In 2013, I posted four essays, Crunching the Publishing Numbers. Here are the links:

Part 1, Crunching the Publishing Numbers
http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2013/02/24/crunching-the-publishing-numbers/

Part 2, Crunching the Publishing Numbers. Money and Power
http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2013/05/01/crunching-the-publishing-numbers-part-2-money-and-power/

Part 3, Crunching the Publishing Numbers. Wired and Wool
http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2013/05/05/crunching-the-publishing-numbers-part-3-wool-and-wired/

Part 4, Crunching the Publishing Numbers. Romance Scams
http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2013/08/04/crunching-the-ebook-publishing-numbers-sfwapro/

These essays compare the financials of traditional Big Publishers with the financials of self-publishing an ebook. I don’t mean to denigrate the value of an author’s exposure in the Big Media when you publish through a Big Publisher. Such exposure is very valuable and difficult to match for a self-published author.

That said, the rest of the financials of traditional Big Publishing don’t compare well with self-publishing numbers. And whether you, the author, will get any exposure of your book in the Big Media is totally up to your Publisher. You have no control. Further, if the Publisher doesn’t give you media exposure and marketing support—which is the case for ninety percent of authors—the publisher will still expect you, the author, to promote your book on your own via social networks. So you’ll be promoting the publisher’s 85% interest in your work at your own time and expense and no time and expense to them.

Due to the difficulty authors have these days retaining a recognized literary agent, all the Big Publishers (and several small independent publishers) offer imprints to which you may submit your book without an agent. They typically offer only an ebook, with some publishing a mass market paperback if your ebook numbers justify the expense. The jury is in: these are mostly scams and exploitative of authors. See above, Part 4, Crunching the Publishing Numbers, Romance Scams.

Now that we’re three months into 2014, a number of pundits—including Smashwords and Writer’s Digest Magazine—have posted their analyses of where the Publishing Business is now and likely to go in the future. I’m not a psychic, but I’m following the blogs and have my own experience. In the next few weeks, I’ll share what I’ve learned with you regarding book earnings, market share, competition, ebooks versus print books, professionalism, and hybrid publishing.

So there you have it, my friends. The Publishing Biz has become a lot like space exploration. Since Big Government can’t or won’t fund space projects, a number of dedicated independent entrepreneurs have stepped up to the challenge and are privately developing rockets, satellites, and space exploration projects like asteroid mining. All space projects need is expertise, passion, inventiveness, imagination, talent, time, and, yes, money. Like writing and publishing.

T minus five, four, three, two, one, Liftoff!

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Happy Spring Reading!

Bast Books Proudly Presents

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story, a short, sweet memoir about a life in a garden and one writer’s first inspiration. The ebook includes my first story, Arachne, which was published by Omni, a magazine with a worldwide circulation of five million.

Reading Charlotte’s Web, the classic children’s book, inspired me to write my own novels at the age of eight. My quest to discover the meaning of the spider led me to Jungian psychology, myths, and symbols. The classic myth of Arachne became the subtext of my first story, Arachne, published in Omni. My first two early cyberpunk novels followed, Arachne and Cyberweb, published by William Morrow and Avon Books. I am presently working on an adaptation of those books as The Quester Trilogy.

So there you have it, my friends. Plenty about reading, writing, my roots as a writer, my journey and struggle to become a writer, the life-long process of inspiration, and how I broke into the professional market.

And spiders!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is $.99 until March 22 on Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.

If you’re reading on an Apple device or a Kobo, the links to My Charlotte: Patty’s Story should post in a day or so. Check in at my titles on Apple and Kobo.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story is also on Amazon.com worldwide in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

An intriguing, complex mystery grounded in extensive research into controversial 1890s immigration policy blended with passionate romance and a dash of wit.

Lily is not quite a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896. She may be repressed and dependent on her husband, but she supports the vote for women and has a mind of her own. When Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

5 Stars “I really enjoyed the story and would love to read a sequel! I enjoy living in the 21st century, but this book made me want to visit the Victorian era. The characters were brought to life, a delight to read about. The tasteful sex scenes were very racy….Good Job!”

