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Blurb Workshop > Blurb Help - Futuristic Adventure, Ultra Mod

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message 1: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited Aug 08, 2018 03:42PM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4282 comments Mod
What do you think?

I've only glanced at it and my eyes are already glazed. It's freakin' long! This is meant to be a blurb? Okay...

In the near future, an untested secret agent teams up with a reckless underdog to compete against the crazed villain in a dangerous televised spectacle.

Okay...

There's a deranged artificial intelligence, a budding romance, and an evil plan that must be stopped! What could go wrong?

Wow. Lots of vague stuff being tossed about.

The Games of Life are a risky set of contests performed while riding nanotech jetbikes through a cityscape with a virtual reality overlay. The players receive a MindLink that connects their minds to the game engine, each other, and the viewing audience — all at a sensory and emotional level.

This might be the better place to start the blurb. The stuff above is nonsense to anyone not already familiar with your book.

If you die in the games then you die in real life. Wait, what? The games ARE real in life! The virtual reality is a cool overlay!

I'm getting lost.

Enough of that…

Enough of... what?

Mod is a CoolHunter who is always on the prowl for the next cool thing she can feature on her feed — her online content channel.

The second decent paragraph. This says something.

She's built a big audience, to the point that the largest syndicate in town is determined to take her down.

Okay.

Mod is recruited into the games to play on the DISRUPT Academy team, where she competes against the team sponsored by her nemesis.

A lot of stuff crowded in. I need something concrete.

During the games, Mod uncovers the villain's evil plan to... well, you know how this goes. You have to read the story to find out!

No. Don't tell me to read your story. Pique my interest. Whet my whistle. Telling me to read it is a huge turn off.

Time is running out while Mod tries to stop the evil plan, recover from her past, and maybe build a new life with this guy from the Academy.

What time is running out? What past? What guy? What?

Can she do all that and end up happily ever after? Find out!

Ugh. Again, I need to have an idea how this is beginning before I care about the end. All I really get so far is someone named Mod is playing a game where you can die and there's some evil stuff going on.

If you enjoy books like Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and books like Warcross by Marie Lu, then you will enjoy the Agents of DISRUPT novels.

No. I don't want to hear about other books. I want to get interested in yours.

Futuristic adventures that are more post-cyberpunk than cyberpunk, the Agents of DISRUPT novels combine virtual reality with real life thrills in a set of humorous and fun action-adventures that are a blend of LitRPG and speculative science fiction. The thrills are perilous and exciting, but with a tongue-in-cheek attitude that stays light-hearted and fun all the way to the end.

*shrug* Don't promise a good story. Show us what you got.

Each novel is a complete stand-alone story that shares some background characters in the same story-world.

Yep.

Don't you want to know what the future brings? The Agents of DISRUPT visionary fiction technothrillers are a sneak peek!

Not really. I'm just interested in reading a good book. Do you have any to recommend?

Go there now!

You have to convince me, first.

Author's notes:

I believe that a thrilling ride to a triumphant ending is the most enjoyable type of story to read. We don’t usually get such a triumph in our real lives, so why not have it in our fiction? That's why I'm writing these stories — to share a good time. To get the most vivid picture in your mind’s eye, try to imagine the story in the style of your favorite animated movie or animation style. I like Pixar!


I have no idea why you would include this in a blurb. It's kind of annoying to be told, "You have to pretend you're watching a cartoon while you read my book." No, I'd rather let my imagination work the way it wants to work.

Thank you for considering this story. I think you will have fun!

Tom Wood


This is cute, but totally unnecessary.

Novels in the Agents of DISRUPT universe:

Published:
1 Ultra Mod

Coming soon:
Nano Tek
Mutant Jean
Robot Will
Multi Saga
Memory Lane
Ego Veto
Dark Matt
Anti Grav
Inner Sage


I'll be frank... if you have not even published your first book, no one is going to care about your future books. Focus on this one. Try to sell this one. Especially since, wow, that's a lot of books. It could be many years before you get all those done.

Generic logline: The Agents of DISRUPT are a secret band of tricksters who send out a foolhardy novice to help the reckless hero in a fight against the fabulist villain. After many misadventures, the hero and novice must try to pull together to defeat the villain, save the world, and have a chance at living happily ever after.

And here we end on something that might work as a blurb.

Tom. I can tell you're excited about your book series. That's great. But, you're really all over the place in this blurb. It lacks focus and is way, way too long. Roughly one hundred to one hundred fifty words will do. Focus on the main character, the theme, the main plot, etc. Don't beg people to read it. Don't go on about other books like it. Don't go into promises for books you haven't yet written. Sell this one. Delve into it and find the one thing you think will really pique someone's interest. That is your keystone for a good blurb.


message 2: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4282 comments Mod
Jane Friedman says a blurb must:

It needs to quickly summarize or hint at what your story or topic is about in a way that tantalizes.

Yours rambles and is in serious need of tightening.

