Why do authors complain about writing summaries of their novels for the book jacket?
Because it’s TOUGH. Waaaah!
A good blurb captures the voice of the novel. It entices the reader without giving too much away.
We’re starting to edit my fourth novel On Best Behavior (The Conduct Series #3), and we need the book blurb for a press release.
Here was my first effort at writing the blurb:
On Best Behavior is the third and final book in The Conduct Series—romantic suspense with a psychological twist. Following a pardon by the Governor of Illinois, ex-cons Sophie Taylor and Grant Madsen are free to pursue their love. But planning a wedding is never easy, especially when the Russian Mafia want you dead.
Grant fights the forces that have hurt his loved ones by working undercover for the FBI to infiltrate the Russian Mafia in Chicago. Sophie dives into swimming with Grant’s nephew Ben, and into a career as a psychology professor. This time it’s Ben’s turn to heal through therapy sessions with Dr. Hunter Hayes.
Too bad the Russians aren’t their only threat. Grant’s father Enzo Barberi discovers it was Grant who thwarted his plan to break out of prison. Enzo possesses an overdeveloped sense of vengeance and ****. It’s unclear who will kill Grant first—the Russians or his Italian family—until Sophie scrambles to save her fiancé. Can love win over evil?
The good news is that blurb writing does get easier with practice. The bad news is that this blurb felt disjointed. So I turned to my trusty editor Jessica Royer Ocken for help. Her first suggestion was to eliminate the clause represented by **** because it gave too much away. Whoops!
Here is what Jessica came up with, which I like much better:
Following a pardon by the Governor of Illinois, ex-cons Sophie Taylor and Grant Madsen are finally free to pursue their love and the life that lies ahead for them. But planning a wedding is never easy—especially when the Russian Mafia wants you dead.
Nevertheless, On Best Behavior—the third and final book in The Conduct Series—finds our favorite couple moving forward, despite the odds. Grant now fights the forces that have hurt his loved ones by working undercover for the FBI, and he has infiltrated the Russian Mafia in Chicago. Sophie dives into swimming with Grant’s nephew, Ben, and into her career as a psychology professor. Thankfully, now it’s Ben’s turn to heal through therapy sessions with Dr. Hunter Hayes.
With so many things going right for Grant and Sophie, it’s too bad the Russians aren’t their only threat. When Grant’s father, Enzo Barberi, discovers his own son thwarted his plan to break out of prison, his overdeveloped sense of vengeance flares to life. As Sophie scrambles to save her fiancé, it’s impossible to say who will kill Grant first—the Russians or his Italian family. Can love triumph over evil? Are hard work and a pledge to be on best behavior ever enough?
Once again, author Jennifer Lane brings a harrowing tale of romantic suspense with a psychological twist, and it’s sure to leave readers breathless.
Authors, how difficult do YOU find the blurb writing process? Readers, what types of blurbs are your favorite?
And soon we’ll work on a book cover, too. 🙂
5 thoughts on “BLURBS!”
Blurb writing is very hard and demanding — Taylor Swift as a ex-girlfriend would be easier on my nerves!Yet, they are essential: they encourage the browser to open the book for a look-see.A short hook of a sentence apart from the body of the blurb works very well to incite my interest when I book-shopping.
I almost think the author is the last one who should write the book blurb – because we've got SO much we want to convey. I think it would be easier for someone else to zero in on the highlights & hooks. You've done a very good job crafting yours though, with the marvelous Jessica's input, of course. I still love your hook line: \”planning a wedding is never easy—especially when the Russian Mafia wants you dead.\” And I agree w/ Roland that sometimes a one sentence hook is more effective for me when browsing books.
My publisher always has me write the synopsis, which sucks. After twenty attempts, I send it to them. No surprise, they send it back with suggestions. Several rounds of edits ensue…
I love the blurb, Jen! Can your editor write my next one? Ha! I'm fast approaching the need to write the blurb for my upcoming novel, and I am not inspired. With a couple of my novels, the blurb almost wrote itself. which was awesome, but it only happened twice. The others have been a struggle that I do not enjoy.
I hate blurb writing!!! For the past few days, I've been tempted to write \”Girl meets guy, pushes him away. Guy chases after girl. Guy and girl go back and forth. Fall in Love. Breakup. Get back together. The End.\” TA DAAAA!!!Terrible, I know, but ohhh so tempting lol