IWSG 89: It’s All Marketing


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.



Kim Lajevardi | Victoria Marie Lees | Joylene Nowell Butler | Erika Beebe | Lee Lowery


What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb? Book titles and book blurbs are all about marketing. Their purpose is to catch your perfect reader’s eye and encourage them to begin to read.

Book Titles:

I find these the simplest—mostly—because when I started, I went with a traditional indie publisher and I knew they would change my title if any of them sucked.

Some examples of my titles: Symbiotic Slip, Minor Error, White Light, Mexmur, the huntress + Dragon Eye (same world), Season Change, Time Piece, Witchery, Edge of Mine, Who’s the Monster?, Standing Up, Rags to Bitches

I only have one rule, and that is to do an internet search on the title before committing to it.

Book Blurbs

I’ve heard there are recipes for the perfect blurb.

That might work for some, but I prefer to answer The Query Shark’s question: why do I care?

I think about my perfect reader and write two paragraphs—of no more than 150 words—they imply the genre, age of audience. But my real focus is on who their perfect hero is and who is getting in their way. What are the consequences if they fail and the cost if they succeed.

My goal is to make the reader care or curious enough to read my first line…

My Question to You

Do you have a magic recipe for your title or blurb? Tell me. I’d love to hear it.


63 responses to “IWSG 89: It’s All Marketing

  1. Yes, definitely do a search for the title. Search Amazon, too. You don’t want a bunch of other books with the same name. Simple does work best.

  2. I’d love a magic recipe for writing a title. I do search on Goodreads and Amazon to be sure it’s not too similar to other books.

  3. Hemingway and Fitzgerald struggled with getting the “right” titles for their books, so I guess we are in good company! I try for something that resonates with the theme of my book.

  4. Hi,
    No, I do not have a perfect recipe for writing a blurb. I wish I did have one. It would save me an enormous amount of time.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  5. Blurbs are more difficult for me. I’ve got a sort-of recipe on my blog today as well. Query Shark is brilliant – she sees right to the core of things!

  6. I wish I had magic recipes for lots of things. 🙂

    The Query Shark blog and Janet Reid’s blog are excellent resources.

  7. Titles have always come easier for me. I’ve not yet found the perfect blurb combo. I’ve attended free classes, read books, gotten help, and still blurbs are a struggle for me. Hopefully one day I’ll reach a level of “I got this” when doing them.

  8. I don’t have a magic recipe, but I did a webinar on blurbs and came away with a good template to follow that has made writing them a little easier.

  9. Good point about caring. If you or your reader doesn’t care, then why bother reading? Thank for reminding me about Query Shark, too. I’d forgotten that site, and it was so helpful in the past.

  10. Adrienne Reiter

    I’m a commitaphobe when it comes to titles. Blurbs are written and rewritten…and rewritten. If there’s a magic recipe I’d sure like to hear it!

  11. You know, I hadn’t thought about searching the titles before deciding on them. Then again, my big books are all made-up words, so there’s less chance of that there. My current WIP, however… Even if I did find another book with the same title, I don’t think I’d change it.

  12. I don’t blame you! That’s a great question 🙂 Happy IWSG day 🙂

  13. Sounds like you’ve figured out this blurb thing. Yay, Anna. I’m still struggling.

  14. For me, a title is much easier than a blurb. But you’re right. They are both about marketing.

  15. I don’t have a lot of practice at writing blurbs, so I don’t have a recipe. But I have been reading lots of post about how others do them. It remains to be seen if I can duplicate their success.

  16. I usually end up brainstorming titles with the help of my writer friends. Many brains make light work?

  17. mlouisebarbourfundyblue

    I have no magic recipes, Anna! If only! For sure, it’s the first hook for a potential reader. I like how succinct your titles are. Thanks for the advice to check the internet before you commit to a title. Happy writing in November!

  18. Rags to Bitches:) Love that title:)

  19. I also check out other books with the titles I’m considering. It’s tough to find a unique title! I like your approach to writing blurbs.

  20. I’ve done the title searches, too. You think you have something clever and unique, only to find 10 other books with the same title. 😆 I have some blurb formulas in my data base from different writing sources. They’re similar in terms of content, and not, in my opinion, very original.

  21. I had never heard before that there is a recipe for the perfect blurb. That was really helpful. Thanks, Anna!

  22. Blurbs are such a struggle for me. If only there was a magic recipe. Somewhere once I read a kind of formula that contained fill in the blanks to make it easier to complete. I still struggled, wondering if I didn’t know my story well enough…

  23. I never thought of a blurb using a recipe. I use Debra Dixon’s GMC (goal, motivation, & conflict) when I write the blurb. Very similar to yours.

  24. I met Query Shark at a writing conference years back. She’s a really smart lady. “Why do I care?” is a good standard to follow. I read a lot of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and a lot of the book blurbs for those books are all about lore and world-building. Don’t get me wrong, I love good world-building, but when I read a book blurb that says “such-and-such empire is at war,” my reaction is usually, “why should I care?”

  25. I didn’t even have the forethought to do a google search of the title when I first started. I do prefer a shorter blurb, as a reader. I want you to grab me quickly. I don’t have a lot of time to waste picking a book.

  26. Ooo…the Query Shark…she knows. And her, “Why do I care?” is spot on. I actually submitted several stories to her Friday Writing Contests and she favorably responded to three. I almost fell off my office chair.

  27. Anna — I always search titles, too! Congrats to Lee on the new book.

  28. Absolutely wonderful magic recipe to writing blurbs, Anna. I’m going to tuck that one in my notebook for sure! Thanks so much for sharing your insight with IWSG followers. Have a beautiful weekend!

  29. Very smart to google that proposed title first, before you get attached to it. Sometimes your title could already be associated with something wildly different than your project! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  30. Your titles sound great! And yeah, the Why Do I Care question is a great one to keep in mind when writing any kind of marketing copy, That and knowing your audience, which I struggle with. Um… people who read books? 🙂

  31. While I love to write and be creative, I find blurbs incredibly hard. Titles too (I overthink those and like double meanings). I guess this means I’m not a marketer. (I’m not.) 🙂

  32. I shared a formula for blurb-writing for a YA sweet series over on my site. I’m not sure if it would work with other genres. I can try it and see how it pans out. Haha!

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth Mueller¨*•.♥

  33. mlouisebarbourfundyblue

    Happy IWSG Day, Anna! I hope that you had a good November and are looking forward to a lovely holiday season! Take care!

  34. Magic recipes? I’d welcome these for quite a few areas in my writing journey. LOL
    Blurbs? There are some who are so good at it. Not sure I’m one of those individuals. Sounds like you have the blurb-thinggie more-or-less figured out.

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