Marketing Madness

I’m back with more marketing and press release information, by popular demand.

I recently co-led a class at a Writer’s Conference (with poet Melinda Palacio) on Being Your Own Best Publicist and, since then, I’ve been contacted by writers with questions on back cover copy, loglines, and press releases.

Every time I finish a book, after writing a whopping ~80,000 words, I go back and condense the gist of my novel into far fewer words. I do this for the back cover copy, for a press release, and even for a log line (which is typically under 25 words). These are not easy tasks, but they can be reduced to just the right amount of words to ignite a potential reader’s curiosity.

Here are two of my own log or taglines:

She swore she’d never turn into her P.I. father…but that was before she ran over the body. (MURDER & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS)

A girl, a guy, and a missing body. What could go wrong? (MURDER GONE MISSING)

From Louise Penny’s STILL LIFE: Three Pines–a beautiful place, a brutal murder…

Writing log or taglines requires distilling your novel into a brief sentence or two; enough to whet a reader’s appetite. Make them want to know more! 

To write the back cover copy, I study books that appear similar in genre and tone. Then I work on mine. And work and work some more. A whole lot more!

For my upcoming book, MURDEROUS MEANS, #6 in my Southern California Mystery series, I wrote a 150-200 word back cover copy, then refined it. And put it aside. I rinsed and repeated multiple times.  

For my last release, GAMBLING WITH MURDER, my lovely publisher created this press release (with slight modifications by yours truly):


I changed it around some more, depending on who or what media outlet I was submitting it to. This is what I used for local circulation:

GAMBLING WITH MURDER sell sheet_Updated2023

Once again, the possibilities are endless and so are the press releases that appear online on the websites of other authors. Take a look and educate yourself. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can come up with.

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