Today on the show, BPF trainer and writer John Phythyon and former cohost Jim Heskett 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:
Good Vibrations by Patrick J. O’Connor
A human. An alien. A one-afternoon stand and a fertilized egg. What could possibly go right?
Greg and NaDii are going to find out. They’re about to become a hybrid family, it turns out. In book one of this series, during the life of their first child, Robby ( or Bobby) Firestone, the two parents discover their children have a hybrid vigor that makes them far more than the sum of their parts. When his unexpected, half-human genius is revealed, Bobby galvanizes the Terran and HaChii races both ways. The admirers, and the ones who want him dead.
Can salvation from the future save Bobby in the present? Can Bobby’s sister keep a low enough profile to avoid the people—dangerous ones—who stalk her brother? Why bother? She’s way more dangerous than they are!
A good blurb is all about simplicity. It doesn’t matter if you have written a fantasy epic with ten major characters all working to save the world from evil, a layered and deeply complex literary novel about the triumph of the human spirit, or a clever murder mystery with a ton of twists and a criminal mastermind slipperier than Professor Moriarty. To get the sale, the book description has to boil things down to their most easily digestible state.
To do this, you need to follow one character. No matter how important the others are to your narrative, your blurb needs to zero in on just one. When readers are skimming through Amazon listings, their brains are not in Absorb Complicated Ideas mode. They’re glancing quickly, trying to determine if what they’re looking at sounds like it’s worth gambling their money and time on. And in that mindset, they aren’t interested in lots of detail or remembering the names of everyone important to the story.
So, pick your “most” main character and focus on them. Follow their emotional journey through the early part of the novel. Make readers care about them, and they’ll buy.
And if you’re lucky, they’ll choose to follow you … through every book you write.