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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > seeking opinions on an addition to my blurb

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi again!

I'm back wondering if the added sentence to my blurb makes it better or worse, more interesting or less interesting.
It's for for my psychological thriller .
Would really appreciate your thoughts on it.

What do we really know about ourselves?.

Martin Bennett is a content 36 year old man whose life is turned upside-down when his long-term girlfriend leaves him. He begins to doubt everything he has ever believed in, everything that has made him who he is today: his faith, his values, his morals.
In the months that follow, he is abandoned by every single one of his friends and he is left isolated in a world he no longer understands and is repulsed by. He spirals down into a cesspool of self-pity and bitterness from which he sees no escape. And then, at the height of his depression, he learns that he is the prime suspect in a brutal murder...

(possible last sentence of the blurb)
But in a twist of fate, being suspected of murder actually leads to Martin being given an opportunity to put his life back together.


message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin Rinehart Rob, 'twist of fate' is cliche, no?

Of course, Bob Dylan wrote a pretty good ballad about "... a simple twist of fate."

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Lewis (mll1013) | 30 comments I think it leads the potential reader too much. I'm fairly confident after reading the last sentence that the last turn of events WILL put his life back together. What about something like this instead:

"Will this latest tragedy push Martin over the edge, or will it give him an opportunity to put his life back together?"

By phrasing it as a question, it leaves the author hanging as to which direction you're planning on taking Martin.

message 4: by Martin (new)

Martin Rinehart I'm voting with Michael, Rob. Romances have happy endings. Psychological thrillers have thrills. You could shorten it even more:

"Will this latest tragedy push Martin over the edge?"

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Martin, I agree with you, it is cliche, even if it is a great Bob Dylan song.
And Michael, I'm not happy with the way it sounds either.

Actually, I have decided to ditch the last sentence altogether. Some people might think that without it the blurb's a little dark or depressing, but I like it, and you can't pander to everyone's tastes,

Thank you both for your comments. They helped me make my mind up.

message 6: by Martin (new)

Martin Rinehart A blurb that turns off all the readers that won't like your book is a really good blurb.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Martin wrote: "A blurb that turns off all the readers that won't like your book is a really good blurb."

Haha- I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but I kind of agree with that. I know that a blurb is supposed to draw as many readers as possible to your book, what's the use of drawing in people who don't even like the genre?

message 8: by Martin (new)

Martin Rinehart Sarcastic, Rob? Nope!

I'm getting to the point with my novel where marketing is becoming my main focus. (Should have been there two years ago, but...)

You want two-star reviews for a great book? Give it to the wrong reader. You want five-star reviews? Give it to someone who loves whatever it is.

Strongly urge you to qualify "draw as many readers as possible" to be something like "draw as many of the right readers as possible."

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Couldn't agree with you more, Martin.
I myself am totally rubbish at marketing. I've always believed that if it's good enough it should sell itself. Yes, I know how naive that sounds,,,.

Good luck with your book.

message 10: by Martin (new)

Martin Rinehart "...if it's good enough it should sell itself."

Corresponded with one beta reader who has sold 17 copies of xxx (name withheld out of consideration). I told her that I've done less than that with my work.

There are about a million novels on Amazon. I remember seeing someone report that average sales were 256 copies per year. I'd guess that was the mean. The median would be far lower.

message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Lewis (mll1013) | 30 comments Martin wrote: "A blurb that turns off all the readers that won't like your book is a really good blurb."

This may be the most insightful comment I've heard in a while!

Rob wrote: "...if it's good enough it should sell itself."

The problem is the sheer volume of books available to be read. In any given genre, the reader has thousands upon thousands of books available, and that reader is likely to weary of browsing for a new read after looking at just dozens of titles. There are simply too many books to be discovered to expect books to leap out at potential readers.

In fact, having been on Goodreads author forums for a couple of years now, I get the impression that even with a bunch of marketing muscle, we self-published authors have a very hard time moving the needle on sales for our books.

message 12: by Martin (new)

Martin Rinehart Thanks for your kind words, Michael.

Michael said: "...even with a bunch of marketing muscle..."

Off topic: I'm turning toward marketing. Would this be a good place to post marketing-related questions?

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

You¨re both obviously right. Marketing your novel well is vital.
I suppose, my problem with it has always been when the chase for sales starts to be more important than the novel itself. I've known people change a title or the first paragraph of their novel, not because they really believe the novel will be better for it, but because they think (or someones has told them) it will sell better.

With that said, yes, this place is as good as any to post marketing questions.
Even though I'm not very good at marketing my own works, I do know a little about marketing and would like to try and help you if I can.

message 14: by Martin (new)

Martin Rinehart Thanks Rob. Discussion here:

By the way, I'm almost completely unqualified to offer an opinion re marketing, but I've decided one thing: You should start thinking about it before you start writing.

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