Fact 1: Readers judge books by their back cover blurbs just as they might a cover.
Fact 2: Authors and publishers want them to! To have a reader judge a book by its back cover blurb is our goal.
The only problem with this is that we want readers to judge our books to be worthy of taking the risk of buying and reading it, not the opposite. For that very reason, an *effectively good* back cover blurb is absolutely crucial to our success. Let's define our terms before we go any further. An effectively good blurb either is effectively good in making a reader open the book or it's not. That's the bottom line, and all that matters. A blurb can be good and not effective, or effective and not good, but either it's both or it won't work. End of story. (That could be literal, you know.)
Ultimately, it doesn't matter a whit if it's long or short or somewhere in-between. We have a misconception these days that being short by definition makes a blurb good and effective while a long blurb is by default in opposition of that, but both flavor-of the-day trends are illusions that you can't afford to rest on. You can have a thousand word blurb that's so amazing readers devour it and immediately want to read the book just as you might see a short, punchy blurb that's incredibly well-written but doesn't make someone want to read the book. Hence, effectively good means it's both well-written and makes a person want to read the story inside the pages, not just the back. If a blurb isn't good enough to make someone want to open the book and read, it's not effectively good.
Are you a publisher with a backlist (or upcoming roster) of titles that need blurb overhauls, or want help with crafting series blurbs or high concept blurbs for promotion?
Your back cover blurb can make or break sales given that it's one of the first glimpses of the story. Many readers buy based on an intriguing back cover blurb that convinces them they absolutely have to read the story inside the pages--or they simply set the book down without ever opening it. Additionally, a powerful series blurb can sell not just one book but all of them in that set!
Let the award-winning author of over 120 titles, including 19 series, do the work in crafting a back cover or series blurb that may help sell your books to publishers and readers alike. You may know Karen Wiesner from her writing reference titles such as the bestselling FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS, BRING YOUR FICTION TO LIFE: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity, and WRITING THE FICTION SERIES: The Guide for Novels and Novellas, all available now from Writer's Digest Books. COHESIVE STORY BUILDING is also available from Writers Exchange E-Publishing. Karen’s fiction titles cover such genres as women’s fiction, romance, mystery/police procedural/cozy, suspense/thriller, paranormal/supernatural, futuristic, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, inspirational/Christian, thriller, horror, chick-lit, and action/adventure. She also writes children’s books and poetry.
Karen has crafted back cover and high concept blurbs for all of her own books and series as well as those for the stories in several award-winning anthologies, and evaluated, revised and crafted series, back cover and high concept blurbs for the entire backlist of nearly five hundred books in one publisher's catalog.
Karen also compiles “universe compilation” guideline pages for authors who write series, especially series with numerous books and/or series that have connections and cross into each other. If you write a series, you need this on your website. Consider it your one-stop shopping list for those interested in your series’! Find out more about this service here.
For Authors: If interested in having a back cover or high concept blurb created for your books or series, email KarensBlurbService@gmail.com. You'll fill out a short, one-page form with your book (and/or series) information that can be downloaded here and sent back to Karen via email. Based on the information you provide in the form, a preliminary blurb will be crafted by Karen. Once Karen has had your feedback, the blurb will be revised accordingly. Additionally, Karen can craft high concept blurbs (75-words-or-less; max is 75 words) based on final series or back cover blurbs that authors and publishers can use for promotion or anything else. Also, Karen can revise existing back cover and series blurbs without the need for the form (unless the information is too sparse and a form is necessary). Find out more about universe compilation pages here.
For Publishers: If interested in a quote on having a backlist of titles that need blurb overhauls or want help with crafting series and/or high concept blurbs, email KarensBlurbService@gmail.com.
$5 for one individual series blurb
$10 for one individual back cover blurb
$3 to revise one individual back cover or series blurb
$2 for one 75-words-or-less (max 75 words) high concept blurb on the basis of a final blurb (series or back cover)
$10 series universe compilation; if Karen has done blurbing for your series, the cost for compilation would be only $5
For Publishers: Email for quote and details.
Fast, quality service at low cost.
Note: Electronic payments can be made via PayPal. Karen will invoice you directly from there once the services you request are agreed upon. Please be aware that there's a $5 standard transaction fee when paying electronically ($10 for amounts over $150). The amount due for service must be paid in full, in USA dollar equivalent. For those in the USA, check or money order is also acceptable. Contact Karen for details. Please note that the amount due for this service must be paid in full in advance in USA dollar equivalent. No work will be done by Karen until payment is received and cleared. A signed contract is required before work can begin.
