10 Tips On How To Write A Blurb For The Back Cover

10 Tips On How To Write A Blurb For The Back Cover


Back cover blurb

What is it that influences a reader to buy a book? On Amazon, a reader will look at the description that’s posted on the book’s detail page or they will flip to the back of the book and read the blurb about the book.

The purpose of the blurb, that brief description found on a book’s back cover, is to entice readers to purchase your book.




But what about Kindle ebooks? Do you need a blurb for the back cover?

When a reader looks at a paperback they glance at the cover and title and then they turn the book over and look at the back cover. So the focus is on cover design not only for the front cover but also for the back cover so there needs to be a blurb to capture the reader’s attention.

On the internet, however, readers go to the Amazon book’s listing page to find out more about the book. There they see the book’s description, the price, information about the author, reviews and so on. So the listing page or the sales page takes the place of the back cover blurb.

For Kindle ebooks, then, the blurb is the description that you see on the eBook’s purchasing page.

Unlike physical, print books, Kindle ebooks have no spine and no back cover; they have dynamic layouts formatted with reflowable text.

While you could put an image of the back cover into the Kindle ebook manuscript most publishers do not bother with a blurb on the back cover.

It’s the description on the ebook’s detail page that functions as a blurb.




Before you start writing a blurb do some analysis of other bestselling books in your niche. Select 3-5 bestselling books and examine the way their books descriptions have been done.

Build up a file of book descriptions and blurbs so that you’ve got a reference point from which to develop your own book description and blurb writing skills.

Crafting a blurb for the back cover is a marketing exercise.  The focus needs to be all about the prospective customer and meeting their needs and expectations.

Its main purpose is to highlight the reasons your readers should purchase your book right now; it’s not about giving them an abstract or a synopsis of all that they can find inside the book.




A back cover blurb for a non-fiction book should:


1. provide a hook to get the reader in

2. have an attention-grabbing opening line 

  • which could be a question, 
  • address a reader’s problem,
  • make a promise
  • testimonial
  • statement from a review

3. it should be short    approximately 100-250 words

4. written in the third person

5. be punchy and interesting


[Title] is the self-help book for those wanting to have a better life but who don’t want to end up broke and down and out

6. appeal to the specific interests of your target market

7. Demonstrate the benefit that readers will get out of your book

8. have 3-5 bullet points


In this entertaining how-to guide … [author] provides  10 short, succinct chapters which will help you to:

  • Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want.
  • Create a life you’ll totally love.  
  • Generate an income of the magnitude you’ve never experienced

9. Tell the readers what they’ll take away as a result of reading the book



By the end of [the title], you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, and how to create the life and income you’ve always wanted


10. Include, if possible, some kind of positive endorsement from a distinguished person but don’t stress if you can’t.

Writing a good blurb can be easy once you get the hang of these tips. Start collecting some of your favourite blurb examples and then incorporate these ideas into creating your own.

If you’d like to book a complimentary call with me visit www.fastselfpublishingonline.com to access the FREE ONLINE CLASS. At the end of the class click on the link to schedule a call with me.


Marji Hill

Author & Coach

5 Ways To Sharpen Your Self-Publishing Skills

5 Ways To Sharpen Your Self-Publishing Skills


Sharpen your skills

Take time as an author to sharpen the skills, the tools, and your resources if it is your intention to be more productive.

Do this if your desire is to develop a career as an author and publisher. In which case, you will want to publish many books.

Publishing a book on Amazon is relatively easy and it is fast. However, mastering all the bits to create a successful publication can be challenging. 

In the self-publishing process, there are many moving parts and you have to get all the bits working in unison. To master this, keep sharpening your skills, keep on learning, and keep on testing.

It is what makes the difference between successful people and very successful people, and the more you do it the easier it becomes. 

The fastest way to become skilled at Amazon publishing is to produce multiple books. It’s by producing multiple books and learning what works and what doesn’t work that you develop the mastery.

You may be thinking how is it even possible to produce multiple books fast. Would I be right? 

Here are several ways to speed up the production of multiple books and to master the skills necessary to do this.




Many authors outsource the writing of their books.

They set themselves up as a business and their purpose is to publish lots of books. One of the sites where they can outsource their writing is Upwork.  

