Self Publishing

  • How to Write A Winning Book Blurb

    Your book blurb is one of the most important components of a successful book launch because it’s essentially your sales pitch.

    Once you’ve persuaded a potential reader to click on your book’s link, your blurb will be the driving force behind whether they ultimately decide to purchase or not.

    Fact: Your book blurb is just as important as your book cover and title.

    With thousands of books published every day, you need to capture attention quickly and make sure they have enough information within a few seconds to want to buy your book.

    Here are a few tips for crafting killer blurbs that will capture attention and sell more books.

    Keep it short and direct
    Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you want to keep your blurb short and punchy so that readers can scan it in a matter of seconds.

    One of the biggest mistakes that I see authors make is creating lengthy blurbs that feature chunks of endless text.

    No one is going to read that because most people scan pages of content! So, break your blurb down into short 2-3 line sentences and use spacing.

    Study Successful Blurbs
    There’s often a formula to a well-written blurb, and so the best way to come up with a killer one of your own is to study those that have proven to sell!

    Spend some time reading the blurbs from the top 10-20 books in your genre. Take notes. Pay close attention to the format and structure. Write down power words that caught your attention.

    Benefits Come First
    For nonfiction authors, you should take advantage of bullet points that will highlight the benefits of purchasing your book. Focus on digestible content, broken down into snippets that outline the most valuable information.

    For fiction authors, you should always include genre-specific action words.

    Keep the text moving with action and energy, and start with a strong headline that summarizes the type of story you’re selling. Your sentences need to be pointed and engaging, and you should always introduce your main characters by name. Just don’t give too much away!

    Start with describing the tone of your book, identify the conflict and promise a twist.

    Tip: Write your fiction book blurb in the style of the actual book. If your story was written in first-person POV, your blurb should also be written in first person.

    Use Powerful Headlines
    Whether you’re a nonfiction or fiction author, you should always start the blurb with a powerful headline.

    Start with your most significant benefit, or in the case of fiction, a shocking or engaging sentence that will appeal to readers in that genre.

    Using boldface text throughout your blurb will help your text stand out. Just be sure not to overdo it. Bold only important words or parts that you want to emphasize; otherwise, it’ll lose its effectiveness.

    When writing fiction, I tend to use headlines that immediately introduce my character to the reader.

    Meet Angela Parker: Time traveler, skilled in magic, kick-ass witch on a mission.

    Or, I start with a headline that identifies the genre with a brief character description:

    Two gorgeous dragons and one woman who gave up on love a long time ago…

    Take Advantage of Amazon’s Code
    Many authors don’t realize it, but you can use HTML code to make your blurb instantly stand out. This includes bold, italics, underlining, strikethrough, and more.

    Note: You’ll have to do this from within your KDP account as it won’t work when editing your book blurb from within Author Central.

    Here’s a link to the complete list of available HTML elements:

    I don’t use all the HTML elements as not to bog down my content. Using too much of it will also lose its effectiveness.

    The ones I tend to use the most include:

    <b> text goes here </b> – This will bold all text within the open and closed brackets.

    <i> text goes here </i> – This italicizes all text within the open and closed brackets.

    <h1> text goes here </h1> – This is what I use to make my headlines bold.

    Regardless of what genre you write in, your blurb needs to hook readers instantly and stand out in a crowded market.

    Fiction Writers
    Writing a blurb for a fiction book is often a lot harder than nonfiction because you need to get readers excited about your story without giving too much away.

    For many, they go too deep into the story, describing the beginning, middle, and end.

    Why would readers bother to buy the book when they’re given a complete outline?

    That certainly doesn’t get people excited or curious, right?

    What I do:
    One exercise that’s helped me write strong, concise blurbs without getting too wordy is to set a 30-second timer.

    Once it starts, I describe my story in as few words as possible while focusing on the most exciting, energetic, and captivating sentences that I think readers would care most about.

    By limiting yourself to only 30 seconds or less, you’ll learn to toss out ideas and sentences that do little to invoke curiosity or excitement. Instead, you’ll focus on creating the most powerful pitch possible.

    Always lead with a hook and keep them glued to the page.

