ASP 55: Bryan Cohen on Writing a Sizzling Synopsis and Networking with Top Authors
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov
Steve met Bryan Cohen over three years ago as part of March to a Bestseller. Steve also listens regularly to his Sell More Books Show with Jim Kukral. Recently, Bryan came out with a book called: “How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis.”
What got you into self-publishing?
Bryan started blogging in 2008 with his first blog, Build Creative Writing Ideas. He wrote about writing productivity and discipline and other writing tips. The blog didn’t make money but after two years, he had produced a fair bit of content.
It was during this time that he heard about self-publishing and about the Amazon platform. He decided to collect a bunch of his blog posts of creative writing prompts into a single book: 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts.
Why fiction AND nonfiction?
Bryan writes both fiction and nonfiction. He loves telling stories and helping people. Self-publishing enables him to do both while making money at the same time.
Nonfiction outsells fiction. But Bryan thinks it comes down to what genre you pick and how well you present it.
How do you decide what to write about?
Bryan looks through a lot of different subcategories of Amazon, trying to find a topic that there’s not a lot of demand but can still sell AND at the same time, he can enjoy writing.
March to a Bestseller. Tell us about it? Why you decided to put together this event?
Bryan has been able to forge many connections because of this event.
Basically, it is about 15 authors coming together, discounting their one book to $0.99. Authors will also come in live in the Facebook event to chat with other authors and their followers.
So far, Bryan has done three of these events so far.
What advice could you give to listeners if they want to put together a similar event?
Find your strength. Find something you can do for other people and ask people if you can do that thing for them.
Talk about the Sell More Books Show. Why did you do that and what got you into that?
Bryan met Jim Kukral through the March to Bestseller event. Jim asked about doing a podcast and they came up with the format for the podcast.
- News updates – five news stories for the past week
- Three tips for authors
- Occasional rant from Jim
What got you into specializing in Book Descriptions?
Bryan just published “How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis.”
Bryan also works as a copywriter for various publications. He got the idea of offering book description writer services from his mastermind group. He got 100 orders in the first month.
This experience including his copywriting experience helped Bryan to get the feel of what makes book descriptions tick.
Why should authors CARE about writing good descriptions?
Think about this from a sales perspective. A change in book description in your sales page can increases your sales. A small change in conversion percentage can even double your book sales.
Could you describe the process that both a fiction AND nonfiction author should use to write a great description?
When writing for either fiction and nonfiction, you need to keep the “emotion” in mind.
Fiction – Find the hook that connects with people who read that genre. How are readers going to relate to the characters?
Nonfiction – Focus on solving a problem and presenting the benefits of reading the book.
What’s your take on adding accolades in the descriptions for nonfiction books?
It’s important establish your authority from the very beginning. Self-published authors tend to be modest. You need to talk highly about yourself in book descriptions to encourage people to buy your books.
Let people know that you are an expert in your field, preferably in the first two paragraphs.
Book Descriptions Tips:
On finding the right words: Go at writing the description as fast as possible. Then read out loud to make sure it sounds good. Make sure you use words that your very clear with your call to action, which found at the bottom of the book description.
On using humor within your copy: Match the book description with the tone of the book. It’s very important to use humor if your book allows that kind of tone. If you can use it well, do it. If not, don’t bother.
What made your most recent book launch so successful?
The book sold about 2,000 copies in the first week.
The success boils down to networking. Bryan reached out friends, announced it on his podcast and used a bit of Facebook ads.
My first big push for the book was the result of an accident. KM Weiland sent me an email meant for another Bryan. But that led to my book being included in her promo.
Build long-term friendships.
On authors and fitness
Bryan has recently gotten a treadmill desk and involved in Fitbit challenges. He enjoys various fitness and exercise activities regularly. It helps him write and be more productive.
Where can find you online?
Brian’s course on Book Descriptions.
Turn your idea into a bestselling book!
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