‘I feared I’d never get the blurb finished in time for the launch’ – guest post at Jami Gold’s

1. Take 100,000 words.

2. Stuff that into three paragraphs or so.

3. Don’t leave out anything important.

Welcome to summarising your book for the back cover or for pitching to an agent.

A few of you may well remember the frantic email sessions last summer as we batted ideas back and forth for my novel’s flap copy. I proved that despite having written a reasonably lucid novel, I was entirely incapable of distilling it into a suitable blurb. I think it took six weeks, several false starts and wrong turnings – many of which I didn’t want to abandon because they’d been hard enough. Did three paragraphs ever cause such anguish?

Anyway, I learned a lot in the process, and today I’m at the blog of paranormal author Jami Gold, sharing all my tips.

One of those tips is to not become too attached to the wrong soundbite. Boy, I nearly hobbled myself there. You can see my blurb outtakes at Jami’s lovely blog, but in the meantime I thought it would be fun to share here some wrong blurbing that we’ve done.

Tell me, in the comments, the blurb or pitch you had to junk – and why it was soooooo wrong. I look forward to sharing your pain…

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  1. #1 by Jami Gold on April 27, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    Thanks for the guest post, Roz! It’s great having you there, and I love how you shared your story and tips. :)

  2. #3 by Writerlious on April 27, 2012 - 7:32 pm

    I’m trying to write pitches right now. Sooo hard. I’m going to pop over to Jami’s blog to see your advice!

  3. #5 by Leslie on May 1, 2012 - 3:04 pm

    This is great. Really excellent point about pushing the right buttons and not leading the reader astray – I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read that seemed to be promising one thing in the blurb and then failed to deliver – extremely irritating as a reader.

    My current WIP is a musical, so I don’t think I have to write a back cover blurb, but I definitely have to figure out how to pitch it!

  4. #6 by Daniel Uk Music on September 10, 2012 - 11:39 am

    i got some really great tips on how to make a blurb for my back cover :) for a story i call Vengeance Of The Void i would love to send it to you to get some feedback maybe? if thats alright ^.^ im only 16 so.. i have been working on this noval for about 5 months now in maths class

    • #7 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on September 10, 2012 - 4:26 pm

      Daniel, the best place for you to get feedback on your back cover blurb is from people who know the book. Find readers who are the right fit for the material – who are fans of your genre. Let them read the book, and when they’ve given you feedback and got to know what you want the book to be, try the blurb out on them. And… ahem… it’s novEl… Good luck and glad you found my post helpful.

  1. Last resort to new career – how I self-published and how it’s changed my outlook as a writer: speech for the Society of Young Publishers, Oxford « Nail Your Novel

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