Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors Review discussion

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message 1: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
This thread is for posting your blurb and getting feedback on how to improve it. Usual feedback guidelines apply ;)


message 2: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments I've had a lot of feedback on my present blurb, and it's clear it needs work. Thanks to all for the heads-up. I'll work on it and post a revised version soon.


message 3: by K. (last edited Oct 28, 2014 12:52PM) (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Out of the Darkness:
Nameless, a slave-born pukah has fate stacked against him. He was born to fight, trained to win, and conditioned to survive in the Arena. He won his way to freedom, then fate began to wreak havoc in his life. Struggling to learn how to survive as a free man, he found himself taking on a personal war against the culture that created him. In this dark fantastical world of bloody gladiatorial combat, personal gain at all costs, and rulership by the most cunning, Nameless must find a way to honor his dedication to the Web Mother, honor the oaths to himself, and find a way to survive long enough to discover who he really is.

Into the Sunlits:

Nameless has won his freedom from the constant threat of death in the Arenas, but he has not yet won his freedom. His personal war against the Melkreschen has taken several unexpected turns sending him into the ranks of those Champions who are called the Runners. Nameless seeks a power base to use for his own ends - ends that cost everything he has won so far.

Into the Sunlits is the second book in the series Followers of Torments. Nameless continues to search for acceptance within the culture that bred him for the Arenas, then provided him the chance at freedom. He began a personal war to correct what he considered an unacceptable wrong to those who have tread the Sands. His personal war costs him more than he ever imagined it would. His oaths to himself, his remaining Silk, and his goddess propel him to search for a new way to engage in this battle once more.

As he starts over once more, the series begins to look at the questions of:

Will those oaths be enough to keep him focused, or will the lure of the kinder way of life prevailing in the lands above, lure him away from the path that would allow him to uphold the oaths he has given to himself, to his Silk, to his goddess?


message 4: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
K. wrote: "Out of the Darkness:
Nameless, a slave-born pukah has fate stacked against him. He was born to fight, trained to win, and conditioned to survive in the Arena. He won his way to freedom, then fate b..."


Let's see what sticks out to someone other than you--I'm always so close to these that people find obvious issues for me. So I try to get a lot of people to read them. Hope this helps!

1st one:

What stuck out off the bat in the first one is a lot of infinitives. "To Fight, To Win, To Survive, To Wreak, To Learn, To Honor, To Survive (again)"
So on a technical level that broke the flow for me a bit. Some seemed intentional, for effect... but then the repetition in other places broke it a bit?

And ending on "is" made that weaker than something like "his true self" -- though that's cliched as well.

---
The second one is a bit wordy. "several unexpected turns", "who are called the Runners"

You also repeated "personal war" two paragraphs in a row.

"those who have tread the sands" doesn't sound good.

And you could delete "it would" as redundant from the end of the next sentence.

This sentence:
"As he starts over once more, the series begins to look at the questions of:"

is superfluous. And the sentence that follows is... long. I'd break it up and shorten the "prevailing in the lands above, lure him away..." sentence, which is wordy again.


message 5: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Thanks Jamie. The first one felt a bit short to me, and I've been fighting the second one because it keeps trying to morph into a blurb for the series without including the actual book. I'll see what other feed back I get, but I will definitely be taking a second (or third or eighth) look at the second one. See what I can pare out of it.


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
I would try to cut the second blurb down to two paragraphs and remove some of the repetition. Ending on a question is fine and done quite a bit, but I agree with Jamie, split it up. Maybe something like:

Will those oaths be enough to keep him focused, or will the the kinder way of life lead him astray? Is he strong enough to uphold the oaths he has given to himself, to his Silk, to his goddess?


message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments OK, this is for The Dark Colony

"Lisa liked a quiet, straightforward life in the space station at Terpsichore. Used to handling drunks and other minor skirmishes, she is not expecting any surprises. But when sent to investigate a free floating object in the hold, she finds herself drawn into solving a mystery and leading a team to a secret colony where women and children are kept as slaves.