    Nonfiction Writers
    Lead with the greatest benefit. Include a powerful headline, break down content into digestible, short sentences and use bullet points to highlight important information.

    If possible, include a bio, quotes from well-known authors, reviews, and any other social proof you have available.

    Your job is to reassure potential readers that your book offers tremendous value and that you are providing a solution to a problem they’re having.

    In nonfiction, credibility is everything, so if you have case studies or research to back up the content of your book, consider mentioning it in your blurb. You could also include an author byline that showcases any awards you’ve received, such as the title of a bestseller.

    Just be careful not to get carried away with an overly lengthy blurb. Again, keep your blurb copy concise and direct.

    Cut out the hype, use everyday words that your reader will understand, and do your best to connect to your audience on a personal level by using copy that addresses their concerns, acknowledges their most burning questions, and promises to deliver a solution.

    End with a Cliffhanger
    Your blurb’s objective is to get readers excited about your book and leave them with unanswered questions.

    If you write fiction, consider ending your blurb with a question or put your character in peril so that readers are curious to see how they get themselves out of a sticky situation.

    Here’s an example of one of my cliffhanger blurbs:

    I’m a skilled mage with an arsenal of magic at my disposal. I sure as hell don’t need some cocky, arrogant dragon shifter protecting me, even if he is drop-dead gorgeous.

    But what if I’m wrong?

    A murderous Warlock is on the rampage, and he won’t give up. The road to survival is marked with betrayal and deceit, some by the people I love the most.

    If I want to survive, I must put my life in the hands of a cursed shifter—that is, if I make it through the night.

    The blurb above ends on a note of danger. The goal is to keep readers on the edge of their seats and invoke curiosity about the story and fear for the character.

    Here’s another example:

    Hannah is no stranger to danger, nor is she afraid to roll up her sleeves and let her magic fly. Battling warlocks, goblins, and vampires is nothing new, but when she returns home, all hell breaks loose. Literally.

    And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

    What once made Hannah special has now made her a target, and she’s about to walk right into their trap.

    And yet another that ends with a question:

    Will Gabriel be successful in his attempt to rescue Senna from danger? And if they make a run for it, will they be able to survive in a world of ruthless aliens and shifters who will stop at nothing to destroy them?

    Inject genre-based keywords
    Keywords help readers find your books, so it’s important to use them in as many places as possible, including your book title, subtitle, series name, and of course, your blurb!

    Here’s a keyword centric blurb for an urban fantasy fiction book:

    Accidental Magic is the gripping first story in the Magic & Mayhem Series. If you enjoy stories filled with enchanting creatures, otherworldly monsters, inhuman allies, and a dash of romance in a fantasy setting, this is the series for you.

    You want to use words that cater to your audience and are genre-specific.

    For paranormal romance, you might use shapeshifters or Alpha. In nonfiction, a book based on finding a work-from-home job might include telecommuting, financial freedom, work in your PJ’s, etc.

    Hyperbole Works
    Words such as “Unbelievable,” “Incredible,” “Amazing,” and “Astonishing” are influential, powerful words that evoke curiosity and emotion.

    Use them sparingly! You don’t want your blurb to feel like it’s nothing but hype.

    The bottom line is that your blurb needs to connect with its target audience. A successful description will capture attention instantly and keep it long enough to convince the buyer to click the purchase link.

    Test out different blurbs.
    Ask for feedback from your street team, beta readers, or mailing list. Readers from my author group have helped tweak many of my blurbs, and since they’re my target audience, they also provide the most invaluable feedback when helping me decide what to write next.

    Invite authors to critique your blurb.
    Join author support groups and share your blurb with others in your genre. You’ll be surprised just how many authors are willing to critique your blurb and help you tighten up weak points.

    Don’t rush this process.
    Writing a powerful blurb that motivates readers to purchase your book takes time. Prepare to rewrite it several times before you’re satisfied. I promise it’ll be worth the effort.


  • The Truth About Book Covers

    Fact: Your book cover is one of the most important components of a successful book launch.

    Get it wrong, and no matter how amazing your content is, you won’t sell books.

