Ask BHP + Giveaway: Who writes the short descriptions in the back of books?

Hello dear readers! Rachael here! You may have seen my blog post back in May where I talked about writing the synopsis on the back of our books. I’ve returned to talk about another intriguing responsibility that I have as the company’s copywriter. . . .

If you grab almost any Bethany House book and flip to the last few pages, you will find book recommendations—or as we call them, the back-of-book ads (BOBs for short).

Nearly a year before our books release—before I write the back cover copy and often before the book is even written—our marketing team works with our authors to write a book synopsis that makes its way into our seasonal catalog and online. They take an author’s original synopsis from their proposal that could be anywhere from one page to ten pages and shorten it down to about 150 words.

Once those are approved and edited, it’s up to me to deliver an even shorter description to our marketing team that is 360 characters or less . . . including spaces. Counting the fiction titles only, I write approximately 15 of these every four months—but counting our nonfiction divisions, I spend over a week writing at least 40 of these.

They are so fun to write, but they are not easy in the least. Not only do I need to cut a three paragraph synopsis down to three sentences, but I also need to make sure that I’m hooking a reader’s attention while delivering a concise and intriguing book description. They also have to run by our marketing team and editorial team for review and some usually are rewritten multiple times until we can guarantee that it is perfect.

Not only will you see these in our back-of-book ads, but they also make appearances in newsletters, print and digital ads, and on our social media accounts too!

Here are the short descriptions that I wrote for our November releases. Let me know which ones stand out to you!

After an abusive relationship derails her plans, Adri Rivera struggles to regain her independence and achieve her dream of becoming an MMA fighter. She gets a second chance, but the man who offers it to her is Max Lyons, her former training partner, whom she left heartbroken years before. As she fights for her future, will she be able to confront her past?

After She Falls by Carmen Schober

As the nation’s most fearless travel columnist, Augusta Travers explores the country, spinning stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. Suddenly caught in a scandal, she escapes to India to visit old friends, promising great tales of boldness. But instead she encounters a plague, new affections, and the realization that she can’t outrun her past.

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy

After a deadly explosion at the Chilwell factory, munitions worker Rosalind Graham leaves the painful life she’s dreamt of escaping by assuming the identity of her deceased friend. When RAF Captain Alex Baird is ordered to surveil her for suspected sabotage, the danger of her deception intensifies. Will Rose’s daring bid for freedom be her greatest undoing?

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

When a renowned profiler is found dead in his hotel room and it becomes clear the killer is targeting agents in Alex Donovan’s unit, she is called to work on the strangest case she’s ever faced. Things get personal when the brilliant killer strikes close to home, and Alex will do anything to find the killer—even at the risk of her own life.

Dead Fall by Nancy Mehl

How would you write a short description for your favorite new release? Write your blurb below and include the title. Remember, it has to be less than 360 characters!

We will choose three random entries to win a copy of any Bethany House book that released in 2020-2021.

*No purchase necessary. Giveaway ends on Tuesday, October 26 at midnight CT. Winners will be chosen at random on Wednesday, October 27. Winners will receive one copy of a 2020-2021 Bethany House book of their choice. US only. Winner must be 18 and older or have parental consent.

4 thoughts on “Ask BHP + Giveaway: Who writes the short descriptions in the back of books?

  1. As Dawn Breaks
    A deadly explosion at Chilwell factory allows Rosalind Graham to escape her painful life by assuming her deceased friend’s identity. When RAF Captain Alex Baird surveils Rose for suspected sabotage, her dangerous deception intensifies. Rose’s bold bid for freedom may prove to be a tragic mistake and her ultimate undoing.

    Wow! Your job is challenging, Rachael! Your descriptions are so good.

  2. A Warrior’s Heart by Misty Beller

    During the War of 1812, the Canadian Rocky Mountains seem idyllic until a stranger enters and starts a ripple effect in the lives of its inhabitants. Native Scotsman and American Evan McManus is a man on a mission, looking for a mineral that the government believes will help them win the war against the British, when he unwittingly stumbles upon a clandestine community and into the path of its lady warrior, Brielle Durand.

    Thank you for the giveaway; I loved learning about and experiencing this aspect of your job, Rachael!

  3. When Rory finds out the man she taught to cook tacos is competing against her in a food truck competition will their war of of food end in love or disaster?
    Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant.
    (Not sure how many words that was, but tried to keep it short) Also, that’s hard!

  4. Greta is going west to be a mail order bride so her little sister can come with her so it can improve her health . Upon arrival her future husband is found dead and she is left stranded. Wyatt’s ranch is struggling and needs investors. The mayor comes up with the perfect plan. Greta marries Wyatt so Greta is taken care of and they are to start a family so his wife will be convinced it is a respectable town.
    A Cowboy For Keeps by Jody Hedlund.
    Probably went over the word count!! That is a very hard job Rachael!! I appreciate your hard work!!

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