Today on the show, BPF trainer and writer John Phythyon and copywriting guru Abigail Dunard tackle an author-submitted blurb to dissect it and understand how to write killer sales copy.
To watch video of this episode, view it on Facebook at Best Page Forward.
Here are this episode’s read-along selections:
Of Seekers and Shepherds: Children of the Younger God, Book One by G.H Duval
For more than four centuries, the realm of Avelare has enjoyed peace. The nations of Farkoast, Kirin, and Senechal have learned, by necessity, to settle their disputes through non-violent means as the world’s super power—the nation of Coerdom—forbids war in the name of their pacifist younger god, Hirute.
Siare au L’espri is Hirute’s chosen Spirit Shepherd. A telepath and oracle, she is half of the pair known as the First Stewards. Together with her husband—a creature of primal power known as the Formynder who exists solely to serve and protect Siare—they govern the nation of Coerdom. With the threat of Coerdom’s Shepherds at her back, Siare has enforced Hirute’s centuries’ long prohibition on warfare. Serving decades longer than expected, Siare now questions the edicts to which she has been sworn as she grows weary of containing the self-destructive tendencies of the humanity she has worked so long to preserve. At the sunset of her reign with no successor in sight, her Shepherds are seceding and the Great Houses, once firmly under her control, grow insubordinate. Siare’s successor must soon be found if humanity’s fragile peace is to hold, for she finds herself increasingly willing to leave humanity to fend for itself.
Spring au Terre has the questionable luck to come of age at this perilous time. At 16—the age of majority—the time has come for Spring to make decisions she barely understands but will be forced to make. Should she heed her mother and marry her aristocratic suitor, embarking on a life of privilege but with little room for her Earth magic? Or should she heed her Master and enlist in service to the First Stewards—honing her already considerable magic and serving as a Shepherd of Coerdom, but leaving behind her younger sister, Mina, to whom she is deeply attached and whose long illness requires Spring’s healing touch? Both options leave Spring wanting, and she yearns to create a new path for herself that Coerdom has never seen.
As all three women struggle with a series of revelations that thrust them into new lives—ones they never could have imagined—they will find themselves at the very heart of a global struggle. Together, they will have to decide between the safety of the known and the very remaking of their world.
Readers love happy endings. Ironically, though, they hate happy middles. They want to have some conflict in their novels. And by “some conflict”, we mean, “LOTS of conflict.”
So to make sure readers know they will be getting what they want, you’ve got to have conflict in your blurb. We need to see that MC wrestling with something that could keep them from getting what they want.
BUT, while a blurb needs to feature conflict, it can’t have a ton of conflicts. Remember that the human mind can only handle two or three new ideas at once. So the more problems you throw at the protagonist, the harder it will be for the reader to keep track of what’s happening. And if they get confused they’re going to say, “No.”
So stuff your blurb full of conflict, but make sure you there’s only one or two of them in total. After all, we don’t want readers feeling conflicted about whether or not they’ll enjoy the book!