This is hard science fiction, set in the near future, where space travel is hard and takes many months. Colonists invent and build their own equipment from local materials. While truly isolated, they are part of a movement aiming to create thousands of independent communities throughout the Belt."

I've adapted a big chunk J.A.'s words (thanks!) and made some adjustments to other comments. Trying not to be so negative, too.


message 8: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
I like it. I'm more apt to read the book this blurb is selling. One grammar nitpick: the first sentence is past tense, but the rest is present. I would suggest "Lisa likes the..." and keep the rest the same.


message 9: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Richard 2060 wrote: "OK, this is for The Dark Colony

"Lisa liked a quiet, straightforward life in the space station at Terpsichore. Used to handling drunks and other minor skirmishes, she is not expect..."


This is a lot better. The only thing is this redundancy in the second passage: "This is hard science fiction, set in the near future, where space travel is hard..." Maybe the second "hard" should be changed to "difficult". Or so.


message 10: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Christina wrote: "I would try to cut the second blurb down to two paragraphs and remove some of the repetition. Ending on a question is fine and done quite a bit, but I agree with Jamie, split it up. Maybe something..."

Thanks for the input Christina. I'll work on this and repost once I beat on it for a bit.


message 11: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Richard 2060 wrote: "OK, this is for The Dark Colony

"Lisa liked a quiet, straightforward life in the space station at Terpsichore. Used to handling drunks and other minor skirmishes, she is not expect..."


I like this one better as well. More welcoming, and inviting.


message 12: by Jeno (last edited Oct 29, 2014 09:26AM) (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments I'm going to drop mine here too, since everyone seems to hate my blurb for all the reasons I'm more or less okay with it. At least as the first half about the culture.

In the story the whole culture/species is a character, sort of. It's not just a story of a few people.

In the original serialization (yes, the book is a serial novel, which tends to be sometimes episodic--if you are not familiar with this form, it will feel awkward to you) there are three blurbs, each for every part:

**************************************************

Descent:

DESCENT is the first installment of Falaha's Journey, a xenocentric science fiction trilogy. Length: approx. 26 000 words. The books of the series are not stand-alone and should be read in numbered order.

When a seemingly simple rescue mission turns into a nightmare, Falaha, an ambitious Danna Commander Trainee with a power she can't use properly yet, has her skills put to the ultimate test as her world begins to collapse.

Danna are a species of humanoid aliens who share the Milky Way Galaxy with humanity. Unlike humans, they have been around for at least three billion years and are the oldest species in the Galaxy. Born with an alien artifact in their blood, they possess abilities surpassing anything any living creature can dream of. However, both their superb space technology and their unusual blood legacy have attracted danger no one expected. Abandoning their home Galaxy, the remaining population sets out in secrecy to their last resort, Kan Diona, the place to witness their victory or to become their grave.

Spacecraft Quennah and her crew are a part of those remnants, with a long journey of 100 days ahead of them to reach Kan Diona. But will any of them ever get there?


**************************************************

The Pit:

THE PIT is the second installment of Falaha's Journey, a xenocentric science fiction trilogy. Length: approx. 42 000 words. The books of the series are not stand-alone and should be read in numbered order.

The young Danna couple, along with their new companion, continue to discover the truth about their world and themselves in their search for an opportunity to save their people.

Family secrets slowly surface, hidden feelings are revealed, and new ones emerge. Ambitions and desires are fueled with every passing day, which could be their last. Answers bring more questions, solutions more problems, and life goes on, even if time is not their ally.

Will luck abandon them again or take their side in the war that might wipe out their entire race?


**************************************************

Perseverance:

PERSEVERANCE is the third installment of Falaha's Journey, a xenocentric science fiction trilogy. Length: approx. 69 000 words. The books of the series are not stand-alone and should be read in numbered order.

A monster awakens from its slumber.

A gruesome discovery has attracted the attention of the most powerful being in the enemy force.

A strange encounter will change the destiny of every species involved.

The allied forces are gathering for the rescue attempt, but will all of their combined strength be enough to escape from, let alone defeat, their worst nightmare?


