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Basic Marketing Copy

Before you bring your book to market, you should have a brief written biography, a summary of your book, a log line (if you’re publishing a fiction book) and some preliminary ad text.

Author Bio

Your author bio should be short, typically 1-3 paragraphs. Non-fiction authors should focus on education, professional work and accomplishments that qualify them to write a book on their subject.

Fiction authors should describe the type of work they write, awards they’ve received, and other professional accomplishments. They may also want to give the reader a sense of who they are, either by including personal details or through the tone of the bio, or both.

Take a look at the bios of other authors in your genre to see what works. And remember that your bio should be consistent across all properties: on your website, on Amazon and Goodreads, and on the back covers or interiors of your books.

Back Cover Summary

Your summary should be short enough to fit on the back cover of your book. Remember that the purpose of the summary is to tell the reader why they may want to read your book. Your summary should tell the reader:

  • your book’s genre (romance, thriller, historical fiction, etc.)
  • who is your protagonist
  • where and when the book is set
  • what is the primary struggle or challenge

The tone of the summary should match the tone of the book. If your thriller is darkly humorous instead of just dark, your summary’s tone should give the reader a taste of that.

Log Line

A log line is a simple sentence that describes what your story is about. You see these on streaming video sites like Netflix as you browse through titles. Netflix log lines tend to be very short, like: “A ex-con and a disgruntled cop team up to expose political corruption in Los Angeles.”

The point of the log line is to give the viewer or reader just enough info to determine whether they want to click and learn more. Your log line should tell the reader the following:

  • who is the protagonist?
  • what is the struggle?
  • what is at stake?
  • where and when does this story take place? (You can skip the when if it’s contemporary.)

Ad Text

At some point, you will probably run ads on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bookbub and other platforms.

Many of these platforms impose limits on text length. Amazon’s is one of the most restrictive at 150 characters. If you have a number of 150-character ads ready to go when your book goes live, you’ll have ads you can run on any platform.

A 150-character ad can be a short version of your log line, or can tell the reader why they may like your book. For example, if you know your book will appeal to fans of a certain author, say that. The only question your ad needs to answer in the mind of the searching reader is, “Is this the sort of thing I would be interested in?”

The point of the ad is to get them to click. If they do click, then it’s up to your book’s detail page to seal the deal with an appealing cover, an interesting summary, and as many good reviews as you can collect.

Last update: 2022-02-12