How to Write a Book Cover Blurb


You've finally finished your hours of researching, writing, and editing! You've sent in your manuscript and your publisher asks for a book description... That shouldn't be hard, right? All you have to to do is condense everything you know about your book into 250 words or less that convince readers they can't live without your book without actually giving away any spoilers. 

Writing a book blurb for your back cover and other promotional uses is one of the hardest steps for many authors. Even good writers can write bad book blurbs. To help prevent you from falling into this unfortunate group, we've put together a few tips that should help you write a winning book blurb, whether it's for the latest fantasy novel or for a non-fiction self-help guide.

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How to Choose a Winning Book Title

Book-NoTitleFor many authors, choosing a title for their book is much like choosing a name for their child. A book's title is usually for life, and you want to be sure it's "just right." After all, as much as we say "Don't judge a book by it's cover," everybody does. The title sets the tone for the first and subsequent impressions.

So unless you want to wind up on this list of the 15 Most Ridiculous Book Titles, you'll want to invest some serious time and effort in naming your book.

So how do you choose the right title for your book?

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How to Make a Good Book Trailer

ReelCountdown02There's no doubt about it. People online are reading less and watching more. The internet has gone visual.

What does that mean for you as an author? To grow attention for your book, full of wonderfully written words, you need a visual way to promote it. Enter the book trailer.

Book trailers are one of the latest ways authors and publishers are using to promote upcoming books. Like their cousin, the movie trailer, book trailers are short commercials for a book.

At Light Messages, we just completed this heart-thumping trailer for the debut novel from one of our newest authors: Five Days of Fear, a crime novel with a touch of faith by David Kovach.

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Do You Need to Include a Table of Contents or Index?

TOC-IndexOne of the questions our authors frequently ask us is whether or not they need a table of contents, and index, both, or neither.

This is a big question because while it doesn't mean much to the author's main content, it can mean a lot to the reader. So here's our quick and dirty guide to deciding whether or not you need a table of contents or an index.

Do you need a Table of Contents?

Is your book fiction or non-fiction?

All non-fiction books should have a table of contents to guide the reader. This is especially true of reference books and how-to guides.

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Interview with Irina Lopatina-Author of White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors

IrinaLopatinaIrina Lopatina is the author of the forthcoming book, White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors, set for release July 2012 by Light Messages Publishing. She also recently published Tales From The Frog Forest, a collection of children's stories about three unlikely playmates who learn to get along through hopping, flying, and running.

Irina lives in Siberia, Russia, near the ancient Altai mountains, a setting she says provides perfect inspiration for fantasy stories. We recently interviewed her about her writing and the source of her deeply creative stories. Join us as she discusses why she writes, how she finds her characters, and offers some advice for young authors.

Please note: Irina speaks and writes only in Russian. Her answers here were translated by Dmitry Lopatin, the translator of White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors and Tales From The Frog Forest.

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Choosing the Write Font For Your Book

bookinsideHow a book reads is an important detail that can be easily overlooked in the publishing process. But if your book's text isn't attractive and easy to read, then readers will be turned off before they even get into your message or story.

Too much text, small margins, and cramped lines are a few of the mistakes that are easy to make while laying out a book. But one of the most important, and subtle, details to creating a readable book is the font used for the body of the work.

When it comes to typesetting a book, you have many more choices in fonts than Times New Roman or Arial. Even better, choosing the right font for your book doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg––in fact, it doesn't have to cost you anything. We're sharing with you our favorite fonts for book copy. Some of our choices are available free from online font sites and others come standard on most computers.

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Choosing the Right Size For Your Book

When it comes to publishing a book, there are many details that authors often don't think of until the time comes to make a decision. The size of the book is one such detail. For example, you might think you want a "small" book, but what exactly does that mean? There are a number of book sizes that could be considered "small." Or what exactly is "workbook size"?

Choosing the right size for your book comes down to several key issues, the biggest of which is your book's purpose. Is this a work of fiction, a trade book, a design book, a cookbook, or a textbook? Do you have a collection of poems you're seeking to publish? Certain sizes are better suited to certain types of books.

Another issue to consider is your book's look and feel. How thick is your book? Do you want a slightly smaller size to beef it up, or are you looking to thin it out? Are you wanting a hardcover or softcover edition? If you're going hardcover, do you want a cloth cover or laminate? What about a dust jacket?

Choosing a slightly custom size to your book helps it stand out on a shelf and gives it a special edge in the design. So if 5.5" x 8.5" is a standard half-sheet size, you might want to consider going 5" x 8" for something a little different; or perhaps you want to jump to 6" x 9".

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The Virtue of Blog Tours - Interview with TLC Book Tours

BooksFlyVirtual Book Tours, also known as blog tours, are an excellent way for authors to promote themselves and their books.

  • – Blog tours seem to use all the advantages of social media, plus the "tour stops" are recorded on the blogs and last far beyond the event date, so there's some real staying power involved.
  • – Good tour hosts are kind to the authors and their books, but they are also honest, so readers know they can trust the blog host. That lends credibility to the tour stop and the reviews.
  • – The biggest quandary for the modern author is deciding which is the biggest perk: how budget-friendly viritual book tours are or the fact that you can do them in your bathrobe and slippers.

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How Do You Know You Are Ready To Publish?

Ready-set-goSometimes, knowing when you're ready to publish is as hard as writing the manuscript. There are always final edits, and you could have a thousand final drafts. (FinalDraft.doc, ReallyFinalDraft.doc, ReallyReallyFinalDraft.doc, OkThisOneIsItFinalDraft.doc.) Sound familiar? Around here, it's our writers' favorite tune.

It's ok. We get it.

You've poured so much energy and love into your work and now you have to ship it off to a printer and send it out into the cold, cold world. You want to do everything you can to ensure its success.

Or, perhaps you're so sick of the darned thing you just want to be done with it. You're tempted to send it in. No. Matter. What.

So how do you know if you're truly ready to publish?

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What to Put on Your Author Website

websiteEvery author needs a webpage, and yet as gifted as authors are with words, they often find it remarkably difficult to decide what to include on their website. If you find yourself in this group, don't despair. You are most definitely not alone. And we are here to help.

Your website can be as fancy or as simple as you want it to be. But there are a few things that every good author website will have:

A substantial author bio.

Talk about your career as a writer. Do you have a "day" job? Talk about that and how it influences your work. Include some personal details as you feel comfortable, such as family, your hometown, and hobbies. Have certain authors or books influenced your path as a writer? Give them a shout out, too. The point of the author bio is to make you appear approachable. You want readers to connect with you as a person. And remember, you want your bio to be easily quotable, so write it in the third person. It's not as weird as referring to yourself in the third person at the neighborhood cocktail party. We promise.

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