USA Today bestselling author and former publisher Dean Wesley Smith knows how to navigate the complicated world of publishing. And now, he shares his experience to help writers tackle the most challenging writing of all: Fiction Sales Copy.
In this WMG Writer's Guide, Dean addresses the major challenges that lead to bad sales copy—including using passive voice and too much plot—and offers 32 examples from his own stories to illustrate his points.
Want to make your books stand out from the pack and grab the reader's attention? Then learn from Dean's experience and discover how to write copy that best sells your stories.
Dean is one of my best friends in the business, and we began our careers at about the same time. When we started as pro writers, the path to take was well understood and we all followed the same decisions without many variations. But Dean was always innovative, seeking the road less traveled; he was a pioneer in non-traditional publishing with Pulphouse Publishing in the 1990s, and in recent years he and his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch have pushed the envelope further with their WMG Publishing. Dean has not only explored new techniques, but with his popular blogs and his instructional books, he has also shown other writers how to do new things for themselves. How to Write Fiction Sales Copy is an often overlooked skill, which can make or break your indie-published book. – Kevin J. Anderson
In July of 2015, I managed to write one short story a day. Actually had one extra, so ended up with 32 stories.
I did a cover for all of those stories as well, usually the next day.
My goal seemed simple on the surface:
In the book Stories from July, I wanted the blogs about writing each story, a cover, a blurb, and then the story.
To do that, I needed first to write the story each day. Check. Got that done. And it was great fun, more fun than I had imagined it would be.
Second, I needed to do a cover for each story, branded to me, the author. Check. Got that done.
And third, each story needed some sales copy. It would need it for the blurb on all the sales sites and for the back cover on the paper versions of each story and at the start of each story in Stories from July and in Smith's Monthly.
So that's what this series is all about.
I need to write the sales copy for all 32 stories. A couple people asked about how I was going to do that. So I figured why not explain some about how to write the sales copy, since I also teach doing this in a workshop, among other things.
I will include my thinking about each story as I wrote the sales copy for it and how I got out of author problems and wrote sales.
Maybe I can help a few writers with their own sales copy if I talk about this process and show examples. At least that's the hope.