If you’re brave and take a look at your reviews from time to time, there may be some common themes that readers have picked out with your book. If you have a thick skin, sometimes this can be a benefit–readers can (and probably will) see things about your book that you didn’t realize yourself.
With All of Nothing, I knew Jax was a jerk, and I made him that way. An accident he was involved in damaged him beyond all comprehension. In the book he was cold and heartless because underneath the armor, that’s exactly what he wasn’t.
I had a lot of fun with his character arc, but some of the readers were put off by just how mean he really was.
So, when I rewrote the blurb, I knew I needed to make this clearer so his attitude and actions toward Raven weren’t such a shock.
Writing a blurb is difficult, and at the end of this blog post I’ll list a few resources you can look into that may help you on your own path to writing your blurbs.
This was the old blurb:
“I took a life, and when I did, he took mine.”
After his fiancée leaves him at the altar, cold-hearted millionaire Jaxon Brooks blackmails the church janitor, forcing her to stand in as his bride.
When she accidentally signs her real name on the marriage certificate, Jax must find his wife to file for divorce.
Since the death of her brother, Raven Grey has been living a hard life on the streets.
When Jax offers his help in exchange for her signature, Raven agrees, hoping for a better future and to repair her relationship with her parents.
As Jax and Raven grow closer, his past haunts them, and the death of her brother threatens their new love in ways neither of them thought possible.
I’ve linked to the podcast before, but the Best Page Forward podcast took it apart. Abigail Dunard made some good points, and so did Jim Heskett, and when I rewrote it, I tried to keep their thoughts in mind. I wrote the original blurb with tips from Bryan Cohen’s book, How To Write a Sizzling Synopsis, but I must not have done that great of a job. Anyone who teaches blurb-writing will tell you to measure how good a blurb is by the number of conversions to your ads, but if you don’t run ads, it’s difficult to measure if the blurb is working or not. (Plus, if you use that reasoning, it may be your cover that isn’t doing it when your blurb could be perfectly fine.)
Anyway, I also read Brian D. Meeks’ book about writing Amazon descriptions. He goes about it in a completely different way. It’s a very pared down approach, and does not resemble Bryan’s more book summary style at all. I decided to give that a try. And only time will tell if I hit the mark.
When writing the new blurb, I used Brian’s tips on copywriting, things I gleaned from the reviews, and tried to take out the confusing parts of the blurb the podcast hosts pointed out.
I ran it by a couple people who liked it, but until I start getting more reviews and more feedback, I still may not have made the right changes. The beauty of being an indie, though, is that you can make any kind of changes you want, nothing is locked in. Because I did do a cover update at the same time as rewriting the blurb, I went ahead and replaced the blurb on the back cover. But that isn’t always necessary, and if I tweak the blurb again, I’ll leave the paperback cover alone.
Jaxon Brooks is rich, sexy, and mean as a snake.
It’s no surprise when his fiancé leaves him at the altar. But now what is he going to do?
To save face, he blackmails the church janitor, forcing her to stand in for his bride, and he fights an unwanted attraction as she walks down the aisle.
Raven Grey is homeless.
Jax terrifies her, and left with no choice, she does what he says.
But she has desperate demands of her own. She needs help getting back on her feet, and Jax has the resources to help her.
When Jax moves Raven into his mansion, playing house starts to feel like the real thing. But how long can it last?
Buried under Jax’s rough demeanor is a horrible secret that won’t stay hidden, and Raven’s painful past will come back to haunt them. Despite everything, can Jax be the man that Raven needs him to be? Can Raven forgive him for what he’s done?
Can Jax come to terms with the tragedy that blackened his heart and give himself one last chance at true love?
If you like enemies to lovers or a bully hero, All of Nothing is perfect for you! Read it today!
The one huge departure from the other blurb is the call to action (CTA) at the end. I hate telling people what to do. I leave my kids alone, I didn’t run my ex-husband’s life, I don’t even like to give advice unless it’s asked for, and then I’m fully prepared for anyone not to take it. My back matter doesn’t ask readers to sign up for a newsletter, give a review, or read the next book. So putting that last sentence at the bottom really threw me, but Brian swears by it, and well, it’s way down at the bottom, so what did it hurt? (And I do realize I’m letting opportunity go by with no CTA in my back matter, at all, and I’ll try to think of something when my wedding series drops.)
Is it better? Is it worse? I have no idea.
That is part two in what I did to revamp All of Nothing. I’ve been getting good feedback so far on the cover, and I’ve been kind of messing around with Wherever He Goes. But I don’t want to get so caught up in busy work that I’m not working on my current books. I’m still on track to put this quartet out by the holidays, and I’m going to keep my eyes on that prize.
In the next blog post, I’ll go over metadata and keywords!
Thanks for reading!
Need help with blurbs?
Listen to Libby Hawker’s tips on YouTube. Her videos are cut into parts, just to let you know, and this link starts with part one. This was quite some time ago, and trends change, but sometimes if you can piecemeal advice from different sources, you can turn that advice into something relevant today.
Bryan Cohen and Chris Fox did a presentation about Blurb, Cover, and Title at the 20books Vegas conferences last November. This is such a great resource, and one of the conferences that I plan to go to! Take a listen to this video on how blurbs, titles, and covers work together to sell your book.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any blurb writing tips!