In other words, authors can employ ghostwriters to create their books. Once the content is drafted they can massage the text to suit themselves, put their name or a pen name to it, and work on getting the metadata right in readiness for publication.

The self-publisher puts their energies into creating a title and sub-title, does extensive keyword research, selects the best categories, and writes a compelling book’s description.




Another method to produce books fast is to create low content books: journals, notebooks, daily and weekly planners, bullet journals, guest books, prompt books, colouring books, trackers, and activity books.  

Passive income can be generated by publishing low-content books. Once you hit upon a profitable idea, low-content books take very little time to produce. 

It’s possible to go from developing an idea to publication and then to sales literally within the space of a few days.

Once the formula is established you publish and then rinse and repeat.




A key to success and to generate recurring income is to do your due diligence before you even create your book. So whether you outsource the writing so that you can produce multiple books or get into the production of low-content books the very first step is market research.

Before you create the next book validate the idea.

  1. Find a category that is low competition and with good cash flow potential. 
  2. Do keyword research to find profitable keywords with low competition
  3. Draft a working title and sub-title
  4. Draft the book’s description
  5. Study bestselling books in your niche and analyse to see what they have in common?   
  6. Come up with an idea that is a little bit different from the competition




Do research in advance of creating a publication and study the bestsellers. Take note of what’s working.

Find out what readers love.

The ultimate goal is to create a book that readers are already looking for. Validate your idea so that you give your book the best chance to make sales before you spend any time creating it. 

It is all too common for authors to create their book first and to create a book that they want to make instead of creating a book that other people want to buy. Creating a book first so often results in ZERO sales.

Once you have validated your idea and completed the due diligence proceed with creating your book.

Put the odds in your favour of being successful.

All of this, of course, requires practice. 

Just publishing one book will not help you to develop the skills necessary to be successful.




Become a producer of many books.

The more books you publish the more skilled you will become.

Build a team around you of experts: editors, ghostwriters, formatting specialists, designers. By outsourcing, you will get things done faster and you will be better able to leverage your time.

Keep sharpening your skills, keep learning, keep testing. The more you do it the easier it all becomes.

If you’d like access to tips and to the free Masterclass on writing and self-publishing, become part of the Fast Self-Publishing Online community.


Marji Hill

Author & Coach



Fast Self-Publishing Online

Do You Use A Pen Name?

Do You Use A Pen Name?


Pen names

As an author do you write under your own name or do you use a pen name? Pen names are also known as pseudonyms or non de plumes?

Many authors use a different name when they write and publish their books. There are good reasons for doing this and there is nothing illegal about it.

This trend has already been established by many famous authors.

Famous authors


  • Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
  • George Orwell’s real name was Eric Arthur Blair.
  • JK Rowling’s real name is Joanne Rowling.  Because she has also been writing crime novels Rowling has another pen name: Robert Galbraith.
  • Lewis Carroll was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

Why use a pen name?


Why write your books under another name? Here are some reasons authors do this. 

1. A leading professional may want a pen name to separate their professional identity from what they do in their personal life.

2.  A high profile lawyer may choose a pen name for his/her romance novels so as to not confuse the clients or have them know what they do privately.

3. You wouldn’t want to write under your legal name if it was the same as or too close to someone famous.

4. So as not to confuse the readers an author may select different pen names for different genres. If you write mystery novels and self-help books it would be best to write under different names.

5. Your real name may not suit your genre.

6. You could choose a pen name to suit your branding.

7. If your legal name is too long, complex, difficult to pronounce, or hard to remember it would be sensible to have a pen name.

As you can see authors can easily justify writing under another name. I know one writer who has 40 different pen names.



Before rushing out to choose a pen name think first. Consider the marketing value of the name you choose.

Think about your pen name and decide if it is:

  • a suitable domain name for a website?
  • good for social media profiles?
  • how does it look on a book cover?
  • easy to remember? 
  • suit your genre?
  • good for your branding?


Setting up an Amazon account


When setting up an Amazon account, an author will use their legal name but when listing a book an author can use whatever name they like. Authors can have multiple pen names under the one account.

Author Central, however, only allows an author to use three names.


Choosing a pen name


If you need help choosing a pen name there are pen name generators. Just Google them.

Sometimes it’s not appropriate to have a pen name. If you are an authority in your niche you will not want to have a different identity.

