As you know, we’re already 3 days into the challenge that Fiverr issued Sarah and I to publish a book in 90 days. If you haven’t watched Episode 1, there it is 👆👆👆 In this episode, we’ll be delving into hiring a book cover designer and also keywords and book description!
So, here’s the plan…
After appealing to my subscriber base and sifting through applications, I stumbled upon paranormal cozy mystery author and proud homeschooling mom of two, Sarah Hualde.
She’s published 13 books over the past 5 years. Sarah admits that she’s had trouble getting any traction in her author business.
“Right now, it’s battling with my parents’ and in-laws’ health stuff and watching my husband just kind of get eaten away by his job. With my book stuff, I feel like it’s sucking my energy and the time I could give them into things that aren’t producing anything for us.”
Sarah is getting ready to launch the sixth book in one of her two mystery series. It’s ready! She’s revised it. She’s going to send it out to her beta readers, which she hired through Fiverr. Then she’ll fix anything they find and send it to a proofreader after that.
That’s her normal procedure. What Sarah doesn’t realize is we have some things in store for her, and she is SO FUN to surprise!
Do or Die
What makes this a do or die mission is that the series isn’t faring as well as her other one.
The difference is her book covers.
Let’s take a look:
Sarah’s Christian mystery and suspense series has vibrant book covers that were clearly done by a professional.
However, her current paranormal cozy mystery series has a visual disconnect. The covers look exactly how other covers in the genre look, but there’s just something missing.
It’s just missing something, so we’re overhauling the entire series courtesy of the fine folks over at Fiverr!
Sure, they are the main sponsors of Book Rescue, but they also have some of the most affordable, high-quality cover designs services you can get!
OliviaProDesign has done all the book covers for Book Rescue so far. I’m going to drop her a line and make sure she’s game for 6 covers. We’ll need the eBook, paperback, and audiobook.
If she isn’t available, we’ll dip into the other fantastic cover designers from our vetted list.
In the meantime…we’re covering a little more ground than just hiring a book cover designer…
We’ve got to get to work on Sarah’s metadata. Her keywords and book description have to be showroom ready because if no one can find her book, nothing else we do will matter.
If no one is finding your book, your keywords need work. If your keywords are doing their job, but your book description isn’t doing the heavy lifting, all hope is lost.
We fill those 7 keywords slots on KDP to the brim with relevant longtail keywords. I recommend Publisher Rocket for this, but if you don’t want to spend the $97 on the software, you can hire my assistant to do it for you for probably about half that price.
We’ll grab the latest relevant keywords with Publisher Rocket and when we update the titles, it will have a ripple effect across the brand.
Whenever you aren’t seeing significant sales after 3 months to 1 year, update your 7 keywords.
Enter Brian Meeks!
The next step was for Sarah to sit down with Brian Meeks. Brian is my go-to book description expert, and he’s been an integral part of every Book Rescue.
Sarah’s books need descriptions that will compel potential readers to make a decision to buy them!
Brian’s going to be using the same template he already shared with us. You can grab it here. It won’t cost you a dime…just an email address.
Brian’s template draws readers to the top of the description and gets them to click or tap that Read more and check out the whole description. Hopefully, by the end, they buy the book!
Brian: Your reader distribution is 97% female and 3% male. That sounds accurate to me for this genre. One thing that I tell writers when they’re doing their own descriptions and there’s a disparity in gender, you want to pick the one whose gender matched with the person who’s going to be reading the description.
We are hoping to connect with them. Typically, they have better results if we start with the same gender and then we can put a guy in later.
Our hero is Penny Nichols. She’s an 18-year-old girl with the gift of seeing death omens. She has to travel from town to town to not grow attached to anyone, thus making them a target for her omens.
Knowing friendship with her could spell doom, Penny skirts the edged of real life but is drawn into a relationship with a podcaster of the paranormal and his assistant.
The omen of death, the raven, is one jump ahead of Penny Nichols, watching and waiting. He flutters into town just in time to ruin the closest of Penny’s acquaintances and friends, and taunts her with musical clues. The raven sets Penny on the trail of killers before they have a chance to strike.
The hook: the goal of the first line is to get a person to read the second line.
“As the music played…”
I always imagine it like a movie trailer.
“As the music played…
She knew one thing.
Somebody was marked for death.”
The idea is that nobody is going to stop reading your description after the first line because the ellipsis is too powerful. Everyone will be curious enough to go to the next line.
Because they are short, people lose interest immediately when they open up a description and the first thing they see is a wall-to-wall, single block of text.
They don’t want to commit. They move on.
This will get them to click Read more. We want as little as possible above the fold because we’re just trying to pique their interest.
This isn’t selling the book. This is selling the idea of reading the description.
What do you think?
Sarah: I really like it. You’ve captured it and I can feel like the rhythmic beat of each sentence.
Brian: That’s by design. The difference between copywriting and prose is that sometimes you can even have a run-on sentence that is beautiful. It’s a different melody. It’s a different feel.
With copywriting, you want it to keep the reader moving from top to bottom. It’s almost like writing a mystery. You’re just dropping little clues as you go along.
Most authors and even traditional publishers, their descriptions are often giant blocks of text that attempt to give a synopsis of the story.
The reason a synopsis is bad is the goal is to create mystery to make someone want to read the book. The goal isn’t to spoil the book, so there’s no need to buy it. You hint at what might happen. Don’t tell them what will happen!
Sarah Has Homework and a Surprise!
Well, obviously, she’s going to be writing book descriptions. She’s got Brian’s template and I’m sure she will make short work of this task.
Now for the surprise!
I reached out to a friend of mine named Jeanne De Vita. You’d know her better as Callie Chase. She is one of the top 20 Kindle Vella authors right now. I’ve mentioned her on my channel a couple of times:
She’s also an editor for many traditional publishers and indie authors and a writing instructor at UCLA. She is a second generation author, and she’s going to edit Sarah’s manuscript…on the house!
Sarah will get the full treatment, including a consult.
I found some time to reflect on our progress so far and we’re on a roll and definitely on track to launch a book in 90 days. I don’t want to get too cocky. Things can and will go wrong. It’s self-publishing! You know how this is. Murphy’s law is completely embedded in it!
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