Monday, September 23, 2013

Blurbs, blurbs and more blurbs...

Take a walk with me...imagine if you will a bookstore, filled to the brim with romances or the unlimited choices you can access on your Kindle.  What do you look at first?  Title? Cover? What draws you to pick up or click on a choice?  I'm a very visual person and I admit that the first thing I look at is cover art.  In fact I have been known to head to a bookstore and describe in detail the cover of a book I am looking for much to the chagrin of the poor person behind the counter who would rather have author or title.

BUT, what draws me in and has me turning the pages is the blurb.  I may pick up the book due to its artwork but I buy it based upon what the author has chosen to share with me on the back cover (or inside flap). 

A well written blurb is one of your best marketing tools.  Readers want to be enticed, lured in, romanced if you will.  I know I want to be tantalized, given just enough hints to let me know what excitement (romance, mystery, magic, etc.) is contained within the pages.

I know there are authors out there who HATE writing blurbs and look at it as a punishment worse than a week without coffee and chocolate.  I'm one of the odd ones who love putting blurbs together.  Figuring out the right "recipe" to blend character, plot and action together into a final product.  Or it's a bit like putting a puzzle together.  You need to make all the pieces fit in just the right way. 

Take a look at the books on your shelves, beside table, Kindle library.  The ones that you chose not because they are your favorite author or series, but because the blurb drew you in.  Take a look at the blurbs in the catalog at 

Say your story is about a sexy werewolf who falls in love with a preschool teacher who is afraid of all things hairy due to a bad childhood experience. 

You could say: 

Sam smith the werewolf falls in love with Heidi Jones a preschool teacher who is afraid of the paranormal.  Will Sam be able to change her mind?

Or you could say:

Sam Smith never thought that he would be the werewolf who falls in love with a mortal.  Especially a mortal who is afraid of not only shape shifters but of the dark as well. 

Heidi Jones thinks that Sam is hot and sexy but she cannot overlook his werewolf status.  Shifter's killed her grandparents and she has never forgotten her fear or overcome her mistrust of things that go bump in the night.

What is a werewolf to do?  Sam is determined to show Heidi that werewolves can be trusted but can he rein in his passion and desire long enough to take things slowly?  And will Heidi learn that some things that live in the dark are worth the wait?

That of course was very tongue in cheek. But the differences are there. If your book is a romance you want to introduce your reader to the hero, the heroine, their conflict and what they need to do to overcome it.  You can hint at possible solutions but you don't want to ruin the story or mystery for the reader.

If your story is not a romance you want to introduce your main characters, what the conflict is and what needs to be done. Hint at the action, the tension, what motivates your characters.    

Think of it again as a recipe.  A dash of hero, a splash of heroine, a pinch of conflict (internal, external or both), a stir of action and a hint of the final product.