Nonfiction writers are often experts: teachers, speakers, academics. Their market wants to know who they are and how they developed their expertise. 

Beware having too many pen names


Do not fall into the trap of having so many pen names that you cannot market yourself properly. 

Marketing multiple pen names with multiple social media accounts and websites is a big headache. Keep it simple.

Finally, use a pen name when there’s a very good reason to do so and think very carefully before you decide to jump in and write under a pen name.

For access to regular weekly training and tips on how to self-publish your book on Amazon join the Facebook community – Fast Self-Publishing Online.


Fast Self-Publishing Online

Marji Hill

Author and coach 


How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon

How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon


How to optimise your book's listing on Amazon

You’ve prepared your manuscript and you’ve decided that you’ll publish it on Amazon.

You’ve completed the finishing touches to your manuscript; it’s been edited and formatted; you’ve uploaded the manuscript and cover to KDP; and, and you believe you’ve crafted a great title. 

So if you:


  • Have arrived at that moment and you are actually ready to publish your book and to launch it out there into the big wide world, and you
  • Are listing all the details pertaining to your book which Amazon will use to create your book’s detail page. However, you are feeling somewhat nervous, a bit scared, and worried you might mess up? 
  • Feel that the listing process is easy and fast, and you know that you probably can have your book ready to publish within minutes. Yes?
  • But someone has made the comment that if you want to join the ranks of thousands of other authors who have failed at self-publishing on Amazon and who have not made sales and who say that self-publishing on Amazon doesn’t work your confidence has been shaken. Right?
  • Have heard that as a self-publisher your job when listing your book is to give the right metadata to Amazon to help readers find your book and so that you can make sales. However, you lack faith in your ability to go it alone and you don’t really understand the best practices needed to tweak the listing.

If any of the above describes you then I urge you to secure your program:  How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon.


So, who am I to be sharing this information with you?

My career


I began my career in the book industry when I started off as a teacher-librarian in a top Queensland school, and then later I trained hundreds of other teacher-librarians for the Queensland Department of Education.

My writing career commenced over 30 years ago when I started writing non-fiction books for children and young adults.

Since then I’ve written over 65 books most of them having been published by mainstream publishers. In 2014 I entered the online space and discovered Amazon. Not only did I sell physical products on Amazon I started self-publishing on Amazon. 

I’ve also had 30 years of experience in marketing. As well as being very active in the direct sales industry I learned the value of the new way to publish, the alternative way to publish, with the advent of the internet. I learnt to blog, build websites, to do affiliate marketing, list building, automation and much more. 

Given everything I’ve learned, I now help others achieve the results they desire as writers, self-publishers, and marketers.

As a result of years of training and experience, I’ve learnt what works and what doesn’t.

The solution


Thanks to the How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon you will be able to:

  1. Get your book discovered on Amazon and start to make sales
  2. Research the metadata so that even before you start writing your book it has some chance of being successful
  3. Learn the steps for getting a Best Seller badge
  4. Learn about tools to speed up your success  
  5. Understand the fundamentals of becoming an Amazon bestseller

Take those first steps to self-publish your book on Amazon and reach millions of readers worldwide.

This home study program is just the beginning of your journey. By mastering the steps outlined in How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon you will be able to build from here learning more of the ways about what you have to do to have your book discovered on Amazon and start to earn royalties.

Thanks to the How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon you will be able to:

  • Experience the ecstasy of having your first book published, a dream come true
  • Realise the potential you’ve now created for future income opportunities
  • Celebrate and enjoy that sense of empowerment because of your self-publishing achievement
  • Finally, being able to unlock your true potential as a self-publisher and make your dent in the world?

With How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon you’ll be able to leverage the exploding trend of doing things your own way by securing access to your home study program at the heavily discounted price of only $47.

And to make your decision a complete no-brainer, you also have my 100% no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee.


If How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon home study program is not exactly what you’re looking for, you don’t pay anything. I will personally refund your full investment.

So you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. The risk is completely on me.

Access the program


To access the program right now CLICK HERE


With How To Optimise Your Book’s Listing on Amazon you’ll be able to leverage the exploding trend of doing things your own way by securing access to your home study program at the heavily discounted price of only $47.

And when you “Access The Program” right now you get it for the special launch price of just $47.

PLUS to reward you for taking action I’m also including an amazing bonus.   

