Can anyone help me with my blurb?


#1

Give a girl a hand? Blurbs/summaries are obviously super important, the shop window for the rest of the book. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been really disappointed by a book because the blurb didn’t relate to the content.

Here’s what I’ve got currently:

The last thing Leander wanted was to think about the army now he’d left it behind him, but war had gripped the country for the past thirty years and forgetting it was nigh impossible, especially when it looked unlikely to finish any time soon. Pretty, clever and vivacious, Miss Harper was surely the perfect distraction. If only she would give him the time of day…

Unfortunately Miss Harper only had eyes for her big promotion (in whatever that job of hers was) and Leander didn’t feature in her plans. All she was interested in was magic, something nobody took seriously, and the fate of their warring nation. Drunk and desperate, he made one final wild attempt to be noticed by her.

Magic, it transpired, was a little more serious than Leander had bargained for, and war wasn’t half as terrifying as a sorceress when you’d got on her bad side.

I think readers should be sort of prepared for the feel of the book before they start it.

Things I worry about:

  • People expecting romance and being disappointed that romance is shelved for a lot of the book.

  • People expecting fantasy-fantasy-mcfantasy and being disappointed that it’s fantasy-romance.

  • People not expecting the slightly old-fashioned style of writing.

I might be worrying (a lot) too much, but Wattpad isn’t great for finding books with a particular vibe (IMO) and the best place to look is the blurb.

What sort of book do you expect from the blurb above, and what would you do to improve it? Any help appreciated, thanks!


#2

I think you should add a bit more fantasy references.
When I read the blurb I thought it would be an adventure- romance sort of thing.
It is only at the end I realised you were talking about a magical world.
I think people will expect the old fashioned way cause I got that sort of ‘vibe’ and your use of ‘miss’ harper and formality makes it easier to get what type of style this book is going to be.


#3

I agree with @Shadow_wonder that you should def add more “fantasy” vibes to that. Also I’m not sure what you mean when you say it’s a romance novel too but that there’s no romance? How can that be? And i would love to help you write a blurb if you’d give me more specific details or your story, otherwise I can’t really expand on what you have to show you other ways to go about it! I think your current one is just a bit too generic right now. If i picked it up at a book store I’d absolutely have no clue what to expect. And while that makes sense to some, why would you want to read a story knowing key things??, it honestly needs something that screams “this is unique and something only I have written” which I’m not getting from the summary at all. So yeah, just try adding stuff that shows off elements of your story in more subtle ways. You don’t have to put every single detail ever into it, obviously that’d be crazy, but it’s just something I recommend


#4

First, don’t worry about the writing style. It is what it is.

What is the actual focus of the story? If you could sum it up in a sentence or two? Then adjust your blurb accordingly. To start work on a good blurb, it helps to know what the MC’s goal is in all this.

What I see so far: Leander is a soldier in a thirty year war. Miss Harper has a job where she uses her skills as a sorceress. Leander’s goal is to get Miss Harper to go out with him. The story is about what Miss Harper does to Leander for annoying her.

Obviously I don’t actually believe that’s what the story is about. I’m sure it has something to do with Miss Harper and the war, with Leander playing some part… maybe. Otherwise, it does look like some attempted romance.


#5

Thanks! That’s a really helpful suggestion, I hadn’t thought of it from that angle.


#6

Okay, good points. It’s got romance in it, but it’s definitely fantasy first. There’s a thread somewhere just for people to complain about fantasy that turns out to be romance. I don’t want people to be annoyed by that, but then it’s also not a steamy romance novel and I don’t want people to be annoyed by that either.

I’m sweating over the unique thing now. What have I written that’s unique?


#7

Thanks, that’s really helpful. I think my problem now is that I have no idea how to summarise the book beyond the first few chapters, so maybe I should just work that one out…


#8

Go with what you have for now, tweak it maybe. As your plot becomes more defined, rewrite. I did mine multiple times.


#9

Hmmm, that’s a good approach. Did your readers notice?

