone is busy and that is especially true in the publishing industry. There are always deadlines to be met.
Each year, determine which Notable Authors that you are going to continue trying to connect with. Then replace the ones that you have decided to move on from. But always work on connecting to NA’s long as you are serious about your writing career.
And start doing this way before you are ready to publish. You don’t want to put a time limit on the Notable Author to get you your cover quote. You can state the publication date and they can take if from there. A six-to-three month lead time should be just about right. And don’t worry about the manuscript being absolutely perfect. NA’s understand the publishing process. Just make sure that the work is a compelling read.
Cover Art –
Also, send along the cover art concepts. You have been working on that haven’t you.
Make sure that your cover is a winner! Something that will make your Notable Author proud to be associated with. The cover doesn’t have to be ready for print, but it should show that you are being careful and strategic in the design of it.
A compelling cover design will get you a YES more quickly. The NA understands how important cover art is to the success of any book.
Consistency, Persistence, and Sincerity
Please note that you can’t just do a review and a few social media posts to get the Notable Author’s attention. You will have to be consistent and persistent and sincere. That is why this needs to be on your To-Do M & P calendar. It will be very easy to just not do it this month. That, my dear aspiring author, is a slippery slope that is too easy to go down.
How do I know this strategy works? It because I have seen it in action.
I’ve been in the “faculty break rooms or green rooms” with many a Notable Author and have overheard or been told directly something to the effect of this:
“Can you imagine, this person thrusted a copy of his/her book into my hands and then asked me I would give her/him a blurb…? I don’t know this person from Adam or Eve. I’ve never seen the person on my social media. I don’t have time to read every book given to me me for an author blurb. And why bother anyway–the book has already been published….And just look at this cover…
The blurb attempt is SHOT DOWN with the copy of said book (probably) left in break room. The above scenario goes on far more often than one would think. #justsaying
But imagine, if the aspiring author could say to the Notable Author, “I find your Facebook posts so interesting. I’ve even shared a few of them. And your last book, (give the title –music to any author’s ears), was the best–especially the part about (fill in the blank). I left my review for it on Amazon (name the platform).”
Can you see how one might then be able to ask for permission to send the Notable Author an ARC or a digital file (many prefer digital PDFs)? IF not then, you could mention that you met at ??? and that you were so excited to meet one of your favorite authors.
It is just good manners. And make it easy for the Notable Author to get you the review/author blurb. And always send a thank you note (preferable hand written and in an email) before for taking the time (and a great gentle reminder) and after.
USES of the Notable Author Blurb
Then use the blurb!
- On the book cover
- in the front matter of the book’s interior
- on your website
- on shelf-talkers as a point-of-sale tool
- on book marks and promotional tools
- in the Editorial Reviews section of your Amazon page
- in your social media branding elements
- in your social media posts
- in your contests and giveaway promotions
- in your launch banners
Always be sure to tag the Notable Author whenever possible, every always giving credit to the author and the book that the Notable Author would like for you to promote. Or if the Notable Author is “royalty” in the publishing world there is no need to list a book title, but do list the “royalty” title. Notable Authors do book blurbs because it promotes their name and author brand.
“What a truly wonderful story! I’ve read it three times, and with each reading I find myself caring about the fabulous characters and their lives even more.”—P.J. Alderman, New York Times Bestselling Author of A Killing Tide
“J.D. Barker is a one-of-a-kind writer and that’s a rare and special thing. Stephen King comes to mind and Lee Child, John Sandford. All one-of-a-kinds. Don’t miss anything J.D. writes.”James Patterson, #1 International Bestselling Author
In conclusion – a Notable Author’s endorsement or blurb for your book will enhance your competence and credibility factors as well as gaining the attention of the Notable Author’s readers and fans. And may just enlarge your readership.
Sure it is a lot of work, but it will be worth the time when you are ready to launch your book.
And remember one day, you too will be a Notable Author. How will you decide whose books to blurb…probably the ones who have helped you generate that ethereal book buzz.
12 Must-Dos for Authors and Publishers for 2020! Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Publishing
My next post will continue with the 10 Steps be the next post will be Point Two. Identify any seasons or holidays that are associated with your titles — no matter how unknown (even better) or mundane.
Dear Chanticleerians, I have decide to write and publish this series in shorter blog-posts so I can get them out more quickly. This post is already more than 1,000 words and we have nine more points.
And I already posted one post today. I invite you to read the blog post that I wrote earlier today about the exciting Breaking News.
I will write and publish Point Two in then few days and then Point Three. Target Book Clubs – Online and Groups that Meet in Person after Sharon and I are attend the Pulpwood Queen Book Club — Annual meeting in Jefferson, Texas.
Thank you for reading our blog posts. I do hope that you find these Chanticleer’s Writer’s Toolbox Tips and Tools informative and helpful reminders.
As always, we would love to hear from you — especially if you suggestions about what to add to the blog posts.
Please check out our 2020 Chanticleer Authors Conference where we Unlock the Secrets of Successful Publishing