  • Be part of a special coaching session with me where you can get all your questions answered (value around $500) 

And remember, if for any reason it’s not exactly what you’re after, you’re protected by our 100% 30-day money-back guarantee.

Imagine a few years into the future and you look back on the start of your self-publishing journey and realise that this was your beginning.




Marji Hill

Author and Coach

Do You Want To Profit From Self-Publishing Your Book?

Do You Want To Profit From Self-Publishing Your Book?



Profit from your book


You’ve prepared your manuscript for publication and you’ve decided that you’ll publish it on Amazon.

The finishing touches to your manuscript have been completed; it’s been edited and formatted; it has a stunning cover; and, and it’s got a great title. 

Now that moment has finally arrived. You are ready to actually publish your book and to launch it out into the big wide Amazon world.


Listing process 


Before you hit the Publish button you must start the listing process into the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) submission form.

As you list all the details pertaining to your book you are asked to provide information that describes your book. This information is used to create your book’s detail page on Amazon.

This information is known as metadata.

The listing process appears to be easy, and it is fast too, so you’ll have your book ready to publish within minutes.

But be ready for that moment of panic because it’s time to hit the Publish button.

But before you do, let me ask this question: do you want to join the ranks of thousands of authors who fail at self-publishing on Amazon and who do not make sales and who then complain that self-publishing on Amazon doesn’t work?

You are wrong if you think that you can simply hit the Publish button and become successful. You can’t just publish, hold your breath, and wait to see what happens.

This is where so many newbie self-publishers make the mistake thinking that they can quickly complete all the fields for entering the details of their book and then hit the Publish button. Yes, it is so easy to publish your book.

I’ve done that too and made that same mistake.


Learning to select the right metadata


As a self-publisher, your job when listing your book is to give the right metadata to Amazon and to help readers find your book so that you can make sales.

Metadata includes such things as title, keywords, categories, book’s description, price, author name, cover, reviews and so on.

As a self-publisher you have to optimise your metadata and doing this can be confusing even for the experienced.

Making simple choices and tweaking your metadata can result in hundreds of visitors to your book’s detail page and this can equate to more sales.

Crafting a title and sub-title, choosing the right categories and keywords, writing and formatting your book’s description – these things are fundamental to marketing your book on Amazon.

If your metadata has not been optimised you risk being lost forever in the Amazon system. Metadata that is accurate and that has been optimised for the Amazon algorithm is how readers are able to find what they are searching for. 

If your metadata is not strong and it hasn’t been optimised your book won’t be found.  If it is not discovered it won’t sell.

Keyword research


Like it or not, doing your keyword research to find the best keywords and selecting the right categories can make or break your book. One of the ways to accomplish this is by completing the keyword and category fields.

You need to think about categories and decide which categories readers might browse to find your book. Your book has to be positioned accurately. 

While in the listing you are asked to select two categories you can actually select another eight.

Choosing the right categories


Choosing the right categories takes considerable research. This is so important because categories influence whether or not your book becomes a best seller.

Like categories, keywords are just so important too. Again they can make or break your book.

In keyword research, you need to choose keywords with low competition and the way you discover this is to have a keyword with high search volume and a low number of search results.

Get your metadata right and Amazon will drive thousands of new customers to buy your product.  Get it wrong and Amazon will relegate you and your book to obscurity.

Amazon gives priority to books that sell.

In conclusion, the struggle is about turning what you write into something that makes a profit and this is where you must develop mastery.

For access to regular weekly training and tips on how to self-publish your book on Amazon join the Facebook community – Fast Self-Publishing Online.


Fast Self-Publishing Online

Marji Hill

Author and Coach

6 FAQs about ISBNs

 6 FAQs about ISBNs




At the moment I’m working with a client helping him self-publish his 700-page manuscript.  This is a real hand-holding exercise because, as he says, he is a dinosaur when it comes to doing anything online.

Part of the self-publishing process involves getting an ISBN. When he had to deal with the ISBN I realised that he didn’t understand anything about the ISBN so this prompted me to raise the issue here.

There are a number of questions newbie self-publishers ask relating to ISBNs because the ISBN is an essential part of the self-publishing process.

  1. What is an ISBN? 
  2. Why do we need ISBNs? 
  3. Where can we purchase them?
  4. What does it cost to purchase ISBNs?
  5. How do we set them up?
  6. Can you get an ISBN for free?

