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The Dreaded Blurb

by Crymsyn Hart

How do you know what a book is about?

You read the book jacket or the back cover. Or if you’re perusing the website of a publisher or a bookseller, then you read the narrative of the book on the page. It has to be brief to describe the nature of the book, but it has to be witty enough to draw the potential reader in. It can’t reveal too much about the plot, but you have to give just the right amount of balance to make it sound intriguing. All within a certain amount of words or space. It’s a writer’s nightmare. Well, at least one of my nightmares anyway.

Yes, the dreaded blurb. How do I count the ways of how much I despise writing you? I think I’d prefer someone shoving wooden splinters underneath my fingernails. Or better yet pulling out my teeth with a rusty wrench. I cringe every time I have to write the 100-150 word description of a novel. Sure, I can agonize over it for days. Sometimes even lose some sleep over it, but in the end, I finally think of the words that I think give a good balance for the theme and the characters.

After all the books that my muses have helped me create, I hate to think of what I need to write. How much do you talk about the hero? How much to put down about the heroine? Will the reader get what the book is about even with the blurb? These are all things that run through my head. And then, after you’ve written the dreaded blurb, the publisher decides it wasn’t good enough ad changes it on you.

If this can help sell books then great, but don’t they know how hard I worked on the description? It hasn’t happened to me more than a couple of times, but it was a little surprising. Although, in the end the blurb was a mixture of mine and theirs. It was okay.

I’ve gotten some great advice from other authors on how to write blurbs. Over the years, mine have gotten tighter and shorter. I wouldn’t say I’m a professional now, but I’ve overcome numerous hurtles. So anyone that has to write a blurb, I wish you luck. Make is sexy. Make it intriguing. Make it brief with that hook that will help you catch many a reader.

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Filed under Crymsyn Hart, Gail Z. Martin, J.F. Lewis, Tina R. McSwain