Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Power of First Impressions and a Giveaway

When I walk in to a book store I pretty much take for granted the fact that I can pick up a book, feel it, marvel at the beautiful cover, and read the cover blurb. If I’m interested then I’ll have a bit of a flick through, and maybe read the first few pages. More often than not I will only pick up the book in the first place if it has a cover that I like, or someone has recommended it to me.

In the world of self-publishing, we don’t have the luxury of our readers being able to pick up our books and do all of that. Mostly, self-published books aren’t available in mainstream bookstores. So what can we do to entice people to want to read our books? Obviously, people need to know about the book in the first place which is where a strong on-line presence comes into play, but I’m talking about making a good first impression, and when it comes to first impressions I believe there are three fundamentals that count the most.

1) Cover design
We all know the saying, you can’t judge a book by its cover, and in some cases this is true, but I most definitely do judge a book by its cover. There are many books on my shelf that I’ve purchased based entirely on the cover design. I’m also a graphic designer, so cover design is a big issue for me. If the cover is not appealing then my interest is lost and I’m on to the next title in less than a few seconds. The cover is the time to make the best first impression that can possibly be made. A book might be the next big thing, but if it has a poorly designed cover, no one will care enough about it to read it. We need to make our readers care.

2) Book Description
The book description (along with a fantastic cover design!) is an important selling tool. It needs to peak a reader’s interest without giving too much away. Think of it as the on-line equivalent of the cover blurb. Once a reader has decided—oh I like that cover, it looks interesting—you need to keep them there long enough to consider clicking the buy button. A description that’s too long will lose readers, but so will one that’s too short and uninteresting. Just the right amount of information needs to be provided, commonly known as a hook. Which leads me to…

3) The Excerpt
Remember how I said when I walk in to a book store I take for granted that I can pick up any book and look at it? Well, that’s where the excerpt can really help. It gives the reader the chance to actually pick up the book and flick through the first few pages. It allows them to try it out, get a feel for your writing and hopefully suck them in enough to actually make the purchase.

By no means will these three things alone sell your book. Self-publishing takes a lot of very hard work and dedication. But getting them right will certainly make it a little easier.

It’s not long now until Fall For Me is due to be released, and I’ve decided to give five lucky people the chance to read the first three chapters before anyone else. Just fill in the entry below for your chance to win this exclusive excerpt, and good luck!

K x

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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