1. What is an ISBN?


ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. The ISBN is a unique set of 10- or 13-digit identification numbers which identify a book. 

The 13 digit ISBN is for print books and the 10 digit ISBN is for eBooks.

ISBNs assist in helping to get a book discovered by publishers, booksellers, universities, wholesalers, libraries, distributors and readers.

2. Why do we need an ISBN?


An ISBN helps these organisations and individuals to easily find a book.

The ISBN identifies a book and specifies its format, edition, publisher and a lot else besides. It helps to identify the:

  • title
  • author
  • type of book  
  • physical properties of that particular book
  • the geographical location of the publisher


There are a number of reasons to purchase an ISBN for your book. It

  • helps your book to be found
  • increases the likelihood that if it is found it will be purchased
  • links to essential information about your book
  • enables more efficient marketing and distribution of the book
  • most retailers require ISBNs
  • helps you collect and analyze book sales data
  • guarantees the book’s data will be held in the Books In Print database

When searching for data about a title Books In Print is the place that publishers, retailers and libraries go to.

The ISBN is an essential part of the self-publishing process.

3. Where to buy your own ISBN?


If you supply your own ISBN you will need to buy one through Thorpe-Bowker. The Thorpe-Bowker website is:



For publishers physically located in Australia, Thorpe-Bowker is the official ISBN Agency that you go to for purchasing an ISBN.

It is advisable not to purchase an ISBN from any other agency because the ISBN may not be accurate which can have adverse implications for doing business in the publishing industry supply chain.


If you are situated outside the Australian jurisdiction go to the International ISBN Agency.

4. What does it cost to purchase ISBNs?


Pack of 10  is AU $88.00

There is a new publisher setup fee of AU $55

Total AU $143  

New self-publishers wonder why they should purchase a pack of ISBNs when they are only publishing one book?

When you purchase an ISBN it is recommended that they buy a pack of ISBNs. 

Different formats of a book, for example, a paperback and an eBook, each need their own ISBN.

If you then decide to publish the book in a different language, you’ll need a new ISBN for that version as well. You need one ISBN for each edition and format of your book.

Any variation of a book requires the use of a unique ISBN to identify it properly.

You need to think about


  • the number of books you are planning to publish
  • the number of formats that each book will be created in
  • any revised editions of these books that could be published in the future

So as a publisher it is advisable to acquire several ISBNs. It is, also, more cost-effective if you can buy them in packs of 10 or more.

5. How to set up your ISBN?


As I said earlier an ISBN allows libraries, publishers, and book dealers to locate and identify specific books. If you want to get your book into a bookstore, a library, or almost any book distribution channel you will need an ISBN number.

Here are the steps involved in setting up your ISBN.

  1. https://www.myidentifiers.com.au
  2. Open an account  
  3. Purchase the ISBNs
  4. ISBNs are added to your name as soon as you purchase 
  5. Read and understand the instructions Title Assignment Instructions
  6. Before you enter all the details make sure you know:
  •   Title 
  •   Selling price 
  •   Subject matter of the publication 
  •   Format 
  •   Contributors (i.e., author)
  1. You will be recognised as the publisher of all books associated with those ISBNs. 
  2. If there are fields where you can’t supply the information leave these spaces blank.


There you have it. You have the steps you need to take to purchase your own ISBNs.

6. Can you get an ISBN for FREE?


But do you know that it is also possible to get your ISBN for FREE?

The implications for getting a free ISBN will be the theme of next week’s training video to be screened in the Fast Self-Publishing Online community.



Fast Self-Publishing Online


Marji Hill

Author & Coach


Is Kindle Direct Publishing Select Right For You?

Is Kindle Direct Publishing Select Right For You?


KDP Select

As a beginner in self-publishing on Amazon, you have a major decision to make. Should you enrol your eBook in KDP Select? 

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

KDP is Amazon’s free, self-publishing platform for both Kindle eBooks and paperbacks. Authors can sell their books directly to Amazon’s readers in the Amazon worldwide market place. 

The Amazon platform is intuitive, it’s easy to use, and it’s fast. A book can be published and marketed within hours.

