Nothing. I repeat NOTHING is more hated in the career of being an author than writing the synopsis and the book blurb. Nothing. Well, perhaps writer’s block, but some of the authors I’ve talked to say they’d take writers block any day over having to write their book blurb.
Why is it so hated?
Several reasons that I believe are best described in the book “How to Write a Sizzling Synopsis“, which if you haven’t purchased and read this book you should! Trust me. It will help you.
For some it’s a loss of those utterly and deliciously poetic flowing sentences that capture the essence of our writer voice. Short, choppy, and to the point is not how one writes a novel. Well, perhaps, a children’s book, but not a ‘what you hope is going to be a New York Times Best Seller’! For others it can feel like we aren’t the authors at all, but more like the pictured image of the used car salesman complete with Elvis hair, a banana yellow suit he bought from 1970, and gold chains around his neck. ‘Buy this book! Ain’t no better book then this here book. She reads like a beauty and hasn’t given me a lick of trouble.’ Instead of feeling like the author, you feel like someone trying to convince someone else to buy a product you have nothing to do with, you just want the paycheck. And lastly, for some, there is no point A to point Z in a blurb. We cut major plot lines, delete important dialogue, and gloss over world details.
OUCH! But that’s all the important stuff!!
Let’s face it, authors don’t like cutting our hard work and the book blurb is just that: our work cut up like a piece of paper when a kid is trying to make a snowflake.
So what is an author supposed to do? Well, for starters go read that book. Then take what you’ve learned and get to writing your blurb. While I won’t go into detail about the steps learned, I will give you two examples of what it taught me and how my blurbs have improved. Are they perfect now? Probably not. But they sure are a lot better then they were. It’s no wonder that they weren’t selling. I wouldn’t have bought them either.
After her fiancé leaves her at the altar and a blind date stands her up, Helen Wright is done with love. Married to her real estate career instead, the only thought on her mind is selling a top listed house in San Francisco so she can finally afford the home of her dreams.
After her wealthiest client fires her, Helen’s vision of moving away from her cramped apartment and the person stealing her parking space vanishes. Her professional life is now feeling just as pathetic as her love life. So when her best friend, Lisa, informs her that she’s getting married in Bora Bora, Helen packs her bags for a much-needed vacation and boards a place with the excitement of leaving all her Mr. Wrongs behind.
A new practice and a new place to live, those are the only two things that veterinarian Rick Stark needs after finding out his fiancée cheated on him. With his trust in women shattered, he jumps at the chance for the perfect job, leaving San Francisco in the dust. However, while visiting his possible new boss on the islands of Bora Bora, he finds himself in the company of a familiar face—the attractive owner of a patient who he once thought he wasn’t interested in.
Could it be that maybe he was wrong about her? And if so, what’s he supposed to do when her old flame falls into the picture wanting to rekindle what they once had?
Helen Wright is done with love. Left at the altar then stood up by a blind date, her only ‘significant other’ is her real estate career and her fat, orange tabby, Charlie. When her wealthiest client fires her then bad mouths her all over the city, Helen’s professional life becomes just as pathetic as her love life. Her only consolation is a much-needed vacation to Bora Bora to attend a friend’s wedding.
Single again, veterinarian Rick Stark needs only three things: a new practice, a new city, and a new place to live. He’s desperate to move on from his cheating ex-fiancée. Tired of spending the night on a friend’s couch, he jumps at the opportunity to apply for the perfect job on the beautiful islands of Bora Bora. Upon meeting the shy and introverted Helen, he finds himself oddly determined to help her have fun instead of letting her hide in her overwater bungalow.
Can they both find love again? And if so, what are they supposed to do when her old flame pops back into the picture wanting to reignite the engagement he once ended?
So what exactly was wrong with the old one? Well for starters, I had the same word start the first paragraph and the second paragraph. HELLO! Second off, I had way too much detail about the plot. Remember the old saying: K.I.S.S ~ Keep It Simple Stupid. Did I really need to name her best friend? No. Did I really need to tell the reader her dream about selling a top listed house to buy her own? No. Did I need to tell the reader she was excited to go on vacation? No. Did I put in way too much unneeded details? YES.
And as if I’m not embarrassed enough by that one, here is another.
Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed, and the day Evelyn Ford will never forget.
With the untimely death of her parents and the loss of their only income, Evelyn, and her brother, Frank flee to a make-shift hovel built in Central Park. After Frank mysteriously goes missing, bare cupboards force Evelyn to seek employment anywhere she can find work, even if that means working at a burlesque theater.
Catching the attention of Don Vincent Giovanni, a Kingpin in the New York mafia, Evelyn discovers that Frank is serving time in prison for running hooch and he owes Vincent a lot of money. In order to pay off her brother’s debt, Evelyn is thrown into the world of mobsters and bootlegging.
Between running hooch all over the city of New York and trying to save her brother, Evelyn finds herself drawn to Max Catalano, Vincent’s Consigliere. Even with secrets of his own, he’s the only one she can trust when she entangles herself in the middle of the New York mafia crime wars.
Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed. And the day Evelyn Ford will never forget.
With the untimely death of her parents and the mysterious disappearance of her brother, bare cupboards force Evelyn to seek employment anywhere she can get it—even if that means becoming a bootlegger and illegally running hooch. Too bad her new boss ends up being none other than Don Vincent Giovanni, a Kingpin in the city of New York. Thrown into the world of the mob, she finds herself drawn to Max Catalano, the only man she believes she can trust.
Unfortunately, the family’s Consigliere has secrets of his own. Secrets that could get him and those he’s protecting killed. The last thing he needs is a beautiful young woman messing with his well-laid plans—especially when her foolish choices get her entangled in the middle of the mafia crime wars.
Can he keep her safe? Or will both of their deceptions catch up with them in the end?
Again, what is the problem with the first one: details! Less is more, Angela. Less. Is. More. Did I really need to name her brother? No. Did I really need to tell the reader that they lived in a hovel in Central Park? No. Did I really need to tell the reader about her brother’s debt problems? No. Actually really no, because that is kind of a plot twist that I spoiled. Yay, me. Ugh.
So with sharing my bonehead moments, I say go forth, read the book I mentioned above, and finally enjoy writing your book blurbs!