Monday, September 9, 2013

BLURBS ... HOW IMPORTANT ARE THEY? ... REALLY? ...

Hi, Everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend. With the autumn season upon us, it's time to shake things up and move forward.

As most of you know, I have set up a new service creating blurbs. But do we realize how important these few paragraphs are to the overall sales of our books? Extremely. The cover draws the reader in, but it's the blurb that seduces the reader into wanting to read the story. Once hooked, speedy fingers click purchase.

Is your blurb strong enough? Even a published novel can be reborn again with an exciting new blurb. Fellow blogger and published author, Julie Flanders hired me to create a new blurb for her next book, The Ghosts of Aquinnah, a soon to be released novel. After I sent the final draft, she contacted me again to write a new spin on her current novel, Polar Night ...

Just by changing the focus to a different character and adding a bit of tone and atmosphere, a new blurb will appeal to even more potential readers.

Here is the original blurb ... which focuses on the main character. Although the Detective's story is interesting, he's not "the story" he's a player in the story... So Julie decided she wanted to bring the paranormal aspect of the story front and center, therefore changing the focus. 

When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the Winter Solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and one of his own cold cases. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his old case. 

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. While Danny has no evidence to prove Nechayev is involved with the missing women, his instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems. 

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than he could ever have imagined. And when his determination to find the missing women sends Danny on a collision course with Nechayev, Danny's life and the world as he knows it will never be the same. 

Here is the new blurb ... I added my atmospheric spin to "the story" and created a more intriguing blurb by just focusing on one main scene. I hope you like it as much as we do ...

At noon the sun awakens as rural Dalton highway is painted on the arctic, Alaskan horizon. Silhouetted against the burning haze, a haunted asylum pierces the never-ending sky.

A woman screams.

A silken voice and a powerful grip to the throat persuades her silence. His classic, Russian features, not unlike the minted image of Czar Nicolas II, remains frozen in time. “Please do not disappoint me like the others, my darling.”

The doorbell chimes. He releases his hold and caresses her cheek. “Natasha,” escapes his lips as he ascends the creaky wooden stairs. A calm hand opens the door. The glistening snow on the front porch pales against Aleksei’s skin and charming smile. 

The callused hand of detective, Danny Fitzpatrick, flashes a search warrant. His puffy, bloodshot eyes lock onto Aleksei’s ...

The young woman cries out, but only Aleksei hears. They will never find you my dear. This beaten and hung over man does not have a clue.

Hours later, the detective crosses the threshold and shudders as if encased in a block of ice. The sun drops to sleep and an eerie shadow creeps along side him. He shakes his head.

Aleksei watches from the peephole. You feel my immortal essence ... do you not.  A forceful hand bolts the door. Aleksei probes his elongating eye teeth. 

It is time for a new plan ...

See how changing the focus draws you in more personally. You are part of the scene, not just looking in. This is how we hook our newest reader. Let them FEEL the story as if part of it. This introduction MUST grab them like icy fingers clutching their arm.

So take a look at your blurb ... would you buy your book?

Take time writing your blurbs ... it is SO important for the success of you book!

And remember I'm here if you need some atmosphere and a change of focus.

Julie Flanders is also hosting an exciting giveaway, so PLEASE drop by her bog to enter ... AND... Polar Night will be available at a special price for a limited time! So hop on over to Julie's blog.

Have a wonderful day everyone ...


51 comments:

  1. Two very different approaches. You're right, yours sounds so much more personal. Excellent, Michael!

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  2. What first interested me about her blurb was the fact she had a detective named Danny. (I watch the old Hawaii Five-O's with some of my friends sometimes.) And while I would have considered buying the book on that alone, I must admit, I did like the new one better and it was that one which really made me want the book. (So, between that and Danny, I would buy it. Actually, I think I will even add it to my list.)

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  3. I'll be honest. When searching out a new read the blurb (as well as the cover) are usually the final straw that convinces me to buy a book. I am definitely a blurb lover.

    Nicely done, and I agree with Alex.

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  4. Thanks again for this, Michael! I love it more each time I read it. :)

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  5. A cover makes me pick up a book, but a blurb is definitely what makes me buy it.

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  6. SO GRIPPING, Michael!!!

    Love your blurb. It's so captivating and definitely makes me want to pick up that book!!!

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  7. I made some notes. I never feel like my blurbs are adequate and I hate writing them.
    Hope you're feeling better each day.

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  8. Absolutely amazing! You do so well at this, unbelievable the difference those changes made! Great job! You too Julie!

    Michael so glad you're feeling better, can't wait to see what you did for the new book - The Ghosts of Aquinnah!

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  9. I hate writing blurbs too, but you're right. So often that's what sells the books. Nicely done with Julie's!!

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  10. Blurbs and covers can make or break a novel. As usual, you did a wonderful job building atmosphere into Julie's blurb. I wish I was as talented writing them as you are. Sadly, I'm not.

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  11. Blubs are super important in getting people to pick up your book. Great job! And I love the cover.

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  12. I definitely read blurbs to decide what to read. Yours is definitely much more personal. Thanks for sharing them both.