While KDP can put your book before millions of potential customers authors retain their rights, can make changes and revisions to their book at any time, and have all the promotional advantages of Amazon’s Author Central.


Kindle Direct Publishing Select (KDP Select)


KDP Select, on the other hand, offers self-publishers bonus incentives in exchange for granting Amazon exclusivity. Exclusivity means that for a limited period of time authors make their eBook exclusive to KDP.   

This period of time is just 90 days. During this time authors cannot distribute their book digitally anywhere else. This includes your website, in blog posts, or listing it with other retailers around the world. 

That said, authors during this time of exclusivity can continue to distribute their book in its physical format. This means they can distribute paperbacks or any format that’s not digital.

By agreeing not to sell the digital file of their book through any other retailers, authors are given access to a variety of promotional tools and the opportunity to earn higher royalties.

An author enrolling in KDP Select has access to:

  1. Kindle Unlimited
  2. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL)
  3. Kindle Countdown Deals
  4. Kindle Free Promotions
  5. Increased royalties for sales in select countries.

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is a monthly subscription program that allows Kindle owners to borrow books as they would from a library. This would have to be the most attractive benefit of enrolling in KDP Select. 

This subscription program for readers allows them to read as many books as they would like.

The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library(KOLL)

KOLL allows Amazon Prime members, who have access to a Kindle reader, to choose one book from each month with no due dates. 

The KDP Select Global Fund is for the author payments. Each month Amazon puts aside a vast amount of money that can be paid to authors whose books are read by members of Kindle Unlimited and KOLL.

When you enrol in KDP Select, the books are automatically included in both programs. 

Kindle Countdown


Kindle Countdown is another promotional program where for one week every 90 days, authors have the ability to discount their book by putting it on a “countdown deal.”


Kindle Free Promotions


This program allows authors to promote their book for free for a limited number of days in this 90 day period. Readers worldwide can access these free books.  

Within this time, authors cannot offer their eBooks on any other site whether it be Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ingram Spark, Walmart, Apple or any other site. Once that three months is up, authors can then, if they so choose, opt-out of the program and return to the basic KDP program.

Increased royalties


There are increased royalties for book sales in select countries. When customers read books from Kindle Unlimited and KOLL there are more royalties plus authors can earn 70% royalty for sales to customers in Japan, India, Brazil and Mexico.

Making the decision to go with KDP Select is a business decision.  It comes down to an author’s marketing plan and having to weigh up all the benefits that KDP Select offers.

For someone just starting out in self-publishing, KDP Select is an advisable route to take. It’s an author’s opportunity to experience first hand the benefits of KDP Select.

Once an author becomes experienced at self-publishing on Amazon the other option of switching to wider worldwide distribution is a decision that can be made down the track.


If you haven’t already done so I recommend you register for my FREE ONLINE CLASS at www.fastselfpublishingonline.com 

Discover How To Write A Book Within 30 Days, Publish It On Amazon For Less Than $200, and Get it to Market within 24 Hours.


And if you’d like to receive daily tips – LIVE videos, training videos, discussions, articles and inspirational posts – then join the Fast Self Publishing Online community.


Fast Self-Publishing Online


Marji Hill

Author & Coach

Has Anyone Found Success With Self-Publishing?

Has Anyone Found Success With Self-Publishing?




The other day I came across a post in a Facebook group in which an author asked the question:  “Has anyone found success?”

The author, who had self-published on Amazon, said she did everything she was meant to do in the self-publishing process. But she was not making enough money. 

This author was only making US$100 month and she was wanting to make a lot more. Some of the things she had done included:

  • building an email list of 6000 people with a 50% open rate    
  • setting up an ARC (Advanced Review Copy) team so that she had plenty of positive reviews    
  • online book promotions 
  • professionally designed covers  
  • carefully optimised book listings
  • a profitable niche
  • 12 books published on Amazon

So where was this author falling down? What was she not doing right?

Her mentor analysed the publications and this is what he found:

  1. In the Descriptions on the listing pages, there were Warning Disclaimers which prospective customers may have found off-putting.
  2. Each of the multiple short books were stand-alone copies which would have been much better presented as a series.
  3. There were no links in each book driving the reader to the next book. 
  4. The email list needed to be cleaned up to get rid of the inactive users.
  5. The titles were long and contained too many words.
  6. Release dates were inconsistent – some were 3 weeks apart while others were just one week.
  7. There was no brand consistency – all the books were going everywhere and nowhere.
  8. Each book cover looked different as if the books had been written by different authors and even belonging to different genres.
  9. Books were not in the right categories.