**************************************************

Hence the blurbs are inside the book (which seem to confuse random folk).

The problem arises with the MAIN BIG BLURB, since it is the amalgamation of the rest.

It goes like this:

The complete series in one book.

Danna are a species of humanoid aliens who share the Milky Way Galaxy with humanity. Unlike humans, they have been around for at least three billion years and are the oldest species in the Galaxy. Born with an alien artifact in their blood, they possess abilities surpassing anything any living creature can dream of. However, both their superb space technology and their unusual blood legacy have attracted danger no one expected. Abandoning their home Galaxy, the remaining population sets out in secrecy to their last resort, Kan Diona, the place to witness their victory or to become their grave.

When a seemingly simple rescue mission turns into a nightmare, Falaha, an ambitious Danna Commander Trainee with a power she can’t use properly yet, has her skills put to the ultimate test as her world begins to collapse, throwing her to the center of the conflict that might wipe out her entire race.

Family secrets slowly surface, hidden feelings are revealed, and new ones emerge. Ambitions and desires are fueled with every passing day, which could be her last. Answers bring more questions, solutions more problems, and life goes on, even if time is not her ally.

Will the enemy kill Falaha and her crew before they can find a way to save their people?

FALAHA’S JOURNEY is a vivid tale of alien species, races, and cultures, a family saga spanning multiple generations and extending across the Universe, a tale of identity, exploration, and self-discovery amidst a devastating struggle for survival, and a love story that touches the stars.


What the blurb doesn't describe well is the people who are main actors here. I'm not sure if I should mention them or not, because THAT would be major spoilers for the story.

I based this blurb on some author's advice (http://marilynnbyerly.com/blurb.html#...)
and I believe she does her job pretty well.

Where did I fail? I don't get it.

Then again, opinions are subjective.


message 13: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Jelena wrote: "Richard 2060 wrote: "OK, this is for The Dark Colony

"Lisa liked a quiet, straightforward life in the space station at Terpsichore. Used to handling drunks and other minor skirmish..."


Yep spotted that too, after I'd posted.


message 14: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Jelena wrote: "I'm going to drop mine here too, since everyone seems to hate my blurb for all the reasons I'm more or less okay with it. At least as the first half about the culture.

In the story the whole cultu..."


Okay, now that I know it's anthologized, I see what you did. My opinion is that you might get people to read further if you state this and give one sentence of synopsis of the series in whole, but then post each story's title and blurb. Edit out the word count and info about reading them in order since presumably people will do just that when they buy the whole book.
I like the blurbs separately and the first one would hook me if I read it while browsing.


message 15: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Christina wrote: "[Y]ou might get people to read further if you state this and give one sentence of synopsis of the series in whole, but then post each story's title and blurb. Edit out the word count and info about reading them in order since presumably people will do just that when they buy the whole book. ..."

Ok, this comes down to formatting of the book.

I hoped that serial nature of the work could be clear from the episode numbers in my table of contents. Seriously, you can't be prepared for every reader's habits and understanding.

So I'm keeping a formatting structure in the file as I already have it:

Part 1 Title
[Description]
Episodes #1-34.

Part 2 Title
[Description]
Episodes #35-54.

Part 3 Title
[Description]
Episodes #55-84.

[Additional stuff & Author Bio]

The reason I include description in the book itself is that people may or may not read the book as soon as they purchased, just to remind them what they have there.

But putting a set of blurbs in the storefront might be a better idea than using a single mix of a blurb, which is not so pretty. However, since the whole work is a novel, I would have to write a better blurb eventually. Nearly 3 years of work and I still haven't come up with a good one. UGH.


message 16: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Jelena wrote: "Nearly 3 years of work and I still haven't come up with a good one. UGH. "

I hear that! Out of every aspect of self publishing, including the dreaded marketing, I hate blurb writing most of all. The only reason I haven't posted any of my duds here is because I have way too much going on to add blurb obsessing to my list. Hopefully I will be ready to have my babies picked apart early next year.


message 17: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Christina wrote: "I hate blurb writing..."

