Poorly Written Headlines #2

This has been a bit of a slow week, so I thought I’d do another edition of Poorly Written headlines. It’s been a while since I did the first of these, so here’s a refresher on strategies to writing good press release headlines and sub-headlines.

What this headline does right:
  • Tells us the author’s name and book title (both redacted)
  • Tells us the genre: action thriller
  • It’s at least 63 characters long (depending on the real author and title length), but the phrase parallel universe would likely be cut off in listing pages, so all we’re really left with is the Who  and the What
What this headline does wrong:
  • Describes the book as taking place in a parallel universe

This headline is more of a statement than a news announcement. It reads as if it was pulled from a descriptive paragraph and slapped into the headline.

Why does it matter that this book takes place in a parallel universe? The vast majority of speculative fiction takes place in some form of alternate reality, whether it’s our universe with some weird shit happening, or a completely unique fantasy world.

Try searching for “parallel universe” on Google and you’ll get 500 million results. Add “books” to that search, and the top bar will show works by authors ranging from Pratchett, to Asimov, to Pullman. The book named in this headline is not competing with those names.

What could be done differently:

Basically, the back half of this headline is fluff; it has no real meaning, and it’s not doing the press release or the book it’s promoting any favors by being so generic.

Instead, the author could hint at why this parallel universe is interesting, or maybe provide a news announcement, such as the release date. Here’s an example without completely butchering the format:

[Author’s] exciting action thriller, [Book’s Title], will be Released this Summer!

It’s not perfect, but it provides some valuable information to the reader–they should check out this book and add it to their summer reading list.

What do you think? How would you make this headline pop more?

Steve D

Awesome Con 2019 Prep!

Well, this week came up a lot faster than I had anticipated. We were off on our first road trip with Nugget for the last 10 days, visiting family in Michigan and Milwaukee. We had a great time, but now we’re back in the swing of normal life

Awesome Con begins on Friday, and I still have some logistics to work out. The countdown begins! Continue reading “Awesome Con 2019 Prep!”

How Bad Headlines Ruin Your Book Marketing Efforts

Way back in 2017, I wrote about the four basic elements of a good press release. In that post, I discussed how the headline and sub-headline should be used to hook a potential reader into actually reading the rest of your press release.

But I don’t think I emphasized enough one simple truth about press releases:

If your headline and/or sub-headline are not eye-catching, no one will read your release. Continue reading “How Bad Headlines Ruin Your Book Marketing Efforts”

5 Reasons Wattpad is Great for Writers

As some of you may already know, I’ve started publishing a series of short myths on Wattpad this year.

I’ve done my best to remain active on Wattpad, rather than just pushing Publish and logging out. After several months of pretty consistent use of this social writing platform, I wanted to highlight some of the things I think it does well. Continue reading “5 Reasons Wattpad is Great for Writers”

Marketing Your Novel: 2019 Goals

I know we’re already a month a and a half into the year, but I haven’t yet laid out my book marketing plans. I needed some time to mull over what my real goals were and how I can actually reach them.

Answering the first question is easy: Sell. More. Books. As for the second question, well, let’s discuss. Continue reading “Marketing Your Novel: 2019 Goals”

Friday Write-Day: Trying to be Patient

This has been a strange week in terms of my writing and publishing goals. While stay-at-home dad-ing, I’ve had little to no time to actually write much, but that’s not really the issue.

I find myself growing increasingly impatient with my writing and publishing progress. Consider this post my attempt to reset myself. Continue reading “Friday Write-Day: Trying to be Patient”

Some Amazing Feedback on The Warden of Everfeld: Memento

I’ve discussed before how my friends and family came out in force to support my first novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.

As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve received some amazing feedback from a family friend, so I wanted to share it:

“I finished your book last night. Very impressive! I can see why you say it was in your mind for years. I came away from it glad that honor, love, and the true meaning of home are achieved…

“I think it possible you already have a sequel centered around Arden. She feels the call. The sad part of the novel is a life lesson about keepers. Even the mighty trees have a spirit that needs a keeper. I had not really thought about that. Humans, animals, yes, there is always one striving for more territory and power.

“We humans say we want peace. Your first novel is not so reassuring we can truly find it outside our own limited personal space.

I am proud of you for achieving this goal. And I am proud of you for building a true home with [Wife] and [Nugget].”

That’s just incredible and basically made my day. This family friend is a very intelligent and insightful woman, so I’m thrilled she was able to pull so much from my book. Thank you!

Steve D

The Next Installment of the Promote Your Book Party!

Author Charles F. French is all about sharing the reading love. Visit his blog to post a comment about your recent book or publication.

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Hello to everyone! I want once again to offer an opportunity for all writers who follow this blog to share information on their books. It can be very difficult to generate publicity for our writing, so I thought this little effort might help. All books may be mentioned, and there is no restriction on genre. This includes poetry and non-fiction.

To participate, simply give your name, your book, information about it, and where to purchase it in the comments section. Then please be willing to reblog and/or tweet this post. The more people that see it, the more publicity we can generate for everyone’s books.

After you have posted, come back to see who else has put up information on their books.

Thank you for participating!

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Celebrate and promote your writing!

Shout it out to the world!

Let everyone know about your work!

Feel free to…

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