Growing Pains…Learning from Example, Why Didn’t I Think of That?

I have been reading and researching many marketing blogs and books this past week. I am trying to ‘mix it up,’ so to speak. My mind needs to focus on sales, even if my brain has about fifteen ideas for stories. I am slowly learning that I need to stick to my schedule and marketing plan if I want to succeed.

The blogs and articles I have been reading this week focus on three things:

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on
  1. cover design
  2. kick butt blurbs
  3. titles

To have successful designs, blurbs, or titles for your book, they all have the same advice…learn from your peers. This is the most obvious advice EVER!

I am so disappointed in myself for not thinking about doing this before. As a coach for so many years, I told my players to watch college softball and basketball games ALL THE TIME. Learn the game from experienced players. Go to the high school games and watch the players in their positions. I rarely take my own advice. I am such a great role model (insert eye roll here).

I have been on Amazon and Google+ searching through cover designs. I have seen some pretty far out covers. Some I like and some not so much. Then again, some of the covers are not in my genre.

david ogilvy book lying beside black leather booklet
Photo by Markus Spiske on

While reading advice on covers I came upon an unusual comment that comes up in the blogs: ‘create a cover that blends in yet stands out.’ What the heck does this mean?

Okay, they look like all the others, but I splashed a big blob of red paint in the center of my cover. Is that good? I know, but I bet you would look twice. You wouldn’t click to buy, but you would look twice.

Look at examples, what works in your genre? What do you see as a reader of your niche? Which ones stand out? Do you think that cover works for this book? Does it get lost in the pack? Okay, what about this one…is it too out of the ordinary? Does the picture tell you what the book is about (drama, humor, thriller, etc.)? Can you identify this book in a lineup?

Next is the blurb. My worst nightmare! I can write an entire book, then barely write a fifty-word summary on the story. Which I find unbelievable considering how much I can talk to strangers in an elevator. The summary is not really the issue, it is more of the ‘hook’ to get the readers interested. I ask questions, I intrigue the readers with some explanation of the beginning of the book (not much), then I might ask another question.

think outside of the box
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The children’s books I use a different method. I give a summary of the book without sharing the end. Then I explain the book series is about ‘friendship, fun, and acceptance.’ I still haven’t done much research on blurbs for either genre, but I don’t utilize my word count effectively.

Another article discusses the blurbs are essential for the books’ findings on the search engines. I am not positive on that, look it up. If this is true (it does make sense), I need to reevaluate ALL  of my blurbs.

Last, but certainly not least, the title. I have read two articles that promote title generators. I used a title generator as I was writing this blog.

I have an idea what I want for the title of my next book for my series, but we could always use the help.

The generator asked questions about the main area the in the story, the fault and best asset of the protagonist, and what the main character does for a living.  I didn’t like it. I think the possible reasons why are:

I already have titles in mind

The generator titles don’t fit the titles my previous books in my series have.

They never asked the protagonist’s name

My favorite advice I learned from one article, though, look up your most popular blog posts. See which have the most likes and read the titles. Are they informative? Are they humorous? Are they creative? The titles of your articles are valuable information because your audience is reading them (Ah-hah moment for me).

Does your cover fit in AND stand out?  Does that blurb make you want to go and buy that book? Does this title intrigue you?

person holding white ceramic coffee cup leaning on brown wooden table
Photo by THE 5TH on

Have a fabulous weekend.


Robyn Branick


Robbie Ellie


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