I have yet to meet an author who enjoys this aspect of writing. :D

Even if i have my blurbs picked apart here, i'm in no hurry to change them. I already moved away from this story. I have other things to write. My current issue is that I'm being sucked in by THE FORUMS.

Must. Close. Tabs. And work.


message 18: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) I like mine but it could probably use some more eyes on it and be a little better. Soooo, here it is:

A Demon In The Desert:
The Wastelands mining town of Greenreach Bluffs is slowly deteriorating. Each day, its citizens grow ever more fearful and paranoid. Something plagues them. All peoples, adult and child alike, suffer day and night from nightmares and hallucinations. As the events grow stronger, it becomes clear: the town has a demon problem. After murders in the mine and two failed hunters, Greenreach Bluffs is stretched taught on the brink of madness and ruin. The people need someone that can get the job done. Grimluk the Orc has traveled into the Wastes to heed the town's call for salvation.


message 19: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Ashe wrote: "I like mine but it could probably use some more eyes on it and be a little better. Soooo, here it is:

A Demon In The Desert:
The Wastelands mining town of Greenreach Bluffs is slowly deterioratin..."


This looks good. My only nitpick is the sentence, "Something plagues them." It's just sort of short and abrupt and I'm expecting more mystery.

And on the topic of falling into a forum rut, I just want to let you all know I turned off notifications for everything EXCEPT this group. Because you guys are the best and this is constructive time wasting.


message 20: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Christina wrote: "And on the topic of falling into a forum rut, I just want to let you all know I turned off notifications for everything EXCEPT this group. Because you guys are the best and this is constructive time wasting."

Aw - that has to be the nicest compliment the group has received to date. Thank you :)


message 21: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) Hmmmm, add mystery. I can do that. Thanks, Christina!


message 22: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Jelena wrote: "Christina wrote: "[Y]ou might get people to read further if you state this and give one sentence of synopsis of the series in whole, but then post each story's title and blurb. Edit out the word co..."

Jelena,

For the omnibus listing, personally I'd make it clear it's episodes 1-3, with their names, but then give the preview of only episode 1. The other ones don't really serve a purpose at that point? Maybe something general about what other places the series goes as a whole if it is interestingly different... but otherwise it's too easy to have spoilers in the episode 2/3 blurbs.

Inside the book, I'd consider putting each description in front of that episode, in between.

See what these guys did, with their serial humorous Sci-Fi season?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Actually they do something really cool with their story so far bit between episodes. :)


message 23: by Jeno (last edited Oct 29, 2014 03:27PM) (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Jamie wrote: "For the omnibus listing, personally I'd make it clear it's episodes 1-3, with their names, but then give the preview of only episode 1. The other ones don't really serve a purpose at that point? Maybe something general about what other places the series goes as a whole if it is interestingly different... but otherwise it's too easy to have spoilers in the episode 2/3 blurbs."

My structure is slightly different from this kind of serial (Greenstar). I have a novel in three parts, not seasons or episodes. Each part is told in a number of episodes. It is made clear (at least to me and to most folks) on both cover and in the table of contents. Of course, the preview only of the first half of part 1 is available for the "omnibus". Tho it's not exactly omnibus in this case. It's a full novel. :-D

Jamie wrote: "Inside the book, I'd consider putting each description in front of that episode, in between. "

That's what I already did.

This is the story i'm talking about in it's serial form: https://www.goodreads.com/series/9200...


message 24: by Jamie (last edited Oct 29, 2014 03:27PM) (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Jelena wrote: "Jamie wrote: "For the omnibus listing, personally I'd make it clear it's episodes 1-3, with their names, but then give the preview of only episode 1. The other ones don't really serve a purpose at ..."

Right, I understand the difference... but do you really think it helps someone's purchase decision to read all about all 3 parts in the description? I'd stop reading, personally, because of the fear of spoilers.

