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Self-Promotion > How's this blurb?

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message 1: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments Hey guys, I'm getting set to query agents, which means I have to come up with a good hook. If you have a moment to spare: does this blurb spark your interest?

Life outside Earth’s embrace isn’t life at all. By the year 2338, humanity has colonized the farthest reaches of the solar system. And all anyone can think about is escape.

On Persephone, the lonely ninth planet on the fringe of the Kuiper Belt, survival is a universal struggle. Jim Redfield already knows he'll share the same fate as millions like him: he'll scrape a living from Persephone's frozen crust until he dies young. His girlfriend Lana Birkett, on the other hand, is as ambitious as she is intelligent. She has a promising navy career ahead of her, even if the thought of abandoning Jim leaves her hollow. She's in love with him, and he feels the same for her, although neither quite knows it. Generations of hardship have eroded the meaning of such concepts. Their civilization makes room for only one dream: to stand on the soil of Earth. To go home.

But when Earth's government—the Concord—crushes that hope, Persephone's people must confront the prospect of their own extinction. And the only choice left is to fight. The coming maelstrom promises to sweep Lana and Jim up in a war unlike any humanity has ever waged. It will set every colony afire, from the moons of Uranus to the tether cities of Haumea and places far, far beyond.


I think this is only technically self promotion, since the book isn't actually published yet. Putting the topic in this folder just to be polite.

I appreciate your time!


message 2: by Tobias (new)

Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 66 comments I think it's pretty good. A bit specific at times maybe; is it important for the blurb to tell me that it's the year 2338 and that Earth's government is called the Concord?

Also, to place the hook a bit better, I think the first sentence should be its own paragraph. Both the first sentence and the last two sentences (without the year) of that paragraph work very well as primary hooks though, I see why you've placed them together. Separating them would probably have to mean to choose one and discard the other.

Not sure how much that helps, but I like the blurb and am intrigued by it.


message 3: by Heather (last edited Jul 01, 2016 04:35PM) (new)

Heather (bruyere) I think most of the synopsis sounds good. I'm concerned by the romance angle. I already want her to dump him because they sound ill-suited.

At minimum, I would take out:

She's in love with him, and he feels the same for her, although neither quite knows it. Generations of hardship have eroded the meaning of such concepts.

I would also change this:

She has a promising navy career ahead of her, even if the thought of abandoning Jim leaves her hollow.

Perhaps after the comma say something like - even though it will separate their lives.


message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica  (jessical1961) I both agree and disagree with Heather.

I would take out the two lines regarding the romance angle.

"She's in love with, and he feels the same for her, although neither quite knows it. Generations of hardship have eroded the meaning of such concepts."

Didn't like it when I read it and thought it was unnecessary. If I was as ambitious as she sounds I would have already dumped Jim because he seems like a loser in a dead-end job. They do not sound even remotely compatible.

Having said that, I actually liked the line about Lana having a promising navy career ahead of her but the thought of abandoning Jim leaving her hollow. I would not change that line at all.


message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments Thank you all! I didn't even notice that I'd made Him sound like a deadbeat. I'll have to convey his personality better. I agree, the romance angle doesn't seem to fit, now that I look at it again. Finally, I'll look at trimming the word count.

Again, thank you for your help. You guys are great.


message 6: by MadProfessah (new)

MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 135 comments I agree with toning down the "romance" angle but I actually like the inclusion of the date. If the romantic tension between the two is central to the story you should at lest provide some reference to it.

I do agree that the inclusion of the name of Earth's government seem too specific, perhaps you could use an adjective or some adverb phrase to describe Earth's governing structure?

I like this blurb though and I would be interested in checking it out.

I presume you are deliberately keeping it vague as to WHY all the colonists will be set afire? I presume something related to resources that Earth has and won't share/provide?


message 7: by Amelia (new)

Amelia (ameliabaldwin) | 41 comments I like the first paragraph. I think the second and third need shortening.

Sounds interesting!


message 8: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments Thank you both! You've solidified my idea of which improvements to make. It sounds like I'm in the right track. Back to the drawing board, and then on to querying.

Thanks again!


message 9: by Charles (new)

Charles | 11 comments I like your first paragraph--minus the date.
I agree with the comments on the next two paragraphs, and would add, shorten, shorten, shorten. IMO, it needs to be more of a tease and less of a synopsis.
Here's a link a professional marketer gave me-- I have found it immensely helpful in blurb writing.

