Congratulations to Elle J Rossi! Random.org picked your number! Misty Evans and I will dissect a blurb of your choice. On June 20th, I’ll post the original blurb, our suggestions, and the revised blurb.
Last week I advised 2 friends to change the titles and covers for their self-published books. That’s what catches our eyes first. But just as important is the blurb. If your blurb is ho hum, unless you’re a friend, I’m not likely to buy it. In fact, even if you are a friend, I might not buy it. And as an indie author, it’s important to get reviews. For Cattitude, my first self-published book, I got reviews from about half the book bloggers I emailed. I suspect most of the reviewers were cat lovers, but I sent my blurb with every request, and I credit that, too.
Bestselling Samhain and self-pubbed author Misty Evans is a marketing goddess. She has a business degree with a marketing major and English minor. She’s written and edited numerous newsletters, written customer testimonials, done radio spots, and has written webcopy for companies like Timex and Active Marketing. When it comes to blurbs, she’s an expert.
I don’t have a marketing background, but I think I’m good at blurbs. Yet I still pass mine by my two critique partners. Misty and I will both critique a blurb from one commenter. Deadline to comment is 5am EST on Monday, May 23rd. I’ll let Random.org choose the winner, and I’ll announce it here sometime that Monday. If it’s all right with the winner, the next month I’ll post our critiques and the final blurb.
Here’s my simple formula for writing blurbs: GMC. Goal, motivation, conflict. Character wants something [goal] because of something important [motivation] but something is making it hard for her/him [conflict]. You can see what I mean in my blurb for Cattitude:
It’s all in the Cattitude . . .
After Belle the cat switches bodies with a psychic on the run from a murderer, she wants her perfect cat body back instead of this furless human one. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with her former owner. Or that a CEO and a beauty queen want to use up her nine lives. Now is her chance to prove anything a human can do, a cat can do better.
This blurb is very short. My other two books, Dead People and Dragon Blues, have longer blurbs, though they’re still concise. There’s no hard rule about this. The only rule is that it should be interesting. Okay, check your spelling. And if your grammar is weak, pass it by a friend. This is not a place to make mistakes.
Here’s the blurb from Witches Anonymous by Misty Evans:
Can a bad witch go good in thirteen steps? Not if Lucifer has his way with her!
A Tickle My Fantasy story.
Amy Atwood is a witch. Not the harm-none kind…the Satan-worshipping, devil-made-me-do-it kind. But after catching Lucifer in a particularly wicked hex act with her goodie-two-shoes Wiccan sister, Amy does what every self-respecting witch would do. She pops a Dove chocolate in her mouth, ends her affair with the devil, and swears an oath never to use magic again.
She wants to be normal. Human. Even if it means no more fun—and she’s looking for a nice, normal guy to complement her new lifestyle. And ice-cream-loving firefighter Adam Foster looks like perfect hero material.
Lucifer, however, isn’t about to be nice about letting her go. Stalked by Satan, manipulated by the angel Gabriel—and surprised by Adam’s true identity—Amy finds herself up to her black hat in trouble of Biblical proportions…
Warning: Welcome to temptation. Sexy Lucifer is going to enchant you. The original Adam is going to charm you. And the angel Gabriel is going to scare your socks off!
Isn’t that a great blurb? And it has a perfect GMC.
If you’d like to know more about blurbs, here’s a great post on How To Be An Excellent Hooker by C.J. Redwine.
Be sure to comment here to win a critique. And tell your friends!
I think a good pitch is so very important.
Blurbs are tough. I think it’s especially hard for an author to do her own. It’s easy to boil someone else’s book down to a few sentences, but when it’s your own you want to include so much; it’s hard to remember to just put in the bare bones, and it’s hard to feel like the bare bones is interesting when you know how much awesome stuff you’re leaving out!
Johnny, thanks for stopping by. You’re another marketing guru.
Mercy, so true. And “voice” is as important in blurbs as in the book. A friend is working on her blurb, which sounded great to me. But it sounded very dark, and the tone of her books isn’t as dark. You can see the lighter tone in Misty and my blurbs above. Misty’s blurbs for her Super Agent series show a different tone. My tone for my darker book, Dragon Blues, is different, too. And my book Dead People has a sardonic tone that fits the book.
M. A. Golla
Recently, I’ve discovered that if I have a blurb BEFORE I start a story, I stay focused on the story instead of the minutia detail when it’s time to come up with a blurb. I didn’t do this with Book Two of The Goblin’s Apprentice, The Fast and the FAERIEous, and now I have to remedy the short blurb that I have posted.
With luck, I’ll find my answer prior to the drawing, but I’m still game for help with blurb for book three, For Whom the Bell Trolls, since I only have a logline for that one!
Margaret, good luck in the drawing! You can always sent your blurb to me. But Misty’s the expert. When I have a chance, I’ll check out your TFATF blurb.
Elle J Rossi
Ooo. Count me in! I’d love to win. And thanks for the link on learning more about blurbs.
I’m almost to the point where I’ll need one. (I hope…fingers and toes and eyes are crossed)
I think each step of writing comes with its own set of challenges yet we continue on because we must! With that being said, I’ll take all the help I can get!
Elle, I’m keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed for you. Sometimes I’ll struggle with my blurb for a couple hours. Then I’ll walk away from the computer, and that’s when it comes to me in a rush of words. Usually when I don’t have a pen and paper around. lol
I have a blerb, but I suspect it’s too busy. I would love help with paring it down to perfection.
And help with spelling too, apparently. It’s Monday, and I need another cup of tea!
Love the name Ripley. I’m an expert at paring down, so good luck in the drawing!
I love an opening question in a blurb! It tends to grab the reader and get them thinking! I’ve written several blurbs for my works and questions as an opener seem to ge the most attention.
Ripley, I had to change something in the post this morning. I had left out a word. lol
Nicholas, I tend to stay away from questions in my blurbs. I get straight to the blurb. I think agent Janet Reid in her Query Shark blogs says she doesn’t like blurbs that begin with questions, but I can’t recall why. In any case, if it works for you, that’s what matters.
I agree with you, Edie, about questions in the blurb. First, they can become quite cliche. and Second, the answers are usually evident…i.e. Can hero and heroine find their way to love? Of course they can or else it wouldn’t be a book.
I think I’m with Margaret. With a good blurb, it might keep me on target.
I wanna professional blurb! 🙂
Thanks for understanding, Edie!
Cyndi, I think you’re good at blurbs, but your name will be entered.
I know what my characters want in the end. I think that’s what keeps me on target. Though I still wander off… 😀
Working on my first blurb for my first romantic suspense manuscript that I just completed.
Thanks for this blog, looks like a useful one.
Cheryl, congrats on finishing your first book. That’s a huge accomplishment!
I think sometimes a blurb will work better if you reveal one major plot twist in it (provided, of course, that you have a few more twists left to keep the reader interested).
Tim, plot twists are great, but that doesn’t make me want to read a book. Intrigue me with the promise of an interesting story and characters, and I’m clicking the Buy button.
I’ve massaged my blurb within an inch of its life and can probably massage it some more… 😀
Miranda, I’m the queen of tweaking, so I know what you mean. lol
Book Blurb Critique by a Marketing Goddess, cover copy | How To Write Shop
[…] Book Marketing, Edie Ramer, Fiction, Hooks, Indie Publishing, Revision, Writing Business From my post last month on blurbs, Elle J Rossi won a critique by Misty Evans (marketing goddess) and me (minion of […]