Tag Archives: book

Poorly Written Headlines #1

Yesterday, I discussed how a bad press release headline can kill your book promotion efforts before they’ve begun. But I’d like to provide some actual examples of what headlines do right, and what they do wrong.

So here’s the first in what will be an ongoing series:

What this headline does right:

  • Gives the genre: science fiction adventure
  • Gives the intended audience: young readers
  • Tells us that this is a series of books, so either the author already has books published, or they intend to publish more, i.e., we should all keep paying attention to them
  • It’s concise, just 67 characters, meaning most of it will appear in search engine results pages

What this headline does wrong:

  • Describing the book as fabulous

What makes a book fabulous? What makes this specific book fabulous? Is it fabulously well-written? Is there fabulous characterization, or fabulous world-building? Is the plot fabulously paced?

Flowery adjectives can make a headline pop, but by leaving the description vague, this headline is effectively meaningless.

The first ten words tell me a lot about the What, which is great. But the final two give me no hint of Why I should care. Young adult sci-fi books are a dime a dozen right now, and this headline fails to stand out from the crowd.

That’s it for now. I’d be happy to hear anyone else’s thoughts on this headline or my critique. I’ll try to do one or two of these each month.

Steve D

Numberbrag: 20,000 Views Under the Web

Milestones are sort of weird. They can be easy to lose track of until you’re sitting right on top of them. I stopped myself from doing one of these stats update posts until we had hit a real milestone.

Well, I stopped paying attention, and here we are well over 20,000 Views and 13,000 visitors all-time. Sweet!

Since we’re through the first quarter of 2018, I wanted to have a look at some other recent numbers. Continue reading Numberbrag: 20,000 Views Under the Web

THE LONG PATROL Still Captures the Imagination

Sometimes a story just sticks with you. The words pass from the page through your eyes and are spun into vivid images in your mind. Occasionally, those images linger somewhere within you. Their presence may not always be obvious, but their echoes reverberate in quiet moments, reminders of those fleeting images. Continue reading THE LONG PATROL Still Captures the Imagination

Marketing Your Novel: Where to Begin?

Disclosure: I work for a marketing firm. While I have no formal education in marketing or business and would never claim to be an “expert”, working in online marketing for two companies over the last  four years has taught me a lot. This series will explore the marketing strategies I will use to promote my upcoming novel. Also, I know free stock photos are lame. I’ll get my own legit photo for this series at some point, I promise.

Telling people that I work in online marketing typically induces one of two reactions in people. Either, “holy crap, how could you work in such a scummy, manipulative industry,” or “wow, marketing my work is so intimidating, where do I begin?” Continue reading Marketing Your Novel: Where to Begin?

Book Review: REVENANT: ADVENT, Valerie Dugie – A Sci-Fi Thrill-Ride

Revent: Advent by Valerie Dugie

The Book: Revenant: Advent

Author: Valerie Dugie

Published: 2010

Genre: Science fiction

Indie books are fun. I came upon Revenant: Advent because I happen to know the author personally. When I found out recently that Valerie Dugie had published her first book in 2010, I promised I would read it.

And I really enjoyed it. Continue reading Book Review: REVENANT: ADVENT, Valerie Dugie – A Sci-Fi Thrill-Ride

Almost Near the Near End: March Goals

February was pretty good for me. I’m about 100 pages from finishing Lionheart and have the makings of a draft review sitting in my dashboard. I realize that I did not meet either of those goals, but that’s mostly because I was focused on writing… and occasionally watching Justice League on Netflix. Continue reading Almost Near the Near End: March Goals

Gut Reaction: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

I just finished reading Andy Weir’s The Martian. Overall, I enjoyed this compelling story. The story follows Mark Watney, an astronaut left on Mars after his crew had to abort their mission, assuming he was dead, and with no other options. Continue reading Gut Reaction: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir