Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Bad Blurbitude

I'm not even kidding when I say it's easier to write a 22,000 word novella than it is to write a 300 word marketing blurb. And yet... it has to be done. Worse, it has to be done well. Sure, your close friends and family might feel obligated to buy your book without it, but unless your family involves a whole lot of sister-wives, and children by the dozen, you need people who don't know you to be intrigued enough by the blurb to check out the book.

So here we are. I have a novella. If I don't run into weird problems, it will take me about fifteen minutes to do the final formatting in Vellum, and then I can load it on all the distributors' platforms. But when I do that, I have to include the blurb.

The format I'm aiming for is pretty simple, in three paragraphs:

  1. Introduce the characters

  2. Then everything is disrupted by the murder

  3. Something to make people want to find out what happens next

The first draft was business-like. It correctly telegraphed that the novella is a murder mystery, but the blurb had all the warmth and humor of the peas that have been in the back of my freezer for five years. Considering that the strength of the novella is the relationship of the main characters, this was not going to work.

The second draft was slightly better. The characters were introduced and they sounded (maybe? hopefully?) likable. Then I tried to keep the breezy tone going in the second paragraph, and made myself sound like a complete sociopath. "Character B is murdered. And ha ha ha, the dog might have eaten the evidence!"

Are you starting to see the difficulty here? This is why I'm writing a blog entry instead of working on the blurb.

Obligatory Pet Picture

Another blast from the past. This was from last year. Such pretty flowers. And lovely dogs.

Two dogs in front of a large bus with yellow and pink flowers
Remember when we had daylight?

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