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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Dark Fantasy - Cover, Blurb & 1st Line

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message 1: by Niels (last edited Jun 04, 2018 05:00AM) (new)

Niels Saunders | 12 comments I'd love to get some feedback on the cover, blurb and 1st line of my dark fantasy Barbarous Indeed Is My Master



In the Kingdom of Yamato, a snow monkey named Saru has learned to think with words. He realises he is different and no longer belongs in the mountains. Although he cannot speak, he feels closer to humans than his fellow beasts.

Driven from his home by demons, he finds Otari Village, a settlement of kind people who welcome him into their homes. But the village is not the peaceful place it first appears. Its citizens are plagued by ghosts and wicked men who would exploit Saru’s powers.

To protect the ones he loves, Saru must journey into the past to uncover his true nature. There he learns of ancient evil forces which threaten the entire realm. Will he manage to save the village from the very demons which drove him from his home?

Inspired by mythological Japan, Barbarous Indeed Is My Master is a beautiful and terrifying fairy tale for adults. It is the first installment in The Legend of Saru series and the ideal place to start your journey into this dark and mysterious land.

1st Line:

Deep in the Valley of Orchids, Sagiso Temple was a place of grand arches and sliding doors where bald monks shuffled in sandals and tended the world with peace in their eyes.

Thank you!

message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1167 comments I've looked at this off and on several times. My only clear thought is it looks and reads like literary fiction and marketing it as fantasy might be offputting to those that are into the genre. Not that it's in any way easier to market it as literary, just that's the vibe I got when I looked at the cover and read the blurb.

Not sure if any of this helps...

message 3: by Emily (new)

Emily Lewis | 6 comments I agree with the above comment on literary fiction. Take away the box around the writing and float it to the top of the cover. That will help with the changing the vibe.


message 4: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Alcyone | 303 comments I have to agree with Keith and Emily as to literary fiction.

1) The cover screams literary vibe. The box around the title and author name is something I have on certain classic books on my shelves from college with author names like Milton and Nietzsche. Without knowing anything else, I would have guessed your book was literary fiction or perhaps poetry.

That said, I really like your cover. I read literary fiction, and I feel like your cover would match up well in the literary marketplace. I'd pick up your book and flip it over, so your cover did it's job.

Also -- while this type of cover might turn off certain fantasy readers looking for dragons and castles (I think that's "high fantasy"?), that might be a positive since your book isn't that type of book. A cover can be a screening device to get your book into the right hands.

2) Your blurb fits fantasy, but it's also literary.

3) It's impossible to judge a book by a first sentence alone, but based on that tiny snippet, my opinion is you have the chops to write literary fiction.

I'd market your book as a literary fantasy. I think you have the potential for crossing over and attracting readers who both like a more cerebral fantasy, and literary readers.

Good luck!

message 5: by Niels (new)

Niels Saunders | 12 comments Thank you very much for all your comments. There's a lot to think about here.

The book is an unusual mix of genres: fantasy with plenty of supernatural horror, written in a literary style. I know I'm not doing myself any favours with marketability!

I've been tinkering with the cover to give it a less literary vibe. I've managed to do this but, overall, the cover looks worse.

Will report back if I come up with something concrete.

Thank you again.

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