What is a book? Why did the publisher hire me to write it and print all these copies? Why did I write, re-write, re-re-write, edit, and re-edit the content within? Why am I sprawled in the front hall manipulating packing tape to stick to the package and not to my forearm?

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Publishing veteran Carl Lennertz discusses the difference between between book marketing and publicity and where self-published authors should spend their money.

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You’ve written an amazing book. You’ve gone through a thorough editing process. Your book cover has been designed and it looks amazing. You have spent months, even years to get to this point, and you are probably experiencing a combination of elation and exhaustion. Well, take a deep breath and get ready for round two, because now you are ready for the next steps: publishing and promoting your book.

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Think of your book description as the most important sales pitch of your life. Every word must count, every idea must serve to rope readers in. Too often, indie authors fall short and lose readers to a book with better promo copy.

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Jacket copy is never going to be “perfect.” It’ll never capture everything you want readers to know about your book or your achievements as an author. So give up on trying to pack it all in and just accept the fact that this is supposed to be, much like the descriptions on a menu, a teaser. First throw your hands in the air, and then use them to karate chop all the extraneous elements into submission. What’s left over will be in fighting trim.

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Your book’s cover and description are the two key factors that could cause a customer to either ignore you or open to chapter one. Let’s assume that you’ve already got an attractive book cover (if not, check out BookBaby’s eBook Cover Design service). But how do you create a compelling book description?

While there’s no single tried-and-true method, one thing is for sure: You MUST capture the imagination with the first sentence.

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