It’s not always easy self-publishing your book, is it?. There are so many moving parts, and somehow, you have to get them all moving in unison.

Here is what you can learn from this analysis.




Master how to optimise your book’s listing to ensure it is optimised for success. Even before you write and publish your book a sound idea is to work out all the metadata you need to maximise your book’s discoverability.  

  • Use keywords in your title but make sure you do it in a way that sounds natural and that you are not criticised for keyword stuffing
  • Come up with multiple keywords that relate to your book idea choosing high potency keywords ie. words with high search volume and low competition. Use long tail specific keywords and fill in the 7 keyword slots that are available for your book’s listing.
  • Choose 10 categories. While you’ll only choose 2 categories when you first list your book you’ll eventually choose another 8 categories
  • Write a compelling description which at the end of the day is really a sales page for your book. Try to use HTML formatting as this helps the customer read through the Description more effectively.




A strategy for promoting sales is a series. Customers can become loyal not only to a series but to you, the author. 

Create multiple, short books which would be suitable to be part of a series.  Use the first book in the series as the lead book and keep referring customers back to that first book. 

After you’ve published other books in the series you might drop the price to .0.99c for that first book. Keep on promoting that first book.




Create brand consistency. You may do this by having a common element in the title. 

For instance, there may be one word that you can use in each of the titles, for example, “In Paradise,” “Naked in Paradise” Buried in Paradise.”

The book’s cover can have a similar style and maybe with linking colours. Make it easy to see that each book belongs, or is connected to the others.

You can do this with fonts, colours, and where you place the author’s name. There are lots of things you can with the covers to create stylistic unity.




Plan in advance the timing of your book releases. If you have 5 books in your series decide if they will be released every month, every three months, or twice a year.




Have your books drive traffic from one book to another. At the back of each book have links to the other books in the series so that you are driving your customers from one book to the next one and also, always to that first book in the series.




To have an email list would have to be the most important asset any author could have, and this would have to lie at the heart of any author’s marketing campaign. Keep building your email list and keep it up to date.


At the end of the day, never stop learning. Keep on learning to be a better writer and mastering the craft of writing. And remember if you are planning to write fast, and produce lots of books to publish on Amazon, don’t sacrifice your writing quality for speed.

For more tips on how to self-publish on Amazon join the Facebook group – Fast Self-Publishing Online.


Fast Self-Publishing Online

Marji Hill

Author and Coach

Do You Want To Speed Up Your Writing?

Do You Want To Speed Up Your Writing?


Writing speed


Do you find that you are so slow at writing anything? It takes such a long time to get a piece written.

You struggle with writing, and you find that the writing process is hard.  You keep reading and re-reading, then editing what you write – and keep going over it, trying to find the right words.    

The good news is your writing doesn’t have to be like this. You can change and learn to speed up your writing but it will take focus and discipline.

Writing is a skill and practice will make it better.

The easier it gets, the more you like it. The more you like it, the less you’ll procrastinate. 

Exercise the writing muscle


Writing is just like a muscle. It’s got to be exercised otherwise, you will not have the ability to do it. 

Writing requires practice.

Practising your writing is just like doing a physical workout at the gym. The repetition of exercises helps you to improve and get stronger. 

The muscles get stronger. You start at a certain level, let’s say, for example,10 repetitions. 

Then over time, you increase these repetitions. 

If you started out with 2-kilogram dumbbells, you then over time increase the weight of the dumbells. You monitor your increasing strength. 

The exercise of writing is just the same. Practise makes you better. Practise makes you stronger. 

You become more experienced at writing and you master your craft.

Write every day


Every day!  If you suffer writer’s block and you have nothing to write about? Don’t worry.  

Describe what you see in front of you. Don’t wait for creativity to come to you. Don’t wait for the muse to magically appear. Just write, write, and write.

Creativity will come when it comes.  

I want to tell you a way to practise your writing. It may be new to some but not to others.  

It’s the concept of the writing sprint that has been explored in depth by Chris Fox. He says that he can consistently write 4,000 words an hour and sometimes spike up to 5,000 words an hour.

