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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blurb Tips: Less than 127WC for Amazon and 73WC for B&N for Best Visibility

Last month I took an online class on creating blurbs (more data below). It was so much fun. So today I reworked my original blurb for my debut novel, Good Ole Boys. That's when I found out what length (via word count) works best for each site so that the browsing shopper doesn't have to click on the Expand link to see it all.


For Amazon, stay under 159WC if you are using long paragraphs. My revised blurb was only 127WC but I had a lot of short paragraphs, with my last three being only one sentence each.

In that format, all of my blurb was not visible from the get-go. The "visible" portion faded away at my tagline, which was the last sentence of my actual blurb before I went into some stats (rating, pages, chapters, WC, etc.).

So even though my new description was already online, my Bookshelf still reflected Good Ole Boys as "publishing" which stopped me from making further edits. In about six hours, I was able to combine my last three paragraphs (those one-sentence-each kind) in an attempt to position all of my blurb for reading in toto without further effort by the potential reader.

This second revision of the day is now reflected online and worked just perfectly. All is visible.


For Barnes & Noble, my original blurb had 73WC visible before it was cut off, forcing anybody who wanted to read more to click a link to see the rest. Even using my 127WC blurb as I did within Amazon, the B&N blurb window cut it off at a perfect spot. So I left it. It should entice customers with or without hitting the link to see more.


I had a different blurb altogether for Kobo and it is at 72WC (all word counts per Microsoft Word) and fits nicely in their description area, so I don't know what the top limit is for them.


I have yet to revise my debut novel's blurb at Smashwords, but they offer a short and long description, allowing 400 characters (not word count here) for the short and a max of 4,000 characters for the long version.


During August, I took an online class on writing blurbs from Laurie Schnebly Campbell, author of romance novels and also a nonfiction book entitled Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams. Here's the book link at Amazon and from there you can find her contact info on her Author Page:


I've taken about five of her classes and have enjoyed them all. This one was the easiest by far. All of us participating created anywhere from three to six blurbs for their selected book. Two times we reviewed them all, shared our favorites among everyone's submissions and explained why. It was great to see what others liked, plus what I liked and didn't like, so I can incorporate all that info in new, improved blurbs for my own offerings.

Laurie's day job is working at an ad agency, plus she's a novelist in her own right, so she's got experience from both sides.

And for me, as an Indie author with no budget at present for anything, my attention focuses on what I can do myself: writing a good story, editing same (I'm a freelance copy editor), getting a cover I love (I search for free domain pictures with no royalties), working up a catchy tagline to add to the cover and then hitting the mark with a great blurb that entices readers to further check out my books.

That's my current marketing plan in a nutshell.

Hopefully Laurie will be giving the class again for any of you who are interested in taking it.


Plus, another online group I'm a member of is Marketing for Romance Writers. MFRW will be hosting a free blurb online seminar on September 15. I'm looking forward to that two-hour presentation as well since it will be given by editors of The Wild Rose Press. A third viewpoint to add to Laurie's double-pronged knowledge.

Here's the MFRW post regarding this upcoming event:

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How to write a blurb for your book that will attract readers, agents, and publishers. Polish your blurb or craft a new one at this two-hour workshop featuring lessons, how-tos, and advice from editors at The Wild Rose Press.

Class will be held on the Marketing for Romance Writers Yahoo Group.
Date: Saturday September 15th
Time: to be announced.
No need to sign up -- all members are able to attend. Simply read the messages and reply if you have questions.

Tweet this:
#MFRW Blurb Workshop 9/15/12 http://is.gd/mfrwgroup Free class for #authors @WildRosePress @MFRW_ORG

Please TRIM this post if you reply to it.

Kayelle Allen
Unstoppable heroes, Uncompromising love, Unforgettable passion

  ~  https://twitter.com/kayelleallen  ~  https://www.facebook.com/kayelle.allen

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I'll be there. In the meantime, have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend, everyone. As for me, I'll be working! But my career is so much fun, it's hard to label what I do as "work."

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

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