Shannon Stacey

Dude, where's my blurb?

I’ll never complain about writing a synopsis again. (Well, I might, but I’ll edit this out of the archives first.)

I’ve been working on the blurb for Twice Upon A Roadtrip. The teaser paragraphs, or whatever they’re called. I thought it would be easy, because I’ve written my share of synopses, after all. *insert Vincent Price laugh-track here*

My mistake was not realizing the huge difference in the two, and how much fun the monkeys could have with it. With a synopsis I’ve got 2-5 pages to convince an editor she’d be willing to spend some time reading my manuscript. And, though it sounds horribly obnoxious, I’m usually confident I can get a manuscript read. Not bought, maybe, but read.

With the blurb, I’ve got a couple of paragraphs to convince a discerning reader to invest her time and money into my book. And if she doesn’t like it, I probably won’t get another shot. With the editor I can send another manuscript across her desk, and another, as long as I’m in the ballpark. And I’ll send those manuscripts to her knowing she’s at least looking for what I’m writing. Whether or not it sparks her interest is not up to me, but at least I can research her do’s and don’ts ahead of time.

I don’t get to target readers like that. Sure, I can do some promo in our mutual circles, but basically those paragraphs are what they’re basing their decisions on. So these two hundred words need to convey the premise, the humor, the hot sex, my voice, and all without visual subliminal messages. :razz:

Which all leads me to believe that readers are even scarier than editors! :wink:

6 comments to “Dude, where's my blurb?”

  1. Anna Lucia
      · February 28th, 2005 at 2:23 am · Link

    The blurb is like a turkey thermometer to me. (And yes, I am going to explain that…)

    At some point during writing the book, the blurb happens in my head . It’s like the little turkey thingy popping up to say the story’s done – *ping*. From then on I know most of what the story’s going to throw at me.

    *slaps the monkeys*

  2. Holly Lisle
      · February 28th, 2005 at 8:48 am · Link

    Oh, believe. Reaching a potential audience is the toughest, most terrifying part of the job.

    I do a blurb and one-line summary as part of project development before I write the book, but it’s never what I need by the time I finish. Stuff changes, themes filter in, and I almost always end up doing all new blurbs and teasers once I’m done. And it isn’t any easier the second time, either.

    They usually don’t use mine anyway.

  3. Shannon
      · February 28th, 2005 at 8:49 am · Link


    For me, writing this blurb has been more like sticking my hand up the bird’s still half-frozen rump and trying to pry the bag of his innards free from the ice crystals. :p

  4. Charlie
      · February 28th, 2005 at 9:10 am · Link

    Why doesn’t someone form a blurb group? Y’all have crit groups and crit partners and such. Why not a blurb group? It wouldn’t take anyone very long to tell you if your blurb sounded catchy or not.

  5. Jaci
      · February 28th, 2005 at 2:21 pm · Link

    I can write a blurb in less than a 1/2 hour. I’ve always found that to be the easiest part of the whole book process. Funny how people see things differently.

    But I also think it helps to have someone look at your blurb because you’re right. You have about 200 words to get a reader interested in wanting to buy your book.

    You know my email addy ;-)


  6. Shannon
      · February 28th, 2005 at 4:49 pm · Link

    “Reaching a potential audience is the toughest, most terrifying part of the job.”

    I learning that, Holly! *g* And I thought I would maybe feel a little pressure, because EC has such a dedicated, lovely, intelligent, fabulous…*g* group of readers, but it’s not helping. The pressure’s pretty immense.

    So, Jaci…beautiful, talented, prolific, AND you can write a blurb in a 1/2 hour. Tis a good thing I already love you, wench. Write mine. I’ll have Mel send you fudge. *ggg*

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