A Lord of the Rings omnibus would tease the whole story, and give an intro only to the first... not try to put the book descriptions for each part in that one description. (Like they did on the back jacket of individual volumes).


message 25: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Jamie wrote: "but do you really think it helps someone's purchase decision to read all about all 3 parts in the description?"

That's why I never did this. My description doesn't give any spoilers on the storefront. I kept it to the bare minimum. Is it a successful one? I don't know. People say contradictory things about it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 26: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Resubmitting my blurbs, if that is acceptable? The one for Out of the Darkness isn't changed much - fixed the minor errors noted earlier. Just want to make sure I didn't screw up the overall effect. The one for Into the Sunlits has been trimmed, but I can't seem to get it to play nice. More knives please? Scissors work too.

Out of the Darkness

Nameless, a slave-born pukah has fate stacked against him. He was born to fight, trained to win, and conditioned to survive in the Arena. He won his way to freedom, then fate began to wreak havoc in his life. Struggling to learn how to live as a free man, he found himself taking on a personal war against the culture that created him. In this dark fantastical world of bloody gladiatorial combat, personal gain at all costs, and rulership by the most cunning, Nameless must find a way to honor his dedication to the Web Mother, honor the oaths to himself, and find a way to survive long enough to discover his true self.


Into the Sunlits

Nameless has won a victory from the constant threat of death in the Arenas, but he has not yet won his freedom. To survive and continue with his personal war, he accepted his rightful given by his victory. With a captured Silk, he hoped to begin building a formidable stable of fighters. With the fighters, he wanted to build a power base with in the culture that he intended to use in continuing his personal war. Then, fate struck again, forcing him to adapt once again to a strange environment.

Into the Sunlits is the second book in the series Followers of Torments. Nameless continues to search for acceptance within the culture that bred him. He searched for a way of fighting unacceptable wrong for those condemned to the Sands – not to free them, but to make their deaths more than a means to an end. His personal war cost him more than he ever imagined it would.

With oaths given to his Silk, his goddess, and to himself he emerges into a world full of light, gentleness, and hope. Will his oaths be enough to keep him focused, or will the lure of the kinder way of life lure him away from those obligations?


message 27: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments I know this is a bit long, but it's for a collection I'm publishing on Kindle soon (as in it's in review right now)...Four stories set in the same universe:

Set in a future where what it means to be human is defined by each individual, where posthumans augment their minds and bodies to assume forms sometimes unrecognizable as human; where Earth is a sweltering and deteriorating hole controlled by disorganized factions of TruHumans bent upon eradicating posthumanity from the Sol system; where near-human artificial intelligences are feared by some, and incorporated by others into their very brains... The Cut-Up Man: And other Posthuman Cycle stories contains four works of short fiction that delve into disparate segments of this universe. Presented in chronological order, these stories include:

The Cut-Up Man (a novella): Hansson hasn’t been given an assignment in nearly ten years, not since his last contentious mission. He’s got a job now, though, and a chance to redeem himself to Head Council: there’s someone on Centralport Station who needs killing, and Hansson’s the Head who has to do it. Smuggled onboard after a long journey, Hansson arrives only to find that Centralport Station is under martial law, his mission handler has gone AWOL, and he doesn’t even know who he’s supposed to assassinate. Worse: there’s something very disturbing happening to the synthetic body he inhabits. Aborting the mission is out of the question. No, Hansson’s going to have to take the initiative. He’s going to have to improvise.

(Please Don’t) Put Your Wires In My Brain (a novelette): In the sordid world of Earth’s criminal sex slave industry, Dana’s experiences have been all too common...Until recently, that is, for she’s been bought again, but not by pimps. No, this time it’s different. Locked in a dank cell and visited only by a nameless technician, Dana has become the subject of a mysterious research project centering on the posthuman bioware illegally implanted in her brain: mindcloud and meat-memory, the bioware that allows her to project genetically stored memories (sight, sound, touch, emotions) into the brains of her clients. Hardened by her life in slavery and determined to rise above her years of degradation, Dana struggles to discover the aims of this research, and how she can parlay that knowledge into freedom, power and...revenge.

