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The Dreaded Blurb!
3/29/2011 11:23:56 AM
Following along with my decision to blog on each step of the publishing of my next book, The Mortician's Wife, I will now describe the process I used to write the back cover blurb. Before I got into the publishing business, (and yes, as a writer I am in the publishing business!) I just assumed that the back cover "teasers" of books must be written by someone from the publishing house - probably the editor. I was wrong. (Another example of why it's not a good idea to assume anything about anything!) Just about everything you see on the book, excluding the cover art and the review quotes, come directly from the author - including the short author's bio.
An aside here. Regarding the cover art, the author often does have a lot to say about what you see. Personally, in most cases any suggestions I made regarding the art work was taken quite literally. My idea of what would best represent my first published book turned out to be a pretty awful book cover. I doubt that anyone bought that book because of the cover! After that experience I learned to study other books to see what worked and what didn't and made my suggestions accordingly.
Anyway, back to the blurb. A very accurate description of a blurb might be "a very short synopsis." It is what the reader will read when he/she is contemplating buying the book. In other words, it is as important, if not more important, than all the words that make up the entire book. I had better be good!
Often, the first sentence of my blurb will be in the form of a question. I use this method to get the reader caught up in the story from the very first moment. By asking a question I'm hoping to make the buyer think about the book more deeply than he/she might otherwise do.
I go on then, trying to give a very tightly condensed version of the story within the book, without giving too much of it away. I hint a lot, tease even more. The last sentence, like the first, has to be a killer. It has to make the reader unable to put that book back on the shelf. It has to grab the reader's curiosity so hard they can't resist plunking down their hard earned cash and purchase my book.
If all of this sounds difficult, all I have to say is, it is! Like most authors I hate writing them. Yet, after I've sweated over it for more hours than I like to admit, I end up loving it. This is just one more example of why we writers are a strange bunch. We set up challenges for ourselves that threaten to drive us mad, and then end up loving the results. Maybe it helps to be a little mad to begin with!
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More Blogs by Maralee Lowder
New Story Line - Saturday, September 01, 2012
Coincidence? I think not! - Wednesday, August 29, 2012
First Bloom - Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Walking Backwards - Tuesday, May 22, 2012
New Story! - Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Notes from the author of A History of Life - Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Serial Story - Late Again! - Tuesday, October 04, 2011
A WRITER'S SPACE - Friday, August 12, 2011
Where did I go? - Friday, July 01, 2011
The Story of Creation Continues - Monday, May 02, 2011
The Dreaded Blurb! - Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The Gestation Period of the Birth of a Book - Saturday, March 19, 2011
SERIAL eBOOK NOW AVAILABLE AT "SHORT STORY" - Sunday, January 02, 2011
A NEW YEAR - A NEW BOOK - IN SERIAL FORMAT - Saturday, January 01, 2011
A Christmas Gift - Thursday, December 02, 2010