PART 1: There are many, many steps in writing a book. Understanding Back Cover Copy and how to write it is one of these steps.  What is Back Cover Copy: Simply put, back cover copy is an incredibly important marketing tool for your book. It includes a hook to grab the reader’s attention. It then hits the core elements of the plot in the most enticing manner possible. This copy is the second thing a potential reader will use to judge whether or not the book is for them (first is the cover). Just like a teaser from a television show or a movie trailer, the back cover copy in a book gives the potential audience enough about the story to pique their interest. It is what draws them in and gets them to commit to reading the first page (which is the third step in a reader’s decision-making process). What should Back Cover Copy Include? Your back cover copy …

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I’ve been reflecting lately on why I teach writing. It started as a calling. Truly. I feel…I believe…I know…that I am a good teacher. My approach in the classroom was certainly teaching the curriculum, but also teaching students how to learn…why to learn..the process of learning. I was teaching metacognition before metacognition was a “thing”.  Later, after having left public education for a career in writing, I found I hadn’t actually left my love of teaching behind. Not long after my first few books were published, I began teaching at Southern Methodist University in Dallas with their continuing education program. I found I loved teaching creative writing. I started blogging about the Hero’s Journey (a passion from the beginning). I shared what I had learned and what I was currently learning in a variety of ways. I wrote articles for several industry magazines, including RWA.  I felt a need to continue teaching.  In On Writing, Stephen King says he doesn’t …

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Whoever knocks persistently, ends by entering. :Ali (A.D. 600?-661), Maxims of Ali Tips to Finding a Literary Agent Finding an agent is only one step (after writing a great book) in the challenging process of building a career as an author. My experience taught me that the industry adage No agent is better than the wrong agent is completely and unequivocally true. I was completely green when I started taking my writing career seriously. I’d written a book that I thought was pretty good, with characters that I loved, but I was afraid to send it out to agents.   An Anecdote One day, after my hard-written book had been sitting untouched in my computer for untold months, I had the good fortune to come into contact with a semi-retired literary agent who agreed to read my book. I jumped at the chance to get some authentic feedback. Several months, and a few revisions later, Agent X agreed to take me …

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The Differences between Marketing and Promotion & Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone (This was first released in the RWA PROspects Newsletter as part of a larger joint article with Nikki Duncan.) It’s never too early to begin marketing yourself and promoting your stories, but knowing how and where to begin can be tough. In this series of articles over the next few months, Misa and I will discuss the differences between marketing and promotion and share tips that we’ve learned along our paths to publication and things we’ve picked up since our first sales. What’s the difference between marketing and promotion? ND: Marketing is when you spread your name far and wide. Promotion is spreading the message of your product, your book, far and wide. MR: Marketing and promotion work hand in hand. I see marketing as keeping me, the auhor, in the minds of readers. This is where branding comes into play and is a valuable tool. You can brand yourself, brand …

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