“Watching the Watcher” (a short story): A frantic call from a space lane traffic controller is fielded by a helpline representative. Out in the main asteroid belt, stationed on a sophisticated three-kilometer long space habitat, why does the caller find himself utterly alone? Why can't he remember his time away from work? Why does he never leave his cubestation? And why does the helpline rep keep fielding exactly this type of call?

“Born Into Shadows” (a short story): Five posthumans working as a crew together for the first time are sent on a fact finding mission to a remote and seemingly uninteresting nebula. Their mission: investigate rumors of a large object hidden in the nebula, an object said not to be of modern posthuman design. Only one of the crew knows the identity of the expedition's mysterious backers and...what it is they fear.


message 28: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Ashe wrote: "I like mine but it could probably use some more eyes on it and be a little better. Soooo, here it is:

A Demon In The Desert:
The Wastelands mining town of Greenreach Bluffs is slowly deterioratin..."


I'm not the best at this, I'll freely admit. With that disclaimer...

This one definitely looks interesting. Agree about the sentence "Something plagues them." With the following sentence, it comes across as redundant. And, the phrase "All peoples, adult, and child alike" feels awkward to me. Maybe it could be rephrased "All people from adults to children"?

Tiny things in a wonderfully written, tight blurb.


message 29: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Ok, this comes down to formatting of the book.

I hoped that serial nature of the work could be clear from the episode numbers in my table of contents. Seriously, you can't be prepared for every reader's habits and understanding.

So I'm keeping a formatting structure in the file as I already have it:

Part 1 Title
[Description]
Episodes #1-34.


Some how I missed the episodes when I looked for the appraisal. I like this approach, and have seen it used effectively before. Those books blurb the general story, and if they use an intro, it's for just the first part.

You have an interesting concept for the blurb - maybe work down each of the segments into a paragraph? You could use the section titles still, I think, with that approach.


message 30: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Micah wrote: "I know this is a bit long, but it's for a collection I'm publishing on Kindle soon (as in it's in review right now)...Four stories set in the same universe:

Set in a future where what it means to ..."


If you aren't running out of space on the Kindle store front, I enjoyed the blurbs. Definitely would intrigue me, and knowing about how long (relatively speaking - from short to long) would give me a heads up about what to expect.


message 31: by Jeno (new)

Jeno (jenomarz) | 52 comments Micah wrote: "I know this is a bit long, but it's for a collection I'm publishing on Kindle soon (as in it's in review right now)...Four stories set in the same universe:... "

Your blurbs are good, however, the whole piece will be too long for the storefront. So I would cut it shorter, keeping the very first part intact,

Set in a future where what it means to be human is defined by each individual, where posthumans augment their minds and bodies to assume forms sometimes unrecognizable as human; where Earth is a sweltering and deteriorating hole controlled by disorganized factions of TruHumans bent upon eradicating posthumanity from the Sol system; where near-human artificial intelligences are feared by some, and incorporated by others into their very brains... The Cut-Up Man: And other Posthuman Cycle stories contains four works of short fiction that delve into disparate segments of this universe. Presented in chronological order, these stories include:

and then add title and brief description -- one sentence long -- for each of the four stories.

But the full blurbs can be placed inside the file and that is how anthologies are usually do.


message 32: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Micah wrote: "I know this is a bit long, but it's for a collection I'm publishing on Kindle soon (as in it's in review right now)...Four stories set in the same universe:

Set in a future where what it means to ..."


I agree with Jelena. I know the character limit on Amazon is pretty generous, but this looks a little longer than most.
It's too bad because they are all really good blurbs. I would suggest to shorten each story's individual description down to one or two sentences if at all possible.


message 33: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
K. wrote: "Resubmitting my blurbs, if that is acceptable? The one for Out of the Darkness isn't changed much - fixed the minor errors noted earlier. Just want to make sure I didn't screw up the overall effe..."

