Book teasers are another intragyral part of marketing your work. Just like last week’s blog on book covers, your book teaser is just as important. Your teaser or book blurb, tells the prospective reader what to expect inside. However, there are a few tips and tricks that will help the reader choose you, over your competition.
Let’s not confuse your book blurb with a book synopsis. They are two completely different, yet similar things. A teaser draws your audience in. You introduce your character, their traits, and the problem they must solve. A synopsis is a complete overview of your book, including your plot twists and turns. The synopsis also includes how the novel ends and is used to market your book to agents and publishers. The teaser is used for marketing to your prospective audience and should not include too much detail.
There are certain elements to a book blurb that you must include. But there are certain elements that you should not, such as any spoilers. The blurb shouldn’t be too lengthy, either. Keep it down to a couple of hundred words. If you’re too wordy, you’ll lose prospective readers.
Whether you’re writing a blurb for science fiction and fantasy or a self-help book, they must contain similar elements. In a non-fiction or self-help book, the main character is the reader and it’s the problem they are looking to solve and what that solution is.
In fiction, you tell them who and what the problem and goals are.
Here’s an example of a book teaser that I wrote for ‘Pirates of the Galactic Empire.’
It’s the year 3245. Earth’s Republic evolved into the Galactic Empire. After the outpost wars, the Galactic Space Force became the peacekeepers. Up from the ashes rose rogue pilots. These pilots became the Pirates of the Galactic Empire.
This is a story of one of these, not so lucrative, pirates, Sean Finnigan. The only thing going for him, and the reason his crew follow him. Well, except for Petra, her unhealthy infatuation, as Finnigan called it, was her reason for following him. No, he owns one of the ancient card treasures, the fifth card. Pirates rumored, that if you were in possession of all five, you could open a gateway to paradise.
Join this, Ruthless Pirate Extraordinaire, or so he wants everyone to think, on this first installment, ‘Roadmap to Paradise.’
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Right away, you know the year, what’s happened and what’s taking place now, all under forty words. In the next paragraph, you find out who the main character is and what goes on between him and his co-prognosticator, Petra. Then, I start building about a mystery and their search for and how many treasures there are to reach their goal: finding the roadmap to paradise.
It’s clear, short, and contains a small bit of humor. Using this in the teaser shows the reader that there will be more of the same inside. By relaying to the reader that Sean wants nothing to do with Petra, yet Petra wants everything to do with him tells the reader there will be interesting dialogue and sexual tension between the two. Another important detail I wanted the reader to know, is that our main character already has one of the mystery cards.
You’ll notice a few key details outside of the normally written teaser. There is a key feature not well known by authors that Amazon supports. Those are the ability to use hypertext code within your blurb. This allows you to highlight certain words, phrases, and aspects that draw the reader in. It allows you to stand out above your competitors.
By using this code <b>turns bold text on</b>, while using this code, turns off bold. You can also use <i>and</i> for italics and<H1>and</H1> for header text. They can also be used together as in <b><i>for bold italics and again</b></i>, to turn that feature off.
At the bottom of my teaser, I use this header with bold text to invite the prospective reader to take an action. You can use numerous combinations in your teaser that Amazon supports. Those codes show up in my example above. I suggest searching Google for hypertext codes that are available. Keep in mind, that they can be overdone, just like a lengthy teaser.
There are a ton of writers out there that write exceptional masterpiece novels, but one area I see, over and over, is a failed book blurb. Not interesting, having spoilers, or just too wordy will instantly turn off a prospective reader. Keep it simple, short, and to the point. Make it interesting by adding emotion where appropriate. The reader wants to know key things; what is this book about? It’s our job as writers to tell them all about it in only a couple hundred words.
Tune in next week as I discuss another key aspect of self-publishing, mastering keywords.
Until then, this is author Brian K. Larson, sparking imaginations, one book at a time.