Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Talking About Sales Blurbs

Last Night’s Post Got Me Some Private Letters…

All good ones, all asking about sales blurbs and why they are so bad from New York publishers, for the most part. And got a few comments on the blog as well on the same topic. I thought a couple of the other shots-in-the-foot would get more attention and feedback, but nope, all sales blurbs.

No one mentioned that one at all the first time I posted that in 2011. Things have changed I guess.

And do read the couple comments on last night’s blog. I gave a few quick lessons.

The reason sales blurbs are so bad on most books from traditional publishing is how they are written and who writes them.

Editor reads the book, goes and pitches it to Publisher and Sales Force, gets to buy it after some time. Months and months go by with all the contract stuff. Then one day the editor realizes she has a meeting with the sales force in thirty minutes and has to have a blurb.

So from a book she read months and months before, in a hurry, she writes a sales blurb from what she can remember about the plot and a few notes she has. And that blurb ends up on the books. No one else in the house even reads the book normally.

Only the top bestsellers, the very top, actually have someone from sales read the book and write the blurb. And often that is a kid, newly hired, stuck with the job.

Yeah, traditional publishing really returns high quality for your selling them all your IP rights for the lifetime of the copyright. Snort.

How do I know this? Well, watched the process numbers of times when I was in and out of New York so much. Those of us who understood the value of blurbs and sales copy (because at one time I was a publisher of a company) started sending in blurbs with books. Other top writers I know do the same thing all the time.

My blurbs I sent with books were almost always the ones published on the books.

I do not know for sure, but I would wager anything that both Cussler and Patterson write their own blurbs as well, since both were originally in advertising.

Every two months we teach an entire six week online course on Fiction Sales Copy. There are many forms of sales copy and we get you out of your bad habits and learning the form that is right for the story you are blurbing. One or two people take it every few months.

To me, coming into indie and have sales copy be so important to sales, I thought it would be our most popular course. But nope. Indie writers are convinced they know how to write sales copy. What could be so hard? Right?

And you can speak a new language without studying as well. What could be so hard? Right?

So anyhow, for fun, I am going to put here a classic video from Youtube called Five Guys in a Limo. Watch it all the way to the end past the first credit with the driver cleaning out the car to get the full message. (grin)

Why aren’t your blurbs structured like this?


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January Workshops Now Open On Teachable

You can sign up directly on Teachable now. Or write me and have me put you on the list for the workshops. Full list of workshops and descriptions here.

Those of you with credits from either the Kickstarter or the certificate special we offered, you must write me to sign up.

Those who would just like to sign up directly can do so on Teachable at any point.

Class #1… Jan 2nd … Depth #3: Research
Class #2… Jan 2nd … Author Voice
Class #3… Jan 2nd … Business
Class #4… Jan 2nd … Writing into the Dark
Class #5… Jan 2nd … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #6… Jan 2nd … Think Like a Publisher
Class #7… Jan 3nd … Depth in Writing
Class #8… Jan 3nd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #9… Jan 3nd … (Empty spot)
Class #10… Jan 3nd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #11… Jan 3nd … Novel Structure
Class #12… Jan 3nd … Writing Fantasye

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  • Rebecca M. Senese

    I loved the Fiction Sales Copy workshop! I regularly go back through my notes when I need to write up a blurb. Lots of great information. Highly recommended if you want to punch up your sales copy. I especially like having options for writing a blurb. If one way doesn’t work, I have several other ways to choose from.

  • Mark Kuhn

    Dean, I think I must have read your response to my post last night about a hundred times. What you did with my lame sentence was like watching a great card man pull off an impossible card trick. And when I’m done with the story I’m writing now, I’m going to let creative voice kick the tires and light the fires with it. A great way to begin a new year with a commitment to writing more.