Okay, here is editorial attempt. My scissor comments are in brackets:

Nameless has won a victory from the constant threat of death in the Arenas, but he has not yet won his freedom. To survive and continue with his personal war, he accepted his rightful given by his victory.[is there a missing word here?] With a captured Silk, he hoped to begin building a formidable stable of fighters. With the fighters, he wanted to build a power base with in the culture that he intended to use in continuing his personal war. Then, fate struck again, forcing him to adapt once again to a strange environment. [This switches to past tense. Consider also removing " with the fighters" as it is a bit redundant. Same with the use of the word "again" twice in a row.]

Into the Sunlits is the second book in the series Followers of Torments.[This info should not be needed as it should appear in the title] Nameless continues to search for acceptance within the culture that bred him. He searched [tense shifts again] for a way of fighting unacceptable wrong for those condemned to the Sands – not to free them, but to make their deaths more than a means to an end. His personal war cost him more than he ever imagined it would.

With oaths given to his Silk, his goddess, and to himself[might need a comma here] he emerges into a world full of light, gentleness, and hope. Will his oaths be enough to keep him focused, or will the lure of the kinder way of life lure him away from those obligations? [Lure is used twice]

I hope this helps!


message 34: by Micah (last edited Oct 31, 2014 07:52AM) (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments Christina wrote: " I know the character limit on Amazon is pretty generous..."

Amazon's book description character limit is 4,000, and mine comes in at just under 2,600.

I felt luck to have whittled my blurbs down to what they are now, anything less and I'm afraid it'll end up like the famous micro blurb of The Wizard of Oz:

"Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again." **He, he**

But I'm starting to see how some of them might be streamlined a bit. Can always use the longer versions in promotional material.


message 35: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Micah wrote: ""Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again."..."

I may have to steal that for my Facebook page. Don't recall hearing it before.


message 36: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments Ken wrote: "I may have to steal that for my Facebook page. Don't recall hearing it before."

Well, I stole it off the internet, so you have my permission! ;D


message 37: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) K. wrote: "Ashe wrote: "I like mine but it could probably use some more eyes on it and be a little better. Soooo, here it is:

A Demon In The Desert:
The Wastelands mining town of Greenreach Bluffs is slowly..."


Thank you kindly.


message 38: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "Micah wrote: ""Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again."..."

I may have to steal that for my Facebook..."


I read Micah's post and thought, "How funny, Ken just had this on Facebook." Then I saw your reply.


message 39: by Ken (last edited Oct 31, 2014 12:19PM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Christina wrote: "Ken wrote: "I may have to steal that for..."
I read Micah's post and thought, "How funny, Ken just had this on Facebook." Then I saw your reply.


What a coincidence! (yes, I have to admit, I stole it)


message 40: by Richard (last edited Nov 05, 2014 01:46PM) (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
<18:
Reading yours Ashe, I get spaghetti-western-in-space - or High Plains Drifter meets Tolkien (hope that's more or less the idea!) The meaning is fine, but I agree with K. that some of the wording does sound a bit awkward. For example, I'd change "citizens" (sounds like middle managers and accountants to me, rather than the hell-raising roughnecks of a desert mining town!) to "inhabitants", and change "all peoples" (yuk!) to "they". Not sure about "two failed hunters." In fact, if this was my blurb I'd probably rearrange it a bit too:

The Wastelands mining town of Greenreach Bluffs is deteriorating: with each passing day its inhabitants grow more fearful and paranoid, plagued by...something. They suffer nightmares and hallucinations, there are murders at the mine; the community is on the brink of madness and ruin and, as events escalate, realization dawns: their town has a demon problem. Two attempts at hunting it down fail, Greenreach Bluffs is at breaking point...and then Grimluk the Orc strides in out of the Wastes to answer their call for salvation.

(I'm betting, though, there are others here who could sharpen it up even more).


message 41: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) Thanks, Richard! And definitely in the area of High Plains Drifter meets Tolkien (or slightly more appropriately, Skyrim). Like that rewrite. Might have to go with something more like that.


message 42: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Christina wrote: "K. wrote: "Resubmitting my blurbs, if that is acceptable? The one for Out of the Darkness isn't changed much - fixed the minor errors noted earlier. Just want to make sure I didn't screw up the o..."