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  13. I love blurbs, my first book and a piece written by my idol Daniel O Donnell and my second book I had a piece written by "Our Alex" very proud I was.

    Yvonne.

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  14. Blurbs are extraordinarily important -- like previews to a movie! Yours is winner!

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  16. There's a fine line when creating blurbs. You have to pique the interest of the reader to want to read the story but not *tell* too much of the story, but just enough to give a taste of the story and leave you wanting more.

    I've read a few that had me scratching my head and going huh? They were way too long and convoluted and not interesting at all. Or they should be the part that is on the inside jacket cover not the short back blurb.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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  17. It's all about massaging the blurb until it really pops. Great job, Michael!

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  18. i like how you made it into the scene which was different from being about the book. so tell me, did you write that while in your running shorts? be honest...

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  19. A cover draws me in, the blurb excites or bores me, then the first page cements it for me. SALE! or NO SALE! Ching! Ching!

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  20. Looking at both blurbs, and having read the story, I must conclude that you are the Blurb King!
    Writer In Transit

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  21. Your new blurb for Polar Night is excellent! Thanks for the tips on writing a captivating one. You and Julie work well together.

    Julie

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  22. Nice! Love how the switch in perspective shifts a lot! :)

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  23. Good job Bro! Love the personal touch. One question...Do you have a certain word count you like to stick with? I find that blurbs which are to long before getting to the point lose my attention.

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  24. Julie's blurb is good, but Michael your blurb is enthralling. Totally drew me in. Amazing!

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  25. Blurbs are often what sell the book, so yes, they ARE important. You did an excellent job, too, making it personal and immediate.

    I love the cover, too!

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  26. Nice job on the blurb, Michael! Very catchy!
    Hope you're feeling better these days. Looking forward to seeing you when you come down. :)

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  27. I read both the blurbs. Yours just sucked me into the story instantly. I could feel the immortal essence's presence beside me.

    Michael, I hope you are feeling better now.

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  28. I'm almost at the point where I need to worry about the blurb. It's so difficult to get everything interesting about a story into so few words...

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  29. A good blurb really can make a big difference! Like what you did here. Best wishes with your new service. It's a great idea!

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  30. Great post Michael! I'll save to my Favorites as I'm putting together blurbs for my latest MS.

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  31. I caught this on Julie's blog the other day Michael and just loved it. Fantastic work!

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  32. Oh the dreaded blurb. I've been trying to re-vamp mine. You are so right- it is what readers see and what they make their final decisions on. Love your re-write...loads of talent!

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  33. It's always so interesting to read your perspective on things! :)

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  34. Wow - what a difference. Not that anything's wrong with the first blurb, but this one certainly makes it stand out. Well done!

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  35. I find most of US blurbs dreadfully and painfully bad :) Which is why we always change them here in my country. I usually write new, filmtastic :) blurbs for all the books I translate and the difference is huge.

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  36. You definitely have a way with words, Michael. I love reading what you write. :)

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  37. Hi Michael and Julie - great to read the two takes ... and I can see having a different spin would and does make a difference and bringing the story to life, rather than leave it as a detective novel .. though I have to say I bought Julie's book anyway - as I loved the premise of the Arctic and Alaska ...

    Cheers to you both ... Hilary

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  38. You have a wonderful talent for writing blurbs! I read another one of your "makeovers" on someone else's blog. I'll keep you in mind if I ever need a stellar blurb for my work!

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  39. I'm convinced the shorter the word count, the harder the task. I thought writing a full manuscript was difficult - until I tried to write the blurb and query! So much harder!

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  40. It's amazing how different the two blurbs are. Impressive work.

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  41. Hello Beautiful!

    Firstly, congrats on your new writer services, what a brilliant idea! Secondly, I do love a great blurb - and both here are very different approaches, its good to see the contrast, and I think yours definitely adds a great atmosphere to the final version. My curiosity is peeked as they say. :-)

    Have a fab weekend, my friend! XO

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  42. Hi Michael,

    I think that's a worthy endeavour of yours. No doubt and Julie vouches for this, you did an admirable job for her.

    I also believe that brevity with impact and character identification, by those reading the blurb, is conducive to the appeal.

    And yes, I thought a blurb was some kind of indigestion :)

    A peaceful weekend to you.

    Gary

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  43. I personally loved Julie's anyway, and it definitely made me want to read the story. But it didn't give me any hint of something supernatural, which I think is quite significant. Your blurb does a better job of giving that away - and is definitely super-eerie and gave me chills! Great job!

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  44. I see how your blurb is much better!
    Excellent advice.
    Thank you!

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  45. Blurbs ARE important. I will have to evaluate mine and see if it is strong enough.

    Great post!

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  46. A good blurb is extremely important in the process of selling a book to a reader. Like you say, the cover has got to catch the eye. After I've been intrigued by a cover and a book's title, I look at the blurb to see what the book's about. That's the point where I continue looking for more about the book or put it back on the shelf. Your blurb infused life into the "what's it about" process.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  47. Excellent Michael :D
    I love the artistic touches in your blurb. I hope you are doing better~
    YOU have a gift writing blurb!

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