Monday, 2 December 2013

Blurbs of DEATH!

That got your attention.
Which is what a blurb is supposed to do - get your attention.
In the right way, and make you want more.

I've been reading lots and lots of blurbs lately, because I'm buying heaps of books.

Recently, I signed up with BookBub, with an eye to doing some paid promotions with them. (Becasue an author friend had amazing results). But first, I wanted to see what the product was like.

In a word, brilliant.

Every day, I get an email with offers for half-price or free books. Young Adult, New Adult, Historical, Historical Romance, Bestsellers and Contemporary.

Day after day of seven or eight great books. But I can only read one or two a week at most.

Which is why the blurbs are so important. These books all have blurbs of about three sentences to get my attention and make me click 'buy'.

Here are some examples:

Teen and Young Adult:

Five books from a mesmerizing series! After a terrible accident, Abby wakes up to find her world flipped upside down. With her memories gone and her friends estranged, can Abby discover the truth about that fateful night… and a prowling killer?

Paranormal Romance:

When her fiancĂ© cheats on the day of their wedding, Anne decides to go honeymooning in Tuscany alone. But the dream vacation becomes something else entirely when she’s bitten by a vampire and must be saved by the dashing Marcus Monteleone…

Historical Romance:
Pirate hunter Lark Arden marries Marlee Stafford for her family fortune — which he plans to steal for his new boat! But the closer he gets to his betrayal, the more he falls in love.... A passionate romance set in colonial America

In a time of myths and legends, Aridela is Crete’s most enchanting woman. Two conspiring brothers will fight for her love — angering immortals and endangering their city.... A dazzling historical fantasy from an award-winning author

You get the drift.
Two or three sentences to sum up who your characters are, what they want and what's in their way.
(Yes, these blurbs come with their book covers and titles and the author names, but my point here is to focus on the blurbs, not the pretty covers. Which are pretty and distracting and SQUIRREL!)

Reading these blurbs every day gives me an insight into what an agent or publisher might experience - on a much smaller scale. But it's what a reader actually does experience that gives me the real insight. It's one thing to have an amazing book out there, it's another to 'cut through' the clutter and get noticed.

The blurb is your shovel to get you through the clutter.
(What an ugly metaphor! Must try harder)

Read loads and loads of blurbs and take note of the ones that appeal to you and the ones that you ignore. I'm betting the ones you ignore are the ones that don't really tell you that much about the book.


Here's the bit of a blurb that appeals to me. Character description shows the potential reader what they are in for.

A description saying "Matt and Joan meet up at a party." Doesn't do much.
But what about ... "Methodical workaholic Matt crashes into his manic-pixie ex-fiance, Joan, at an end of year work function." It gives you an idea of their characters and their conflicts right off the page. (At least I hope it does. I just made that up. But now I have, I want to use it. Dibs!!!)

Sure, it's a longer sentence, but it's brimming with possibilities.

What do you think? What are some good blurbs you've read that make you want to dive into the book?

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