—Reader Review

Read the whole four-book miniseries at Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

For those of you who may have missed them, here are the Book Description Blogs 1—4. This is for indie authors or for traditionally published authors who are now, like so many of us, taking charge of our backlists and our futures.

How to Write a Compelling Book Description 1: My First Impressions. http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/01/17/how-to-write-a-compelling-book-description-part-1-my-first-impressions-lisa-mason-sfwa-pro/
In the course of picking up links to indie authors’ books to Tweet on Twitter, I had a chance to read many Book Descriptions. Many did everything a Book Description is supposed to do, some had a few problems, and many more had a lot of problems.

How to Write a Compelling Book Description 2: Traditional Versus Independent Publishing. http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/02/18/how-to-write-a-compelling-book-description-part-2-traditional-versus-independent-publishing-lisa-mason-sfwapro/
I published six novels with Random House and HarperCollins, and have had Book Descriptions written for me by the publishers’ marketing or advertising staff. I studied them—the Book Descriptions, not the staff. When I published my backlist, novelettes and novellas published in anthologies, and a few new titles on Bast Books, I had to write my own.

How to Write a Compelling Book Description 3: Essential Elements of a Book Description. http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/02/19/how-to-write-a-compelling-book-description-part-3-essential-elements-of-a-book-description-lisa-mason-sfwapro/
I identify nine Essential Elements of a Book Description and provide examples.

How to Write a Compelling Book Description 4: Problems with Book Descriptions and How to Solve Them. http://lisamasontheauthor.com/2014/02/20/how-to-write-a-compelling-book-description-part-4-problems-with-book-descriptions-and-how-to-solve-them-lisa-mason-sfwapro/
I identify nine common problems I’ve observed in Book Descriptions and suggest ways to solve them.

So there you have it, my friends. Hope you find some useful tips!

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Now fully navigational with a linked Table of Contents!

As I mulled over my published short fiction, I found seven wildly different stories with one thing in common–a heroine totally unlike me. I’m the girl next door. I have no idea where these Strange Ladies came from.

In The Oniomancer (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), a Chinese-American punk bicycle messenger finds an artifact on the street. In Guardian (Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine), an African-American gallerist resorts to voodoo to confront a criminal. In Felicitas (Desire Burn: Women Writing from the Dark Side of Passion [Carroll and Graf]), an illegal Mexican immigrant faces life as a cat shapeshifter. In Stripper (Unique Magazine), an exotic dancer battles the Mob. In Triad (Universe 2 [Bantam]), Dana Anad lives half the time as a woman, half as a man, and falls in love with a very strange lady. In Destination (Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), a driver takes three strangers from a ride board on a cross-country trip as the radio reports that a serial killer is on the loose. In Transformation and the Postmodern Identity Crisis (Fantastic Alice [Ace]), Alice considers life after Wonderland.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

“Hilarious, provocative, profound”

5.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com Great science fiction short stories! November 1, 2013

“Fantastic book of short stories. All have some science fiction/fantasy elements. One is about a road trip with strangers, a bit more on the horror end of the spectrum, another is more humorous, based on Alice in Wonderland. One is a fascinating imagining of alien gender, and how it might differ from human. All have been published in various magazines and anthologies before, but were hard to find until this great collection. Recommended.”

From Jeanne-Mary Allen, Author on Facebook and the BookBrothers Blog: “Kyle Wylde and I are thrilled to have found such a talented, dedicated, and brilliant collection of shorts in Strange Ladies: 7 Stories…Your style/craft is highly impressive.”

From the San Francisco Book Review: “Strange Ladies: 7 Stories offers everything you could possibly want, from more traditional science fiction and fantasy tropes to thought-provoking explorations of gender issues and pleasing postmodern humor…This is a must-read collection.”

From the Book Brothers Review Blog: “Lisa Mason might just be the female Phillip K. Dick. Like Dick, Mason’s stories are far more than just sci-fi tales, they are brimming with insight into human consciousness and the social condition….Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is a sci-fi collection of excellent quality. If you like deeply crafted worlds with strange, yet relatable characters, then you won’t want to miss it.”

From Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America:
Lisa Mason’s new collection, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories features science fiction and fantasy shorts published in top magazines and anthologies worldwide. The San Francisco Book Review said, “This is a must-read collection.”