    Get it right, and you’ll be able to generate massive amounts of pre-orders, sales, and build a die-hard fanbase.

    In fact, some may argue that it’s more important than even the title or the book blurb!

    How’s that for pressure?

    So, when hiring your cover designer for your next launch, you need to make sure that they know your market and what readers are expecting.

    Here’s how to make sure your cover will sell books:

    Step 1: Study the color schemes

    The best way to create a book cover is by studying what is already being used within your genre, starting with creating a snapshot of the most commonly used color schemes.

    When it comes to catching the attention of readers, you always want to stay true to the genre by providing a visual message that’s aligned with the type of book you’re selling.

    Die-hard readers will be able to tell what kind of book it is simply by color (and font style) alone, so if you get this wrong, you’ll send a mixed message that will minimize sales.

    I write paranormal romance as well as urban fantasy. So,

    This means that you’ll want to spend some time analyzing the different color schemes commonly used in certain markets, especially in fiction genres like sci-fi, thrillers, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance.

    While you want your cover to stand out and not look like every other one on the market, you also want readers to quickly identify what kind of book you’re selling. So pay attention to whether a color scheme is commonly used.

    For example, when I was publishing urban fantasy I noticed that most of the covers included a female heroine. They were also either mainly in blue and purple hues and featured magic (bolts, swirls of light, etc). 

    So every book cover I created featured these elements.

    Certain genres use specific font styles, especially in fiction markets like paranormal romance, science fiction, and horror. 

    If you see a commonly used font style that you’re not familiar with, you can take a snapshot of the book title and then upload the font to

    You can also find 100% free fonts at,, and

    Tip: When searching for available fonts, search for “Public Domain” and “100% free” by customizing your search on as shown below. That way you’re sure to use fonts that are freely available for commercial use and not just for personal use.

    When it comes to font styles, you’ll want to make sure that your style is sharp, clear, and visually appealing. You also want to pay attention to how the cover looks when it’s smaller.

    • Are the title and sub-title clear and easy to read in smaller sizes?
    • Does the font take away from the background image or character pose? 
    • Could the font placement be improved so that it stands out?
    • Does the cover stand out to you on the Amazon marketplace when it’s smaller?

    Character Types & Poses:
    If you write fiction, you’ll want to study the marketplace to see what kind of poses and character types are commonly featured.

    For example, since I write paranormal romance, it’s common to have a male lead on the cover along with the type of shapeshifter featured in the book. 

    In urban fantasy, it’s far more common to have a female lead with lots of magic and mayhem on the cover.

    When readers wanted bare-chested men on covers, that’s what I gave them. Then, in later 2016 there was a shift and readers were more interested in seeing sexy couples on covers.

    Basing cover designs on popular styles makes it easier to reach your audience since they’ve grown accustomed to seeing a specific style.

    That doesn’t mean your covers should be generic!  I was able to create a bestselling brand and I believe that a huge part of that came from creating covers that immediately captured the attention and stood out on Amazon.

    In non-fiction, it’s common that book covers focus more on typography with fewer images and visual elements.

    Again, study your genre before you hire your cover designer so that you’re able to tell your artist exactly what you’re looking for.

    Provide examples of some of your favorite covers and let your graphic designer create something uniquely yours, but based on a popular look and feel.

    Series Covers
    If you write multiple books in the same world, you’ll want to consider creating covers that keep the same look so that it’s clear to readers all books belong in the same series.

    This typically means you’d use the same font style and placement and the same color scheme, but you could also feature a sub-title that includes the series name and where each book belongs in the series (Book #1, Book #2, etc.).

    You can, however, switch up the color scheme and character pose on each cover. That way readers immediately recognize all the books are part of a series but don’t become confused about whether they’ve already purchased any of the books.

    Tip: Remember to add your series title to every book page via your KDP account. That’s the only way Amazon will create a series feature page on their marketplace for all of your books.

    Set the mood
    Regardless of your genre, you’ll want to make sure that your cover accurately reflects the mood and setting of your story.  Every image used on your cover should encapsulate the theme or highlight a scene from your book.

    Think Action scenes.

    What weapons does your main character use?

