Writing a back cover blurb ...

8 July 2014 / Leave a Comment
I struggle writing wedding and sympathy cards, author bios and filling out forms of any kind. I also loathe writing synopses and blurbs. However, after the front cover, back cover blurbs are the second most important sales tool for a book - so it's important to get it right. My blurbs often go through more changes than a Miss Universe pageant …


Here was my original blurb/pitch for my novel (now titled 'Exit Stage Left'):


Luisa has fallen in love with Jarvis. She’s married and has a son, Jason, so there’s no way she wants to have a tacky affair. She comes up with a plan to find a wife for her husband, Luke, and to screen potential stepmothers for Jason. However, Luke is a rather dedicated husband who doesn’t care much for getting a bit on the side, so it’s going to be hard to nudge him in the right direction …


It was okay ... it got the main points of the story across, but it didn't really capture the flavour of it. I turned to two of my favourite book blurbs for inspiration ... I think these two are really witty and intriguing:


Toni Jordan's Addition (Text Publishing)
Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. The letters in her name (19). The steps she takes every morning to the local café (920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she’ll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they’re doing. 


Seamus Joseph O'Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) thinks she might be better off without the counting. If she could hold down a job, say. Or open her kitchen cupboards without conductng an inventory, or make a sandwich containing an unknown number of sprouts. Grace’s problem is that Seamus doesn’t count.  Her other problem is…he does. 


Kristen Krauth's just_a_girl (UWA Publishing)
Layla is only 14. She cruises online. She catches trains to meet strangers. Her mother, Margot, never suspects. Even when Layla brings a man into their home. Margot’s caught in her own web: an evangelical church and a charismatic pastor. Meanwhile, downtown, a man opens a suitcase and tenderly places his young lover inside.

just_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary culture. A Puberty Blues for the digital age, a Lolita with a webcam, it’s what happens when young girls are forced to grow up too fast. Or never get the chance to grow up at all.


So I went back to the drawing board. Now that I had a new title 'Exit Stage Left' I tried weaving more of the 'theatrical' theme into the blurb for a bit more interest:


Luisa had been following the script up until now. She got married, had a kid, a good job, a small house in the inner suburbs. But then she met Jarvis and fell in love. Now there are too many male leads in her life. She decides to find a wife for her husband so she can quietly exit stage left with Jarvis. She wants to ensure her son doesn’t end up with a wicked stepmother part of the time. However, Luke is a rather dedicated family man who doesn’t care much for getting a bit on the side, so it’s going to be hard to nudge him in the right direction …


I sent this on to my editor Kirstie Innes-Will. She advised that it's good to break blurbs up into shorter paragraphs with dramatic pauses to catch the eye. Then she worked her extra magic to make it:


Luisa’s always followed the script … until now. She married Luke, built up a good career, bought a small house in the inner suburbs and had a kid. But now Luisa’s met Jarvis and fallen in love. Suddenly there are too many male leads in her life.


Luisa decides to find a wife for her husband, so she can quietly exit stage left with Jarvis. She doesn’t want her son to end up with a wicked stepmother, so she’d better pull some strings while she still can.


But Luke is a dedicated family man who doesn’t seem interested in getting a bit on the side. It’s going to need all Luisa’s directing powers to nudge him in the right direction …


Visit: http://mergepublishing.com/exit-stage-left-by-rowena-wiseman/
Powered by Blogger.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top