Author Testimony: “I know how important blurbs are and do find them challenging to write. That's why, when it came time to redo the front and back matter on my backlist, I asked Karen for help. She's fast, efficient and 'gets' what I was trying to say. And she's fast! At this point, she's reworked close to 100 blurbs for me in many genres. I'm so glad I found her.” ~Dale Mayer, USA Today Bestselling Author
Author Testimony: "It’s hard to encapsulate in a few lines all of what Karen Wiesner has to offer writers. She created Jewels of the Quill, a writers’ marketing cooperative, spearheading several anthology collections from the group, organizing our ads and marketing, and maintaining the website that featured our individual accomplishments from new releases to awards. Being a member of this group for years, I was and still am eternally grateful to have had her guidance and help. Whether critiquing or editing one of my stories/books or helping me refine a blurb or create back cover material, I could always count on a quick, inspiring response. For example, I initially wrote [my paranormal romance] The Scarecrow & Ms. Moon as kind of a “Murphy’s Law” romantic romp. But, with Karen’s suggestions, I delved deeper into the characters, discovering emotions which took a humorous romance to another level. Because of the “heart” she inspired me to add, Scarecrow remains a favorite of mine. She did all this while writing multiple novels per year, poetry, giving workshops, AND writing self-help books for Writer’s Digest. Karen Wiesner is an asset I’d recommend to any writer." ~Barbara Raffin, award-winning author The St. John Sibling Series
Author Testimony: “I highly recommend Karen's Blurb Service. The blurbs Karen Wiesner has written for my Dangerous Waters Trilogy are beautifully short and intriguing. She will create one for you that has the impact you are looking for.” ~Dee Lloyd, award-winning author of romance, mystery, danger…and a sexy ghost or two
Author Testimony: “I am the author of two series as well as a few standalone novels and short stories. Karen was kind enough to help tighten and clean up the blurbs I sweated blood over for years on both the Milward Chronicles and the Tony Mandolin Mystery series. Do not get me wrong, I am by no means a struggling writer. I have been compared very favorably with Jim Butcher and David Eddings, but writing a six-figure word count story is a bit different from getting everything you want to say about that story onto the back cover with room to spare. This little lady handles that dirty job well.” ~Robert Lee Beers, award-winning author of supernatural mysteries and fantasy
Author Testimony: “Karen Wiesner has a remarkable ability to extract the essence of a story, and to define it clearly and succinctly in such a way that inevitably curiosity is piqued, enticing readers to open the book and begin a journey of exploration.” ~Stephen Symons, author of The Islands of the Sixteen Gods Series
Author Testimony: “Like many authors, I enjoy the actual writing of a book but hate the marketing process. Part of that process is the writing of a book blurb that acts as a hook to attract readers. I have sweated over these blurbs without much success, so imagine how delighted I was to find Karen Wiesner's Blurb Service. A short questionnaire to fill out and she comes up with a blurb for single books and series that knock your socks off. I reckon I'm going to see greater sales using her book blurbs. Thank you, Karen!” ~Max Overton, award-winning author of historicals, contemporary thrillers, and westerns
Author Testimony: “Writers often get too close to their writings--and that's where Karen helped me with my book blurbs. She wrote new blurbs for my books, from a fresh perspective, which helps to entice potential readers to want to buy and read them. I highly recommend her!” ~Wendy Laing, author of crime and paranormal novels, children’s books, and poetry
Author Testimony: "Karen's Blurb Service really improved my blurbs to be a lot clearer, concise, and interesting! If books are judged first by their cover, then they're judged second by their blurb, so it's essential for the blurb to draw people in. Karen did this for my books in ways I hadn't even thought of." ~Jenna Whittaker, author of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian fantasy
Author Testimony: "Karen Wiesner has a gift for encapsulating the highlights of a book in lucid and intriguing language. She knows just what my blurbs need to give them that final polish." ~Margaret L. Carter, award-winning author of horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance
Publisher Testimony: “As a publisher, I know the importance of blurbs, but I also know that most people find them hard to write. Authors cringe when asked to write one. But Karen loves them! And better yet, she is great at writing them! Why put yourself through the strain, when Karen is keen to write it for you? I got her to go through our 470+ blurbs and am so glad she spiced them up! She will be doing ALL our blurbs from now on, and I know our authors will be thankful that she is.” ~Sandy Cummins, Owner of Writers Exchange E-Publishing
Karen also compiles “universe” pages for authors who write series, especially series with numerous books and/or series that have connections and cross into each other. This universe compilation can be used on a website or in any other form of promotion for the series/universe. Karen strongly believes that readers want the full universe experience when reading a series and having it all on one page is ideal. Series books and/or interconnected series’ share the same “universe”. Readers new to a series might wonder where to get started, certainly when there are many series’ converging under one “universe umbrella”. Basically, a universe compilation page can be either:
-Simple: A pure text list that lists the books in the ideal order the books in a series or connecting series’ should be read and can be easily printed. View an example of a simple reading order listing here. Consider it your one-stop shopping list for those interested in your series!
