Every book needs a blurb. After the cover (or possibly the title, or the author’s name if s/he’s big enough), the blurb is the number one sales tool. Great blurb can help with great sales. Lackluster blurb, even if it’s for a truly excellent book, can kill a title dead on the web. Sad? Perhaps. But it’s pretty true.

So I’m working on the blurb for Guardian Wolf right now. It’s kind of funny, because I just contacted a cover artist whose work I really like, and she sent me the cover art form. Which, naturally, has a space for the cover blurb. Which, of course, I hadn’t done yet.

The funny part is that I’ve been a freelance back cover copy writer for several years now (and it was for romances! Haha), although I haven’t been getting assignments lately. I totally understand how important it is to blast out great cover copy, and I’ve actually received training (in the form of materials to read over) on how to do so.

So of course, my first stab at writing the copy for Guardian Wolf stunk like a dead packrat stuck in a storm drain for two weeks in the middle of a sultry mid-August heat wave.

Yeah. That good.

Okay, then I did work on it longer and came up with a few more half-done versions, some of which I think might evolve into the final one. But it’s tough going. Ha! Funny how much harder it is when we’re closer to the project.

Goals/messages to achieve in the blurb: paranormal; sexy; wolf shifters; Southwest canyon country setting; series; conflict; drama; readability. Subliminal message: psst! buy me! I’m a hot story totally covered in awesomeness sauce!

And people think all we do is write. Snort.

I’ll let you know how it’s going. Those of you out there who write your own book blurbs, what’s your process like? How do you approach it, and do you have beta readers critique your blurb?

4 comments on “blurbiage

  1. Crystal Licata

    Ugh…I feel for you. I majored in marketing so you would think things like blurbs or writing a query would be easy but when it comes to your own book you forget everything and sit for hours staring at a blank word doc. (Wow…long sentence there). Anyway good luck and if I find the magic answer I’ll let you know. 🙂

    P&L

    1. J.K. Harper Post author

      Thanks, Crystal! Yes, if you find that magic bullet, let me know for sure. I have a goal of finishing this blurb by tonight, then beta testing it with some authors to get feedback. Wish me luck. 🙂

  2. Amy Kennedy

    Oh…you had me snorting. I do that when I laugh! I found I do better if I write the blurb BEFORE I write the book. So much muckity muck after — because so much more happens. D’oh! But when I write it before, it keeps me on track and I don’t get mired in the bog of this happens and then that happens.

    This is what I got from Jessa Slade (I did a workshop, she’s awesome)

    (SOMEONE) wants (SOMETHING) but can’t have it (BECAUSE) and (ROMANTIC ENTANGLEMENT ENSUES)

    Keep it simple…right? Right.

  3. J.K. Harper Post author

    Amy, I love the tip from Jessa Slade. That’s perfect! So true: keep it simple, to the point, and hook ’em early. I need to post that above my writing desk.

    Oh, and, uh…glad I made you snort. 😉

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