The Road to Self Publishing- The Hardest Writing


So, I’ve sent off copies of my work to beta-readers (in multiple formats, need to be accommodating to the people who are helping me). So, now it’s time to sit around, twiddling my thumbs (or doing my day job) and wait for them to send it back, right? Ha. Ha. No. Remember that list from the last article? If not, go back and refresh your memory. As you can see, there’s no shortage of things that need to be done, and some (many?) can be done as you’re waiting for beta-reading to be done. Today, we’re going to look at a small piece of the marketing puzzle- the back of the book blurb.

For those who aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about, the back of the book blurb is that piece of writing on the back of the book (or inside the dust-jacket) that tells the reader a little bit about it while enticing them to actually open it up and read it.

Wait a minute? The title of this one is The Hardest Writing. What’s so hard about writing the little description on the back? Quick: come up with a 250 word summary of your book that doesn’t give away any spoilers, but still manages to communicate what the thing is about in a way that makes it seem like it would be a fun read.

Not so easy, right?

So, what advice do I have for someone struggling with this? I’m going to do something that I haven’t done in this series so far, admit I have no idea. I have no tips or tricks for writing a good back of the book blurb. What I will say is; read them. Just like you first learned to write from reading books, read as many of these little snippets as you can. Read from your favorite authors. Read from authors you absolutely hate. Read from the top sellers in every genre. Just as importantly, read from the ones who barely sold anything. Were the bad sales due to a bad book, or maybe due to a bad blurb? The pieces matter and the ones who failed can tell you as much as the ones who succeeded. You’ll see what I’ve come up with below, and we can decide if I’ve succeeded or failed.

Maybe, after all that work, you still think your blurb isn’t that good. If that’s the case, it might be time to consider taking out a blurb writing services. Yes, they do exist, but unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with them, so I’ll hold my tongue. I may do another post about them, if I end up using one at a later date. But, if you feel like your sales skills aren’t up to par, you’ll definitely want to bite the bullet and spend a little money on this area. It is definitely one place you don’t want lacking.

Alright, above I told you I’d show you the blurb I’ve come up with. A little aside: this blurb is for a horror book, so, keep that in mind. Now, without further ado:


So, what do you think? Does it make you want to read this book? Maybe make you a little uneasy? If not, what does it make you feel?

What’s you’re blurb look like? If you want, go ahead and post it in the comments, and we can all decide whether it’s ready. We can all be in it together.

And, as always, check out the master post for the other stages in this series.


The Road to Self Publishing- The Afterdraft


As always, if this is the first Road to Self Publishing post you’ve read, check out the master post here. It’ll take you through the whole series.

So, you’ve written and re-written your book several times now. You’ve gone over it with a fine-toothed comb. It’s as close to perfect as you can make it. The works over, right? No. Like every other blogger who’s gone through the self-publishing gauntlet, I’ve discovered that there is so much to do after I’ve hit my final draft. The things I have left, in no particular order are:

  • Have my final draft beta-read
  • Have at least one copy edit done
  • Get my cover up to par (more on that in a later post)
  • Choose publishing packages/vendors
  • Figure out how to market this thing

Continue reading

The Sacred Character

So, I was reading an excellent thread on Twitter about fandom’s tendency to over-analyze works, and it got me thinking about how people think about characters as real people who just happen to be in fictional books. The thread I’m talking about is below, give it a read, it’s good. Or, go directly to the thread here.

Continue reading


The Office Copy Machine

The elevator dings and the doors open. I get in and press 8, top floor of our little office building. Only a few weeks on the job and I’ve already learned that the place isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s the regional headquarters for a big tech company, though I’d rather not say which. Sounds pretty good, right? Turns out, our office exists mainly for tax purposes, so we aren’t what you would call “important” to the mothership. They bought an office building and staffed us. We have actual work to do, sure, but it’s mostly the boring busywork that the “thinkers” at the mothership don’t want to do. It’s boring, but it’s a job, and it doesn’t pay too bad either. Continue reading


The Road to Self Publishing- What’s a Revision Anyway?


I haven’t done one of these in awhile, (WordPress says two years? Yikes.) but it’s time for the next installment of The Road to Self Publishing, the series where I pretend to know what I’m talking about while going on my own journey to being a (hopefully selling) self-published author. If you haven’t read the previous entry, First Draft Done, Now What?, you can find it here, or you can find the master post here. As I said before, the master post will contain links to all other Road to Self Publishing posts, so if you’re not reading this one close to the post date, I’d check out that one.

Continue reading


December One


It’s December! You know what that means? That’s right, it means:

The end of NaNoWriMo!

I’m proud to announce that I won it this year. How about you? Did you win? If not, how many words did you get?

Or maybe you didn’t participate in NaNoWriMo, so the beginning of December just means the dreaded holiday season. In that case, happy holidays!

With NaNo being over, I’ve now got more time to post here, so expect something within the next few days. Well, that’s all for today. See you on the next thing I post, and, whether you do NaNo or not, keep writing.



Forgive me, this one’s a bit late, but welcome everybody to NaNoWriMo! If you’re doing it, how’s it going? Are you ahead? Behind? Exactly where you need to be? Well, I seem to be doing pretty well, but I haven’t done one of the things that makes it feel real to me yet, so, I’d like to introduce my project for this year’s NaNoWriMo: ASH


It’s actually a rework of a previous NaNo project that has been sitting ever since. This year, I’ve decided to use NaNoWriMo as a sort-of revision pass for this book, since there are enough problems in the first draft to necessitate a full rewrite anyway. I think I’ll use this as a Road to Self Publishing post after NaNo is done, provided that this turns out to be a success.

But, while we’re here, does anyone want to share their NaNo project? Or maybe just add me as a buddy? You can find me here or drop something in the comments.