It needs to define the genre and subgenre (even though it’s assumed the shopper has already picked the genre as part of her search, that’s not always the case).

You did pretty good at this one.

It needs to sound and look similar to the bestselling books in your genre.

Here's the entire blurb for "Ready Player One": In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
(119 words - and notice how it gets to the point and draws you in. This is what a good blurb looks like.)

It needs to integrate the main keyword phrases you’ve chosen that you believe potential readers will type into the Kindle search bar.

Yours does that, but there's a lot of superfluousness to it, too.

It needs to be riveting and hook your customers, just as your book’s opening page should hook them.

I often say the main purpose for a blurb is to get someone to turn to the front page. Yours is long and exhausting and is likely to turn people away. Find a hook.

She does suggest using up the 4,000 character allotment with reviews and she suggests putting a list of Amazon keywords at the end of the description. She also suggests hitting up your friends to get some reviews, which I strongly disagree with.


message 3: by M.L. (last edited Aug 09, 2018 08:31AM) (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments It sounds like The Hunger Games meets Ready Player One. If you need length you could add a comparison like that somewhere.

Overall, my impression is the same as Dwayne's, however the reason behind having a long blurb is good to know. I like your second version.


message 4: by H.L. (new)

H.L. Carpenter | 16 comments Tom,

This is what Amazon KDP has to say about writing book descriptions:

Simple--

Describe the main plot, theme, or idea only. Avoid details that may overwhelm or confuse a reader who’s only taking a second or two to decide whether to find out more about your book. Also, keep your language short and simple. Aim for a 150-word paragraph with sentences that are easy to scan.


Compelling--

Avoiding overwhelming and confusing details will help make your description compelling, but also consider how to grab readers' attention. For example, write a first sentence that draws them in. This sentence may be a reader's first impression, so make it special. Also, set expectations by showing what genre your book belongs to.

Those paragraphs are from KDP Jumpstart Topic 3 - Write Your Book Description.

You may want to consider using your first effort above as a blog post instead of a blurb. Your excitement and enthusiasm for your book comes through very clearly.


message 5: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Harju (pamelaharju) | 81 comments I agree with the above. It's too long, and there's too much detail. A good blurb should evoke emotion, so that your (potential) reader can't help but get a copy of your book.
The only emotion I felt was confusion although your second attempt was much better.
I don't know if a longer blurb will work better with Amazon's algorithms, but I - personally - would like people who end up on my book's page on Amazon to be intrigued by the blurb rather than feel lost once they are there.
I appreciate your enthusiasm though. :)


message 6: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 670 comments Mod
At first, I was looking for something like "the blurb starts/ends here". I agree that this is too long. It sounds interesting but instead of giving me a short description that would leave me hungry for the actual story, it pretty much overloads me.

Side note: I was asking for a blurb feedback in this group as well. My blurb was three paragraphs and even that felt too long for some. 2-3 paragraphs are just okay for me. I'd also not go into the future releases in the blurb - that's something I'd look for at the author's page either on Amazon or Goodreads.

What I'd do is take the blurb you use until the "author's notes", cut the question-lines that feel a bit disrupting and compress it into 2-3 paragraphs the size as your 'generic logline'.


message 7: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4282 comments Mod
Okay. It's been a long, long time, but there used to be tons of discussions here about Amazon's algorithms. To sum it all up: No one outside of Amazon really knows how they work. If the "gurus" are telling you they know how they work, they're probably blowing smoke.

All I can really say, Tom, is your blurb is too long. It needs to be punchy and get attention quickly. This just rambles and feels endless.

This:

Twenty-something Mod and her tween-age sister join a pair of brothers of the same age range to compete as a team in The Games of Life.

The games are played out above the streets of downtown Big City in a mixed reality setting that uses a MindLink to combine the virtual with the real.

Perilous and thrilling, a win in the games is a life-changing event that could lead to happily ever after.

Unfortunately, Mod’s nemesis has a plan of her own, and it won’t end well for anyone if it succeeds.

There’s also a deranged artificial intelligence who adds chaos to the mix.


with some tweaking could be turned into an excellent blurb. You don't need all this other fluff.


message 8: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments The part after "The Fold" where you start "That's the typical blurb" and then at the end where again you are now speaking, "I believe . . ." it's just disruptive; you're stepping all over your own blurb.


message 9: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4282 comments Mod
Agreed, M.L. I would love to see Tom focus on wowing potential readers rather than catering to the mysterious algorithms.


message 10: by Andres (new)

Andres Rodriguez (aroddamonster) | 30 comments Dwayne,

I'm not gonna lie, your blurb dissection made me laugh this time. Hats off to you that was pretty interesting version of mystery science theater. I might go back and read it again.

If you die in the games then you die in real life. Wait, what? The games ARE real in life! The virtual reality is a cool overlay!

I'm getting lost.

Enough of that…

Enough of... what?



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