J.A. Stinger

Words Can Inspire The World

7 Reasons Why Readers Hate Your Book Blurb

Written by: Rainy Kaye
Reblogged from: http://www.bookdaily.com/authorresource/blog/post/1802306

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Since I have been scanning through a lot of blurbs while reworking mine more times than I can count, I thought I would talk about a few things I have concluded:

1. Don’t waste that first sentence with a description like, “a gripping story…” My thoughts: I’ll be the judge of that. Of course the author or publisher thinks it’s gripping or endearing or wonderful. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t have published it. This is implied.

2. Don’t waste the first sentence on a boring setup, either. “Eliza is a normal girl.” My thoughts: *yawn*

3. No cliche or trite phrases. Seriously.

4. The first sentence should be right into the good stuff. Don’t save that for the end. It’s okay if the story itself builds up, but I’ve committed for the long haul at that point. My thoughts: I want to know what’s so perplexing about this character’s life that I should make said commitment. You have thirty seconds to hook me. Ready, set, go!

5. Stop with the bazillions of names. You lived in that world for a year. I didn’t. My thoughts: I have no idea what you’re talking about, and truthfully, I’m skimming over those names. If the blurb doesn’t make sense without them, then I’m onto the next. If it does make sense to me by skipping the names made up by sneezing on a Scrabble set, then you didn’t need to bog the blurb down with them to begin with–so stop it.

6. The stake should not be just if they will live or not. My thoughts: The hero always lives. Are you snickering because yours didn’t? Unfortunately, you set it up for me to think he does and that there’s nothing else to worry about, so the joke is on you. There could be a fantastic twist at the end, but unless it seems like there could be, I’ll probably never know.

7. Stop with the rhetoric! Please! I beg you. “What would you do with a million dollars?” My thoughts: Hire someone to read blurbs for me.

And, for the record, if I found out my best friend had been murdered, I would cry. If someone appeared out of nowhere and told me I haz Teh Power, I would give one warning shot. If I had no memory of who I was, I would probably come up with a really cool name and superhero outfit because, hey, why not?

See, these aren’t the thoughts you wanted. All you’re doing is enticing me to come up with my own fairytale and forget all about yours.

What pet peeves do you have with blurbs?