    Is your book based in a particular region or city? 

    Verify Image Licenses

    Never use photos found freely online unless you make sure that you are allowed to use them commercially. I recommend only purchasing stock from places like:


  • Top 10 Free Commercial-Use Script Fonts for Print Books

    When it comes to choosing fonts for your print books, it can take a lot of time and effort to not only find finds that are free for commercial use, but that look clean when printed out.

    Here are the script fonts we use in many of our print books. These are all 100% free for commercial-use.

    For page headers, splash pages and areas of our print books that we want to highlight, we tend to use a combination of bold, uppercase fonts and the following script fonts:


    You really can’t go wrong with this script font by MasAnis. Download it here.


    This is one of our go-to fonts for sub-headlines on our journal pages. Download it here.

    Ballet Harmony

    Great commercial-free font for when you want to make your page just a little prettier. 🙂

    Download it here.

    It’s a font often featured in our KDP books and printables.

    Sweat Pants

    Cute italic font, useful for sub-headlines, logos or on your journal splash pages (front cover).

    Download it here.


    One of our most used fonts, Clarissa is a beautiful script font that comes with commercial-use rights.

    Download it here.



    Want your text to pop? Use the bold Mattilda font in your headlines.

    Download it here.

    Fox Lite Script

    Foxlite Script is a cool font that is best used for headlines or wherever your text will be larger.

    Download it here.

    Sallita Cursive

    Sallita is such a pretty font and works great for cover pages or as a decorative-style headlines.

    Download it here.

    Handletter Ink

    Gorgeous font, best used in larger titles or headlines.

    Download it here.

    Viksi Ink

    Viksi is a beautiful script font that we often use sparingly in sub-headlines.

    Download it here.


  • The Quick-Start Guide to Managing Pen Names

    Here’s a quick tutorial that shows you how to add multiple pen names to one Author Central account on Amazon.

    Note that you can have up to 3 pen names per Author Central account, all linked on one platform. If you have more than 3 pen names, you’ll need to open a new Author Central account.

    Unlike Amazon KDP where you’re only allowed to have one account, you can have unlimited Author Central accounts.

    Step 1: Create Your Account
    If you haven’t yet created your Amazon Author Central Account, click here to set that up.

    You’ll need to have at least one published/live book in order to do so.

    Keep in mind that even though you already have an Amazon KDP account, when you enter that email and password into Author Central it may indicate that your account can’t be found. That’s because Amazon KDP and Author Central are two completely different websites.

    Step 2: Add Other Pen Names (up to 3)
    From within your Author Central account, click on the “Books” link in the top navigation menu, and then click the “Add More Books” button on the next page.


    Next, enter in any book title, ISBN, or pen name that you use to search for it. Once you find a book by any other pen name you use, click “This is my book”.

    Tip: The fastest way to find your book is to log into your KDP account, and right-click “View on Amazon” for every book you have published to open each page in a new window.

    Then, visit each Amazon page and copy and paste the number (IBSN) into the Author Central search bar:


    You’ll see a pop-up message indicating that you aren’t currently the listed author (since this pen name hasn’t yet been attached to your Author Central account).

    Click “This is Me” to claim it. Rinse & repeat for every other book you’ve published under the secondary (and/or third) pen name.

    You then see this message indicating that it could take up to 5 business days to have the new pen name added to your account, though we’ve never seen it take more than a couple of hours.

    That’s it! You’ll receive an email from Amazon with the subject line: Your Author Page is Ready when your request has been processed.

    Also keep in mind that your pen name privacy is still intact since even though your pen names will be linked in Author Central, they won’t be publicly linked on Amazon. That’s for your eyes only! 😉

    After you’ve claimed a secondary (or third) pen name and want to access it through your Author Central account, simply log back in and click the drop-down menu next to your author name in the top right navigation bar to switch between pen names.

    Each pen name will have its own bio, profile and author URL.

    Now you’ll be able to quickly edit the descriptions of your low-content books, including stylizing them so they have proper spacing, etc.

    We’ve created a quick-start tutorial that will show you how to create killer book blurbs that sell more books.

    You can read that here.