Marketing for Authors
Writing Book Specific Copy
© Dawn Carrington
Writers can write their story, but ask them to sum
up their story, and it’s not so easy. Sometimes, they can give you a basic blurb, but it’s nothing that will
catch the attention of readers in today’s competitive market. That’s why most publishing companies have someone
who knows how to write magnetic copy designed to make a reader have to have that book.
Smaller publishing companies, however, may not have
the luxury of hiring an in-house marketing specialist, and that’s where you can help. First, though, you need to
know how to write it yourself. And it has to really sparkle if you’re going to sell your talents to a company
that’s budget is already stretched to the limit.
To train yourself to write book cover copy, you
need to be familiar with the market. Go to the nearest bookstore and spend some time reading the back covers of
books. Don’t just focus on one genre. Venture into horror, sci-fi, mystery, and romance. Really read and pay
attention to the words the marketing department has used. Jot down some notes. Ask yourself questions such as:
how would I have written this differently? Do the words the writer used evoke imagery? Is my attention
You won’t always have the option to read the book
for which you’re writing the copy, but usually, you’ll receive a generalized blurb from the author. Your job
will be to take the copy and mold it into a work of art. So practice, practice, practice.
Pull a couple of books off your shelf at home and
practice changing the copy into something uniquely yours. You’ll need to build your writing chops if you’re
going to convince a small publisher they need you. So take the back cover copy of some of your favorite books
and rewrite write it. Ask some of your respected colleagues in your network to read the copy and see if it holds
Now, you want to build up your resume. Approach
some self-published authors and offer to write or improve the back cover copy for their next book. Tell them
you’re just getting started doing this, and you’re willing to prepare a couple of drafts for them at no
As you’re writing the words that can help boost
your career, remember to reach for the emotions, make the readers sense the world they’re about to enter. Avoid
the overused phrases and seek out the unusual.
Breaking into this type of copywriting is
challenging so make sure you’re up to the task. If what you’ve written bores you or your colleagues, it’s not
going to help you get your foot in the door at a publishing company. So refine, rework, and re-read before
approaching any publishers.
This is an untapped market that can open the door
to many more possibilities, but in your desire to get started, don’t rush. Presenting a polished resume with a
lengthy work history is paramount to nabbing those jobs.
You’ll know when you’re ready, and we’ll cover the
method in which to approach those publishers soon. In the meantime, keep practicing!
About the author: Dawn Carrington is the editor-in-chief for Vintage Reflections
Publishing. A multi-published author of fantasy and suspense novels, she frequently writes for magazines such as
The Writer’s Journal, The Writer, and The Independent.
To learn more about Dawn or Vintage Romance Publishing, please visit www.dawnrachel.com or www.vrpublishing.com.