Self-publishing

Writing a Blurb

Blurb the tormentor of my existence! How to summarise everything I have written into three small paragraphs? It can’t be done and it should be done. Instead of thinking it as a summary, it is a marketing tool put on the back cover or on Amazon page to peak the interest of the reader. I had to switch my mindset from writer to marketer (again with the marketing! Isn’t there anything better in the world?)

I read through the advice given by the professional sites about writing blurbs, but they weren’t very helpful. Some of them made me overwhelmed, and I didn’t know where to start. I made pathetic blurbs after more pathetic blurbs and wanted to hide under my table for the rest of the eternity (how long is that?) I needed actual help with the writing not just generic advice.

What I did, I went on Amazon and looked at example blurbs from authors of my genre and of those who I have read. For me, the read part was important as I could see how they were crafted from all the content inside the book. That helped me and a lot. I copied their blurbs making my characters, settings, conflicts, and twists jump into them. They weren’t perfect at first. They were crude and unlike me, but they got me writing. I worked on them, let them stew for days, and came back to work on them again. Little by little the blurbs began to sound like me.

Again the old advice of comedy worked well: steel! But the key was to make it mine, not just copy the text. I stole the rhythm, the pace, and format and sparkle it with my own style and characters.

When I had done that, stolen and reworked, I noticed those advice given on the professional writing pages had been right. There is a pattern to great blurbs: introduce the main character, if possible attach a vivid adjective to the character, set up the setting, tell the conflict funnily (or not funnily, if you don’t know how to be funny and write boooring things like what is it truly like to be human), and tie all this with a nice, simple twist, leaving the reader need to know more. Add all this while keeping it short and you have a blurb. Yes? I know it isn’t that simple. It demanded a lot of work to get my blurb to an okay level. I guess that holds true with everything in life. Anything with worth demands more from us.

Okay, there is more. I needed to add a good tagline because it will do the selling (or so the proverbial they keep saying) and in my case, the tagline had to be funny. That proved out to be the difficult part. As a writer, my jokes spring from my characters and settings mirroring our world and our problems. So, for me making a standalone tagline with funny elements was critting hard (as I’m not a jester or stand-up comedian, I’m an observational humorist whatever that is.) I had to do something. I went with the contradictory of words: heartwarming and war; as only psychopathic leaders with height issues call wars heartwarming. (If you dear reader thought them to be heartwarming, then you know your career path. I only hope you let me be your resident fool when you take over the world. I promise to make fun of everything you do and about your height.) The contradictory of the words seemed to help me set up the mood and get it down with. I can’t redo my blurb forever.

Anyway here it is:

A heart-warming tale of luck and, oh yes, war!

Saving a bookshop is stressful, especially when you are battling with the Kingdom’s Prime Minister over your shop’s future. But when Edbert Pollock asks for help from the gods of luck, his troubles are only beginning. Luck has a way of screwing up your plans.
K.A. Ashcomb’s wry and action-packed comical fantasy novel set in Leporidae Lop will tickle your nerves.

(This might not be the final version, hah!)

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