Publishing your book 5


The blurb

Part of the publishing process is convincing people that they want to read your book(s).

I wrote a letter once that got me a teaching job immediately. I was told at the interview that it was my letter rather than the CV that worked. I tried the put myself in the employer’s place and wrote directly addressing her needs i.e. saying that I would not need any materials because I provided my own and that I would teach any group at any stage.

Maybe I should try to do the same with ‘selling’ my book, but it is not so easy.

I read out part of this blurb to a Writers’ Circle and they immediately suggested different approaches. Apparently 250 words should be the maximum length of any blurb, so I seem to be okay there. The trouble is I felt my blurb needed to reflect the contents of and style of the book as honestly as possible so I found it very difficult to adopt their suggestions.

One member of a publishing group I know is going on a marketing course – a course that is not specifically related to publishing books, but should help her market the books her firm publishes. It’s an idea…  

My blurb was written as a response to a publishing firm asking for materials. I have tried to apply my golden rule of write and re-write at least 3 times, but I feel it could do with more tweaking.

My blurb to the publisher:

If you are looking for support material for teachers, you may be interested in publishing two books that I have written: Teaching Language Learners and Out of a Learner’s Mouth.

Teaching Language Learners explains current language acquisition theory simply and succinctly and it offers ideas and methods for teachers to engage students in the process of language learning. It is slanted towards the teaching of English but it applies to teaching Modern Languages and any subjects that use language as a channel for communication. I plan to present a paper at the IATEFL Conference in 2011 on the contents of this book.

Out of a Learner’s Mouth is being self-published at present. A copy-editor has been employed and the book is due to be published by the end of the month. It is a light-hearted description of the trials and tribulations of a teacher’s efforts to learn Spanish as a beginner after reaching the age of retirement. Although written in an approachable, informal style, it is based on a sound theoretical platform. Teachers find out what a language learner really thinks about her teachers, the courses she uses and the people she meets. Teachers, researchers, and course planners gather new ideas and methods and find out the pitfalls of their profession. Prospective learners of Spanish are entertained with tales of Spain and Spanish characters while learning a word or two of Spanish on the way. I will be presenting a paper on this book at the IATEFL Conference in April this year.

I am sure you could do better. I would happily do a swap – you sort out my blurb and I have a go at yours..?

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One Response to “Publishing your book 5”

  1. dressingmyself Says:

    I’ve never had a book published so treat this as just an opinion:

    I would not begin the blurb with the word ‘if’ as it is conditional.
    Say something positive. Be bold.
    Something like : These two books would provide good support material for teachers.

    JUst a suggestion.

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