That’s not my problem though, actually (I think my problem is me). The story is finished and the plot defined. Picking out the salient points which don’t give too much away is tricky.


#10

When you first start out, you don’t have many readers, and once you have them, who looks at the blurb? Try listing your main plot points and we can try working it out.


#11

Your entire story is unique just because you’ve written it! No one else has written exactly what you have or how you write. Don’t forget that! Just like everyone else is saying, pick out the key points in your plot and summarize them. It doesn’t need to list word for word what happens, it might even breeze over the idea so gently as to not spoil it which is fine, as long as it’s something that helps the reader understand what they’re in for! I suggest reading the blurbs on books you’ve read IRL and seeing how they do it! You picked up those books for a reason too! Think about what they do that intrigued you in the first place and take those little notes and apply it to your own!

For example, in my all time favorite series, something that is stressed a bunch in the summary isn’t even an important detail in the story! It’s almost a background plot that’s put on backburner until the end of the series! But it’s foreshadoing (almost) and gives the reader an idea of what they’re even in for, a set up almost to the series. It doesn’t even have to be “and this happens and then this” you just need to intrigue the reader with something. If that makes you feel any better about what you may do with your blurb.


#12

I really wish I had a tl;dr version for you, but here goes:

  • Long-running war, Leander discharged etc. He’s a hot mess who hates himself.
  • Sees a girl (Elspeth/Lissy) he went to school with and decides he’s in love with her.
  • Lissy rejects him, he gets drunk and attempts to kidnap her.
  • He wakes up and discovers that this attempt went so badly that she has kidnapped him. She controls him via magic for a bit, pretends he’s her butler for the lols.
  • She gets in trouble at work, decides to run away and investigate the undercurrents in the war. Takes Leander with her.
  • The war has been partly engineered by a rogue magician who has stolen most magical knowledge from sorcerers in both countries (and also abducted a lot of people). He seeks ultimate power for himself etc. etc.
  • Big fight.

(It sounds absurd but let’s skate over that.)

There’s also some tangential stuff involving faeries and souls. Actually, just making this list has helped clarify things for me a bit. Thanks.


#13

That’s the idea, lol.


#14

After getting discharged from the long war (I assume it has a name?), Leander was a hot mess. In an attempt to put the past behind him, he made a pass at a witch he used to know. Her rejection was that last little thing that sent him over the edge. In a drunken fit, he irrationally decided to kidnap her.

Elspeth/Lissy decided to teach him a lesson by compelling him with magic to serve as her butler for awhile, just for the fun of it.

While at work, Lizzy discovers… (something)

… that puts her in danger.


#15

Take that, relate it to the story, maybe add something about with the help of fairies or ehatever, then trim it down a little maybe, and leave the promise for the reader that they will get an action-packed, mystery/fantasy.


#16

what does BLURB mean?


#17

I think description, some people call it a blurb, others a summary (which, a summary is a completely different thing)


#18

huh…thts cool.


#19

No kidding? People can be kind of picky. I mean, I guess if the main focus of the story turns out to be more soap opera and less fantasy, I could see the complaint. But let’s face it, as the king of Troy once said (in a movie lol), some fight wars for land, some for money, and others for glory, but perhaps love is the greatest reason of them all (I paraphrase and probably don’t do justice to the quote).


#20

I agree with perhaps adding a little more “fantasy” elements to the blurb as my first thoughts when I read it were 19th century America lol! But then again, each world is different and unique. Only you know the world you are creating and perhaps you are actually painting a good picture of it in the blurb. I would suggest shortening it up to maybe a paragraph. I know it’s hard as hell and easier said than done lol! Just remember the purpose of a blurb is to spark the interest and lure the reader into the story, working in conjunction with the cover. The purpose isn’t just to tell the potential reader what the story is about. Remember the 10 second rule. If you don’t get the potential reader’s attention and generate interest within the first 10 seconds, they will more than likely move on. So your first, second, and third sentences are your most important. As I said, easier said than done, and I don’t even presume that mine are good examples lol!! But a good principle to keep in mind and strive for.