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/...


message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments Thanks Charles. Very good advice. Informative article as well. After reading it, I wonder if the blurb would be stronger without mention of either protagonist. This is the original draft, before I wrote them in.

Life outside Earth’s embrace isn’t life at all. By the year 2338, humanity has colonized the farthest reaches of the solar system, but the thrill of the endeavor has long vanished in the face of bleak reality. Whether on airless moons or remote space stations, survival is a universal struggle—and after centuries of isolation, the colonists are losing their fight.

On Persephone, the lonely ninth planet on the fringe of the Kuiper Belt, an entire civilization clings to one shared dream: to stand on the soil of Earth once again. To go home.

But when talks with Earth’s government devolve into a diplomatic crisis, Persephone faces a calamitous decision. Will they accept slow extinction, or deny their exile? A titanic conflict takes shape, one that promises to embroil every colonized world—from the valleys of Mars to the rings of Neptune and far, far beyond. It will be a war unlike any ever fought.


message 11: by MadProfessah (new)

MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 135 comments Tom wrote: "Thanks Charles. Very good advice. Informative article as well. After reading it, I wonder if the blurb would be stronger without mention of either protagonist. This is the original draft, before I ..."
Wow...this sounds way better to me than the original blurb! But I am more into situations and plot than character..others who get more into following the exploits of particular people may like the version with the character's names instead.


message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica  (jessical1961) Not me! I'm with you. I think this version is much more powerful than the original posted up top. This version makes me want to buy the book and read it right away!


message 13: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments Thank you both! Everything I've read says to mention your protagonist in your blurb, but now it sounds like I should have gone with my gut from the start. The second draft (in the original post) doesn't seem to be cutting it!


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I assumed that your male character isn't lame but wanted you to know that's how me, a female reader, interpreted it. :)


message 15: by Tobias (new)

Tobias Langhoff (tobiasvl) | 66 comments Yeah, the version without your protagonists is much better. Makes the scope of the book seem bigger too. This isn't a love story about two people, it's a proper space opera now!


message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I do like this version better. I don't think very many of us go into a sci-fi book for the romance. Either way, the blurb should match what the book is mostly about.


message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments I agree completely, and I wouldn't want to give the impression that I'm marketing a space romance! In the end, the book is about a war that spans the entire solar system, and I tell it through the eyes of two people, neither of whom is in a position to steer the course of events. That's what I need to focus on. I'm going to polish off the plot-centric blurb and use that in my queries, for sure.


message 18: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Scott Unless of course you're looking for science fiction romance, which is a genre, but we have a whole other discussion group LOL.


message 19: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) I'm really curious what that would be like, but kinda scared to try. Maybe I should read one just to see.


message 20: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Scott There are all kinds of science fiction romance novels, from space opera to space pirates to space marines to cyborgs to alien abductions and the heat levels and amounts of romance vary widely, as do the amounts of 'science' in the fiction. I write probably medium heat (nowhere near erotica), usually with a Special Forces hero and a strong female character heroine. If I tell you "Aliens" is my all time favorite movie and "Killjoys" is my favorite TV show, you get the flavor of what I strive for in my books (with a romance because I enjoy that element of a story!). The website SFR Station (not a direct sales site so hopefully ok to mention here http://www.sfrstation.com/ ) lets a reader browse by sub-genre and of course there are SFR Lists on GR in Listopia. And we have a GR Group. :) Happy reading!


message 21: by R. (new)

R. Billing (r_billing) | 196 comments Personally I'd suggest that you could be much shorter and punchier. You don't have to get the whole plot in, just enough to hook the reader. Then put more in the synopsis.


message 22: by Lizzie (new)

Lizzie | 299 comments I liked the 2nd one better also. I would end it at "or accept their exile?" I don't think the remainder of the paragraph even needs to be there.


message 23: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments Thank you Lizzie, and you too, R. I'm starting to query agents now, and since their time is limited, it helps to keep the text as concise as possible.


message 24: by Tom (new)

Tom Krug (thomas_krug) | 24 comments Hey everyone, I adjusted Blurb #2 based on your feedback, and I incorporated it into a query letter. I've already received a request for a partial manuscript! So thank you for your feedback! I doubt I would have received a positive response if I'd gone with Blurb #1 as I'd intended.


message 25: by Heather (new)

Heather (bruyere) That's great news!


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