Blurbs: The Horror of It All

I hate blurbs.  Ask Edie.  She’ll tell you.  😉

I’m in the middle of filling out a book info sheet for STRIPPED when that scary section where I have to write a blurb for my story chopped me in the throat.  It’s a necessary evil, if I want to capture a reader’s attention and hopefully make them shout, “I have to have this book!”  Let’s face it.  I can do internal and external GMCs okay, but when it comes to narrowing the story down into a few lines that will snag a potential buyer by the neck, I’m at a loss. 

I’ve read some damn good blurbs, which made me want to buy books.  I think the best blurbs I’ve read so far are those on the back of Carrie Vaughn, Bentley Little, and Kelley Armstrong’s books.  I’ve never come across a blurb that wasn’t true to the story, so I can’t relate to anyone who has.  Have you come across a blurb that has nothing to do with the story? 

Anyway, a second part of the questionnaire was I had to come up with a tagline.  Again, another hated ritual that is also a necessary evil.  But here’s the part that I find ironic.  Not only are we talking about loglines (taglines) in the online class I’m taking with Alex Sokoloff, but I think I’m pretty damn good with them when it comes to movies.

When it comes to my work, God help me.  Seriously.  I go completely brain dead with the gray matter oozing out of my ear and blood leaking from the corners of my eyes.  I think I’ve come up with a good one for STRIPPED, though I had to look at a couple of movie-related taglines.  Good old  😉 Whether or not it’s enough to keep the reader reading , I don’t know.  I just hope it works.

So do you have trouble with blurbs and taglines?  How about queries?  If so, how long does it take you to work it out?  Or, are you brain dead like I am and have your own Edie to help you out?


15 thoughts on “Blurbs: The Horror of It All

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. I don’t have any personal experience with that (yet!!), but it’s good you have Edie to help! She sounds like a jewel!

    So take a deep breath, wipe your face, collect all your gray matter and funnel it back in- you might need it later.

  3. Too funny, Marcia. Pretty much all I did with your blurb was rearrange your sentences.

    I’d love to hear your tagline. The one that you have for your website, “Embracing the creepier side of writing,” is brilliant!

  4. 😆 The gray matter is back in place, Tivi. For now. Wait until the next book.

    You’ll get your chance to experience the joy. Trust me. All I can say is keep yourself surrounded by close writing friends (like moi) who’ll be more than happy to set you blurb straight. 😉

  5. Thanks, Edie! But it never hurts to have a pair of extra eyes whenever my cross each other in misery. 😉

    As for my tagline: “Someone wants their perfect weapon back, only she’s not coming quietly.” That pretty much says it. My heroine will fight tooth, nail, and claws before she goes back to the life the villian had “picked out” for her.

  6. I tap Edie for solutions. No one can boil it down quite like her.

    I feel lucky to have published and almost published friends. My knowledge base for publishing answers keeps growing and growing. 🙂

  7. Aren’t taglines and blurbs rather like being asked a key question for your dream job? There’s always that fear that you’ll say the wrong thing. That maybe that witty line you dreamed up, isn’t so witty after all. Taglines and blurbs are tough, there’s this line you have to dance and one wrong move takes you from catchy to off the edge into lame.

    BTW your tagline is fantastic both book and website.

    And yes, I too have an Edie. She’s the one who tells me that the line I thought was so full of edgy wit is well – not. Or that maybe with a little tweaking – it could be.

  8. Ohmigosh, I kid you not, this takes me WEEKS! This takes me LONGER THAN IT TOOK TO WRITE THE DARN 50K NOVELLA IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    You think I’m kidding. I am not. I am dead serious. It takes me longer to write the blurb than it takes me to write 50,000 words.

  9. My knowledge base for publishing answers keeps growing and growing.

    That’s how I feel every time I work on a blurb, Kath. I think I’m getting better at it, though I can’t be sure. At least we have folks to point us in the right direction. 😉

  10. Thanks, Ryshia. 🙂

    You pretty much said what I feel in a nutshell. It’s intimidating because you’re walking that thin line that you feel is either going to make or break your story. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve changed the short blurbs for the books and WIPs on my website because I never know which is going to win a reader over. Ultimately, that’s what we want.

  11. Spy, don’t feel bad. I’ve heard the same thing from so many people that it makes my head spin. While I might spend days working on one, I won’t spend every hour on the hour with it. What pisses me off is when I come up with a damn good line in the shower and can’t remember it worth squat no matter how many times I recite it in my head. Go figure. *sigh*

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