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India,

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

As I’ve cruised around Twitter, picking up links to Tweet for independent authors, I noticed these problems with indie Book Descriptions:

1. Telling what the book is.
A quick shorthand of what the book is will work—“A dark urban fantasy,” “An international thriller”—but your categories and keywords are the more appropriate place to relay this information.
How to fix: Refocus your Description to describe what the book is about. That is, the plot.

2. Unfocused, vague, or incoherent plot or premise.
I’ve read Book Descriptions after which I’m still not sure what the plot or premise is.
How to fix: Think of your Book Description as a movie pitch or logline—you need to give a clear picture of what happens in your book as precisely and concisely as possible. Exercise: Pitch your book to a friend. What’s important to mention and what not should leap right out.

3. Too much plot.
I’ve seen Book Descriptions that provide a synopsis of the entire plot! You want the reader to buy and read your book. Don’t do this in your Book Description.
How to fix: Determine what is most important in the beginning. That’s all you need. If you wish to suggest the overarching plot, couch it as a summary or a story question.
From Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery): Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.
From Summer of Love: With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a wise, feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

4. Telling the reader how wonderful the book is.
No one ever buys a book because the author says it is wonderful. As tempted as you may be to do this, don’t.
A reader is either interested in the subject or not, in you as an author or not. And that’s the way it is.

5. Including professional or reader reviews.
Amazon has a spot on your product page to include as many professional reviews as you wish. Use it. Don’t put reviews in your Book Description.
Similarly, a potential reader can find reader reviews in the section provided for them. Don’t put them in your Book Description.
Exception: Smashwords doesn’t have a place for professional reviews. Barnes and Noble does, but you need the reviewer’s name. Publisher’s Weekly, other review sites, and some blogs don’t give that information. So I would say that in your Smashwords and Barnes and Noble Book Descriptions, you may include reviews. Be aware that those Descriptions have word limitations. You can only include so much.

6. Too much about the place and time or vague, incoherent details.
The place and time of your book are Essential Elements, but you need to keep that information precise and concise. Think again of your Book Description as a movie pitch. Hit the intriguing points.
From The Gilded Age: The year is 1895 and immigrants the world over are flocking to California on the transcontinental railroad and on transoceanic steamships. The Zoetrope demonstrates the persistence of vision, patent medicines addict children to morphine, and women are rallying for the vote. In San Francisco, saloons are the booming business, followed by brothels, and the Barbary Coast is a dangerous sink of iniquity. Atop Telegraph Hill bloody jousting tournaments are held and in Chinatown the tongs deal in opium, murder-for-hire, and slave girls.

7. Book excerpts.
Don’t include these. Thanks to the Sampling function on all retailers’ sites, a potential reader can easily read the beginning of your book and decide if he or she likes your writing.
You want to draw the reader deeper into your product, not bash them over the head with it in a Book Description.

8. Awkward, imprecise language.
I read a Book Description that hit all the right marks. Then, toward the end, a clunky sentence stuck out like a sore thumb. A reader like me would be leery of the author’s writing right from the start. Be careful.
How to fix: Print out and proof your book description on paper. Read it aloud.

9. Misspellings
Like number 8, this is a deal-breaker. I read a Book Description for an erotic book in which the author not only inserted a passage from the book, but misspelled “crotch” as “crutch.” Ouch!
How to fix: Print out and proof your book description on paper. Trust me, you can’t see everything on the screen.

So there you have it, my friends. You worked long and hard to write a book. Be sure to present all that work in the best possible light through a compelling Book Description.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

You’ve written a book that—I hope!—contains all the elements set out below. How you layer them into your story is another topic altogether that I’m not going to touch on here.

Now the challenge: to distill your book into a Book Description that will intrigue the potential reader enough to buy it. The reader must grasp what your book is about in order to determine whether he or she is interested.

I trust I don’t insult your intelligence by stating the obvious, but you’d be surprised how many indie authors believe that merely telling potential readers in their Book Description that their book is wonderful will make sales.

It won’t.

But don’t the Big Publishers do that? you want to know.