Incredible, hey?


The writing sprint concept


The idea is to allocate a set amount of time, and then within that time, you write as fast as you can.

For example, set your alarm for 10 minutes. Within that time you will write. 

As soon as the alarm goes off you stop. The length of your sprint is up to you.  

In the first week practise writing for 10 minutes each day just as you might do some physical exercise.

You start off gently, but as you get more strength and get better at doing it your ability improves.

  • Just pour out the words.  
  • The faster you write, the more you write.  
  • The more you write, the better you write.
  • The faster you write, the sooner you’ll edit.

At the end of your first week of doing these short, daily writing sprints review your progress. 

Keep monitoring your progress.

You are exercising your writing ability and your mind.

In the second week increase your writing time to 20 minutes. As the weeks go by keep increasing the length of writing time.

As you write you will need to be focused, determined and exercise the discipline to perform the task. Let the words come out. Make sure you refrain from editing and don’t even think about the words you write. Just write!

Your outpouring may be rough but that doesn’t matter. It’s just a very rough draft.

Down the track, your writing can be refined.

Once you develop the writing habit and practise it on a daily basis you will surprise yourself at how well you are improving over time.

Not only are you exercising your writing skill you are exercising your mind.

Keep documenting your progress – when you started, the end time. How many words did you write during your sprint? Keep a track of this. It is vital to measure your progress.

The more you pour out the words the more you’ll get experienced and the more you learn about the craft of writing.

Give it a go!


Fox, Chris  5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter. 2015. Kindle eBook.

Marji Hill

Author & Coach


Fast Self-Publishing Online

Oops! Mistakes First-Time Authors Make When Self-Publishing

Oops! Mistakes First-Time Authors  Make When Self-Publishing


Mistakes authors make


Mistake No. 1 – The Cover


When I published my first book on Amazon I created a Kindle eBook and a Paperback. 

At the time I used Cover Creator to build my book cover.  It was easy to do, and I felt proud that I had made my own cover. 

Before too long, I was criticised from someone online who said I needed to do something about the cover. The book really needed a professional cover better than I was able to do myself.

So I revised the book and had a new cover made. I outsourced to a cover designer on Fiverr. My cover was dramatically improved and it now looked professional.

Most people do judge a book by the cover. If you screw up on the cover either your book won’t sell or your sales will be low.

The cover creates the first impression, gives a clue as to what your book is about, and from that first glance a reader decides whether or not to take a closer look at your book.

Creating your own cover can spell disaster for a first-time author.


Mistake no. 2  – The Title


Recently, I was given a manuscript to assess and the first reaction I had was, what a terrible title. It was bland, lame and ordinary.  

There was nothing distinctive about the title, nothing to entice a reader to buy the book, there was no sub-title to explained things further, and nothing to indicate the benefits of the book. 

It was a title that would have relegated the book to the sales prevention department.


Mistake no. 3  – Editing


I meet many highly educated people who believe that their text does not need editing. 

If there has been some editing they may have done a couple of self-edits and family and friends might have done their bit too.

Because you can publish a book for very little cost on Amazon – even no cost – the temptation is to prepare the manuscript yourself for publication and risk having an end product looking like the job of an amateur.

Don’t compromise the quality of your book. Your goal as a self-publisher is to make your manuscript as good as it can possibly be, so seek the services of an independent, professional editor.


Mistake No. 4 – Formatting


I’ve seen the results of amateurs formatting their books for Amazon either as Kindle eBooks or Paperbacks.

If a Kindle eBook is not formatted according to the Kindle Direct Publishing(KDP) guidelines it can end up with a lot of formatting mistakes, and if published, it will need to be withdrawn from sale and done again.

Whether you are publishing on Amazon, Ingram Spark, Lulu or whoever, make sure that you understand the technical requirements needed for the formatting. 

Follow the relevant guidelines closely, and understand the type of file that is necessary for publishing the book.

Formatting is something that I would definitely outsource to a professional. First-time authors who are new to the self-publishing process should engage the services of professionals to help them with producing their books. 

It is possible to get professional help and it is possible to do this on a budget.

For regular free tips and access to the Masterclass on writing and self-publishing, tune in to the Fast Self-Publishing Online community each week on a Thursday.


Marji Hill

Author & Coach



Fast Self-Publishing Online


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