Throwback Thursday is a series where we take a look back at some of AWP’s most popular posts. Enjoy!
by Steven Capps
Now that you’ve finished your book, it’s time to get ready for publication. Cover art, editing, and copy are just a few critical elements to getting you started. Since writing is something you do, you might want to knock out the back-cover copy (AKA blurb), but I implore you to read this short article in order to avoid making MASSIVE mistakes that will inhibit your book from selling to its full potential.
[ ] Now that we are down to the people who have a finished book, we can begin the actual meeting for world domination. (Shit, I think there are still some loiterers, so we’ll just talk about blurbs until they get bored of my terrible writing. I promise we’ll eventually get to the meeting…maybe.)
- Make it short: Since your still here, you might as well know that your blurb needs to be short. Like real short; at the absolute most, 3-4 sentences long and not fancy compound ones, you cheater.
- Have Focus: Don’t try to fit your entire novel into a paragraph. Give a few, solid details on your main character, conflict, and hook. A reader doesn’t care about your sub-plots if they are not interested in the primary premise.
- Don’t Ride Coattails: You are not qualified to make subjective statements about your own work. If I see a facebook ad that says “Better than the Wheel of Time,” and it was obviously written by the author, I will immediately block all future ads from that account. How dare you insult one of my favorite series? Even if it is true, I’m not going to give some unknown Joe the benefit of the doubt.
- Just the facts: This ties into the above guideline. If your blurb is filled with things like, “awesome book, thrilling, beautiful prose,” I don’t care. I want to know what it’s about. It’s fine to have one or two quotes, but that is it. I want to know about the damn story. (Family and friends don’t count as quotes unless they are in the industry. Everyone’s Mom likes their stuff.)
- Don’t use a Question as a Hook: Though I am sure this is personal taste, it screams cliche to me. If you have to use a rhetorical question just to garner even a little curiosity, I don’t want to waste my time reading something where the copy wasn’t even creative.
Original article here.
Guest post contributed by Steven Capps. Steven is a writer with an insatiable hunger for the fantasy and science fiction genre. His writing has been featured in publications such as Fiction, The Bird & Dog, Survival Prepper, Survival Sullivan, Markit Bulgaria, and The Cass County Star Gazette. His blog’s goal is to create a place to talk about improving writers’ craft as well as learn about the industry.