I’ve got today off work, and I’m working on how I write my blurbs.
Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse: blurb or synopsis. A good friend in Australia felt my pain and sent me a book she uses on how to write a synopsis, which I’ve started reading. Today, though, it’s about the blurbs.
How the Hades do you condense a 90,000 word book into something that entices both publishers and readers? Without giving away the entire plot, ending, or important stuff but still touching on the themes? Still giving them a reason to look inside the cover?
It’s not easy.
I read a few articles online this morning, then pulled three books I love off my bookshelf. They’re sitting in front of me, back cover up, so I can use them for examples. I’ve updated the one for ‘Inversion of Magic’ (check out my Currently Available Titles tab to read it) and got it changed out on Amazon.
The next two I work on will be stand alone novels that my agent has. And then I tackle all three blurbs for the Heroes of Avoch trilogy.
I’m doing them in that order for a few reasons. One, the two stand alones will be good practice to get into the flow of writing blurbs. There’s a shift in my thinking, a pace to them, that takes practice. Especially now that I’m trying to write better ones. Second, since the Heroes of Avoch novels are connected, I have to hit certain key points each time. Writing them in sequence – even before I’m done with the third book – sets the tone and pacing. It means a reader who picks up book 1 (Scales & Stingers) will know what to expect on the back of book 2 (Shield & Scepter) or book 3 (Sword & Soul).
I’m admitting it. I got lazy. Blurbs were never something I’d researched before, and it’s a problem. A hole in my author education that I’m trying to fill in. I’ve got a book I plan to pick up in a week that gives step by step examples of how to write an effective one.
Why did I get lazy? A couple reasons, probably. Being with a publisher who wasn’t overly concerned with them didn’t help. As long as an author supplied one they liked, it was green lit.
I should be better than that. I can be better than that. Sometimes the hardest part is admitting we don’t know everything we thought we did or that we need to educate ourselves, learn something new. Find a better way.
Being an author is so much more than putting words on a page. It’s work. And, like anything else we want, we have to learn how to do the job efficiently and correctly. Writing an effective, engaging blurb is part of that. It’s as important as editing, syntax, and knowing the difference between there, their, and they’re.
Or, as one of my betas just pointed out: waved and waived. Thanks, Natasha!
BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm
One thought on “Trying new learning”
I do understand your pain. As a journalist, my boss expected an outline of where the piece was going before I ever sat down to write. I hated it! But it did teach me where my “holes” were. So now, when I have to write a handout for a class, it’s back to the outline I go. Hang in there, you’ve got this.