The Monday’s – on the road to blurbs

800px-BlurbingFirst there is the word count. Then there is the woods of publishing to get lost in, and if you are brave enough (like David Simpson and his Post-Human project) even bring it forward into a script and movie. But wait there is more: type set, cover art, bio, social media, promotion. So much to deliver a story.

I just want to tell my stories. They are in my head, they talk to me. I like stories. I see them on TV, I read them in books, I like to share stories, so it makes sense to me (with the risk of being insane) that you want to hear my stories.

So then I need to make time to get it to paper and it should all make sense. Even that is fun. I like to write, wish I had more time for it, yet it is fun.

I mentioned in my Friday blog about grant writing and that this Friday I will discuss the abstract, so I thought in the bus this morning I want to discuss the dreaded Blurb with you.

Summary, abstract or marketing tool?

On wikipedia it is listed as a promotional tool, so I guess it could be a t-shirt. Lets say you are browsing the book store and pick up the book* (yeah the cover worked!), then read the back and put it back (NOOOO! the blurb is wrong). Why? Please comment to let me know. Remember I love for you to share the stuff from my head, but now you did not want to read the book. Is it personal? Is it something I did? Can we talk about it? Should I put my phone number on the back so you can call me to ask questions?

It all sounds very silly, because I have put books down. Not my genre, more for young adults, mêh sounds dull. So if the cover did not screen me out for genre, then why does the book appear to be dull? An abstract is just that. Kind of dull, but a good summary of what is going to happen. On the other hand, if the story is a lot dialogue and scenery, but the blurb makes you feel like you going to read Die Hard 7, chances are you loose the audience quickly and reviews will be bad.

The art of writing blurbs is lost on me. Consider the first draft of probably many to come of my WIP:

“It is the year of the Rabbit, 341 years after battle-weary warriors gave us peace through a senseless war when a selfish choice endangers the fragile balance.

Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes melancholic, sometimes embedded with deceit – this is the story of the assassination of the emperor told through the eyes of his subjects. Follow along to piece together the connections of that mournful day.”

I sort of like it. I had some help due to feed-back, so let call it draft 0.85 or something. My WIP is not done yet, so this will change. The “battle-weary warriors” may be a bit much. More for the 3 prequel books I have planned in my head. The rest is ok, but is it a good abstract or a good ‘promotional’ piece. Is it a blurb, will it catch your imagination?

I guess that is what it is intending to do: to catch your imagination. That is hard to know without knowing you. I just want to tell my story…

So in the realm of trying to tell stories and not being part of a team that is put in place to sell your story, it is up to the author do so. It may not be part of our skill set, but as an author you better learn. Or do have a guy/girl? do to this for you? Please comment your thought blow.

Maybe I should stick with the t-shirt idea…

*) Same for ebooks: recommended because you like this, or you see the cover, etc…

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