Of course they do, but in a roundabout way. They send book galleys out to famous or critically acclaimed authors and ask if the authors would like to “blurb” the book. In return, the publisher will cite the author’s latest book on the book jacket so the author receives free promotion.

No wonder so many authors do it. I’ve blurbed books by Jamil Nasir, Linda Nagata, Kay Kenyon, and others for Bantam Books.

Still, even famous authors’ endorsements, if you’ve got them, go on a different section of your book’s Product Page, the section for Reviews. Endorsements do not belong in your Book Description.

What does? Precisely and concisely as possible, set out:

Time
In a contemporary memoir, literary novel, or romance, Time may not be important enough to mention in your Book Description. But you should establish Time in your book, and if you think the Time will intrigue the reader, state it. This can be especially important for historical fiction of whatever genre (romance, mystery, literary, fantasy) and science fiction.

Place
Other than in experimental fiction (and how boring is that?), the place or places where your story unfolds is essential, including in fantasy set in an imaginary world.

Premise
This is the core idea that probably inspired you to write your book, the Big What If? What if adults of all ages, from all walks of life, were accepted by the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic as in The Garden of Abracadabra. What if an oppressed housewife in 1896 is compelled into murder and intrigue and a passionate romance as in Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery).

Lead character or characters
If you’ve got only one lead POV character, identify and describe him or her precisely and concisely. Same for any other lead POV characters.

Villain or evil
Your villain or impending evil (or abusive family) may be described specifically or merely hinted at. But make sure your hints are specific.

Inciting Incident
The action that kicks your book into gear and draws your readers into the story. Precise and concise in your Book Description, please!

Plot questions
Sum up the urgent plot questions that follow from your premise and inciting incident in an intriguing way, but do not describe the whole plot. The whole plot is why you want your readers to buy your book!

If the work was published in a magazine or anthology, a citation to the original publication
This is, I think, completely appropriate in a Book Description, and not to be confused with professional critics’ or readers’ reviews, which properly go in the Reviews section of your product page.

Your credentials and awards
Also appropriate, but insert any  laudatory language of the award in the Reviews section of your product page. A citation to the award is enough in your Book Description.

Now for some Examples. I’m pointing out the Essential Elements.

An earlier version of this Book Description for Summer of Love was written by Bantam for the print edition. This is a long, deeply researched, complicated book in which the time period and the setting are vital.

I adapted the publisher’s Book Description and improved upon Bantam’s version for my ebook by adding a few more specific details and the overall story question (that Bantam didn’t address in its version):

The year is 1967 (Time) and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.
San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo (Place).
Lost in these strange and wondrous days, fourteen-year-old Susan Bell, alias Starbright, (First POV Character) has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend (Inciting Incident). Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine. (Second POV Character and Premise)
With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a wise, feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, (Third POV Character) Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries (Plot Question). But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time? (Villain or Evil)
A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Recommended Book. (Awards)
From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book), The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery), and Strange Ladies: 7 Stories. (Credentials)

Here is the Book Description for Every Mystery Unexplained, a novelette published in a hardcover anthology. Note that because of the shorter length and single POV lead character, the setting is less important and the protagonist’s conflicts are set out. The Description includes the novelette’s original publication and the other famous authors published in the anthology.

The year is 1895, and Danny Flint is a young man living in the shadow of his controlling father, a famous stage magician whose fortunes are fading. Uncle Brady, Professor Flint’s trusted assistant and business manager and Danny’s best friend, cannot stay in the same hotel as them—Uncle Brady is African-American. Danny is grieving over his mother’s recent accidental death, for which he feels he is to blame.
When a mysterious beautiful lady comes to them for help, Danny and his father will confront the ethical dilemma between spiritualist séances and faked séances performed by stage magicians like them.
He will learn to reconcile himself with his grief and guilt, learn the secret of Uncle Brady’s identity, and assume his place at center stage as a talented magician in his own right with the help of the mysterious beautiful lady.
Every Mystery Unexplained was published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), which also included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson (Original Publication).

So there you have it, my friends. Put some thought and care into your Book Description. You won’t regret it!

Tomorrow:
How to Write a Compelling Book Description Part 4: Problems with Book Descriptions and How to Solve Them Lisa Mason #SFWApro

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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Thank you for your readership!

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