Thanks Christina. Dagnab tenses - at least I didn't switch within the sentance like I have been known to do in the past. All of it should have been past tense, except the series blurb - that ranges into the "future" from the actual story line.


message 43: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Okay, this is my terrible, awful, too long, and not very well phrased first attempt to describe my next novel. I plan to heavily rewrite, but I would love any insight fresh eyes may have while I am off clearing my head at the grocery store:

On the surface, Blackbird is indistinguishable from any other small Midwestern town. But this otherwise unremarkable blip on the American landscape hides a dark and deadly secret. The Discordant, creatures from the realm of Chaos, flock to Blackbird in droves, lured by the unusually high density of lost souls.

Seth is an Observer, an agent of Order tasked with identifying the lost, and he is not having a good week. First, the Guardian he has worked with for nearly a century and a half has decided she’s had enough and returns to the Cycle. In her place, the Creator sends Desmond, a powerful and intimidating Warrior who isn’t sure if Seth has what it takes to maintain the balance of Order. Then things go from bad to worse when the latest Discordant to terrorize Blackbird turns out to be Amara, the femme fatale who not only murdered Seth over a century before, but in doing so, ensured her own invincibility by joining their souls.

Amara’s demands are clear: Join the Discordant, or watch Blackbird fall into Chaos. To stop her, Seth must either sacrifice his own soul or put all of his faith in a psychic’s vague prediction that Desmond will somehow break Amara's bond. But without the sight of a Guardian, both the Observer and Warrior are at disadvantage and time is running out.


message 44: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Christina wrote: "On the surface, Blackbird is indistinguishable from any other small Midwestern town. ..."

Wow. You are omniscient. A blackbird figures into the novel I'm just finishing up.


message 45: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Maltman (jamiemaltman) | 156 comments Mod
Made me think of:
Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1) by Chuck Wendig
Which I liked.


message 46: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Jamie wrote: "Made me think of:
Blackbirds (Miriam Black, #1) by Chuck Wendig
Which I liked."


I really like that cover! And I really like nice, condensed blurbs that get the point across, like that one did.

Ken, I would say great minds think alike, but I'm not sure that would be a compliment as much as a warning. ;)


message 47: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Christina, not sure what it is, but something about the last paragraph feels a little awkward or bulky. It might be that I see Chaos as a faction, not a place. Would it clarify any if you changed "fall into Chaos" to "fall to Chaos"? Or did I miss what/who Chaos is?


message 48: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
K. wrote: "Christina, not sure what it is, but something about the last paragraph feels a little awkward or bulky. It might be that I see Chaos as a faction, not a place. Would it clarify any if you changed..."

Fall to Chaos is what it should read. Thanks for pointing that out. To me the whole thing is awkward and bulky. Especially the middle paragraph.


message 49: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments ::Grins:: I'm the wrong one to answer that challenge. If I answer a direct question in less than 60 words, something is very, very wrong most times.

I like your blurb, it reads smooth to me. Will eagerly await someone with better skills at distilling thoughts to provide your feed back.


message 50: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
Sadly, I am not that person. I have read it through, though, and offer these few crumbs:

First paragraph:
- 'blip' (a sudden burst of something) sounds odd - I'd say something more like 'flyspeck', but that's probably just me.
- 'by the unusually high density' is a bit clunky ('by its unusual abundance', or even 'its superabundance', or just 'profusion'?)
- 'flock in droves' sounds odd too (not sure why).

Second para:
- 'not having a good week' has a different feel to the rest, it sounds offhand (almost sarcastic).
- 'decided she's had enough' sounds too much like myself on a wet Monday morning. I think I'd just cut all that and say something like '...has returned to the Cycle; in her place...'
- could also cut 'maintain the balance of Order' ('intimidating Warrior who is far from convinced whether Seth has what it takes.')

Third para:
- 'Amara's demands are clear' is a bit of a blurb-cliche.
- I didn't understand the final sentence ('sight of a Guardian'?)


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