-Elaborate: This kind of universe page includes the reading order followed by regular sized or thumbnail covers for all the books along with regular or high concept blurbs, a link to the main book page for more information, and a list of awards or honors for each book. Other things can also be included at the author's request. View an example with three of Karen’s series’ set in her fictional town of Peaceful here. Additionally, a “guideline compilation” example of the Peaceful Universe can be viewed here.
The “guideline compilation” example (see link listed above) and the PDF reading order list are what Karen will provide for your series and/or universe compilation. The complied universe guideline can be cut and pasted into a webshell and coded from there. The bolded sections included in the file are directions to the website manager on what to include where (so all the bolding is eventually deleted and replaced with whatever is required in the guideline). The PDF can also be uploaded to your website. Please note that Karen does not design or code webpages as a service. The universe compilation guideline and PDF reading order list are what she provides with this service, which will be invaluable for series authors. Once compiled, you can give it to whoever updates your website and that person can use it to design your series universe page.
If Karen has already done your blurbing for that series, she can use that information in preparing your universe compilation. If she hasn't, she'll pick up what she needs from your website (send her the link when you email her). If you don't have this information on your website, please fill out her form here, or request a form via email: KarensBlurbService@gmail.com.
Karen has literally written the definitive book on series (her Writer’s Digest Books reference, Writing the Fiction Series), and she’s put together hundreds of universe pages for one publisher and other individual authors.
April 16, 2018, Karen will be the featured on the Savvy Authors Blog, talking about her upcoming THREE-DIMENSIONAL WRITING workshop based on her writing reference BRING YOUR FICTION TO LIFE: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity (see below, April 2018) with Savvy Authors. The Savvy Authors blog is here.
April 23-29, 2018 (rescheduled), Karen will be teaching a workshop titled THREE-DIMENSIONAL WRITING based on her writing reference Bring Your Fiction to Life: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity at Savvy Authors. Register: Click the “Register Now” button on the Savvy Authors course page just listed. Cost: Premium Members $25; Basic Members $30 (sign up for free membership here) to qualify for the workshop. Register at least a week before the class starts to receive a $5 discount. Course description: Applied to writing, the word "three-dimensional" is easy to define as solid, realistic, rounded and lifelike, even living. The hard part for authors comes in translating these concepts into the craft of writing. Writing that is three-dimensional seems to have length (essentially the foundation of a story), width (structure), and depth (the completeness of fully-fleshed-out characters, plots and settings as well as multiple layers and rich, textured scenes). Your host for this workshop is Karen Wiesner. Many of you know Karen as the author of First Draft in 30 Days and Writing the Fiction Series available from Writer’s Digest Books. Her writing reference Cohesive Story Building was reissued by Writers Exchange E-Publishing in print and ebook formats. She's also the award-winning author of 120 fiction titles and has 39 more contracted releases. She writes in nearly every genre of fiction. In this workshop, she’ll be talking about her newest Writer’s Digest release, Bring Your Fiction to Life: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity which teaches writers the three aspects that need to occur in order to bring about the potential for three-dimensional writing including three-dimensional characters, plots, and settings; complex, three-dimensional scenes; and multilayered storytelling. This intensive five-day workshop will show authors how to:
Three-dimensional writing is what allows a reader to step through the pages of a book and enter the world created, where plot and characters are in that glorious, realistic realm that starts with little more than a line and progresses into shape and finally represents solid form. Once three-dimensionality is within reach, all things are possible in crafting a vivid story world that readers will instantly recognize as remarkable. Find out more about this book here.
Sign up for Karen's "Writing Back Cover and Series Blurbs That Sizzle--and Sell!" workshop. Check back for another workshop in the future!
Karen was the featured author on the Savvy Authors Blog, talking about her “Writing Back Cover and Series Blurbs That Sizzle—and Sell!” workshop at Savvy Authors.
Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 122 titles published in the past 19 years, which have been nominated/won 134 awards, and almost 43 more releases contracted for spanning many categories and formats. Her previous writing reference titles focused on non-subsidy, royalty-paying electronic publishing, author promotion, and setting up a promotional group like her own, the award-winning Jewels of the Quill, which she founded in 2003 and disbanded in 2014. Visit her website to read her full biography at http://www.karenwiesner.com.