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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > BLURB help please

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Guay-de la ronde | 59 comments Can someone please give me advice for my blurb? Thanks!

Clara enjoys editing manuscripts and is already a pro at social distancing out on her hobby farm when it's announced everyone is in quarantine due to a virus. The real problem arrives in the form of the Devil, also known as Tristan Black, the author she avoids at all costs. As she sends him packing, a new regulation is announced forcing him to stay with her for two weeks. In the middle of nowhere. Together. For the next two weeks sexual tension increases while both keep secrets from the past hidden.


message 2: by Kenny (new)

Kenny (kenny_valentine) | 61 comments Hey Julie,

I'm no expert on blurbs, and someone else might offer better advice than me, but I'll tell you my honest thoughts as I read this.

The first time, I was quite confused, I didn't really understand what this is about. Is it a romance? Is it contemporary? Is the story about the quarantine and social distancing or about the relationship between Clara and Tristan?

The second time I read it, I noticed that the first sentence feels a bit disconnected from the second one. Almost like they're for two different stories. What does social distancing and quarantine have to do with Tristan Black arriving? Why does Tristan Black show up at her place? Why does she call him "the devil?" And if he's the "real"problem, then what is the fake one? Quarantine? The virus? But Clara is already a pro at social distancing, so why would she be bothered at all or consider it a problem?

"In the middle of nowhere" makes me think that neither characters know where they are, but that's false because we are given the location in the first sentence. It is her farm. Unless there was a change in location?

Why is there sexual tension when Clara presumably hates this guy so much that she refers to him as the devil and avoids him at all costs? What kind of secrets are we talking about? Personal? Work? Do they share these secrets together, or do each have their own? Why do these secrets matter and how do they come into play here?

I find myself unable to imagine the kind of relationship between Clara and Tristan, and from this blurb it seems that their relationship will be the focus of the novel. I just know that Clara hates him and avoids him all the time, and apparently she is attracted to him. But I don't know the reason for either.

I attempted, using the information provided in your blurb, to restructure it. This is what I came up with:

Clara, a professional editor [I'm assuming, perhaps self-employed would be more appropriate? I'm not sure on the details with this one], enjoys a solitary stay at her farm when an unwanted visitor shows up. Tristan Black, the [adjective to describe his personality; self-absorbed, proud, whatever it is specifically she hates about him] author she avoids at all costs, comes to [reason he visits her]. Just when she thinks she's all done with him and ready to send him packing, a viral outbreak forces the two of them into strict quarantine for two weeks. Now her solitude is ruined and Clara is stuck with the last person she wants to be with. But there is something else happening, something that turns the unwanted presence to an irresistible attraction, something that awakens other feelings for Tristan she didn't know she had. With each passing day of quarantine, the two of them grow closer. How long till Clara tosses the social-distancing regulations out the window and surrenders to the undeniable tension?

If you remove my inserted notes, the blurb will be under 150 words, which I think is the standard you should consider. Use that to your advantage to include more details about the characters (if this novel focuses on them and their relationship) or the setting (if that has a big impact on the story). If this is a romance, I would encourage you to strengthen the chemistry between Clara and Tristan.

I hope this helps! Like I said, I'm not a professional, so take it with a grain of salt.


message 3: by Amara (new)

Amara Rae (amararae) | 1 comments Kenny included some really great advice. I just want to add: look at blurbs in the genre. Mariana Zapata always has really great blurbs. You really need to hook readers at the start with a compelling first sentence, keep them interested with enough details to give them a flavor of the story (lots of authors include genre-specific keywords here to ensure readers know it's the right story for them) and a final line convincing them to buy the book.

The following is just my suggestion for how you could edit the blurb, so take it with a grain of salt:

I don't think you should start with Clara editing manuscripts.

I'd change the first sentence to something like "Clara is already a pro at social distancing, so she isn't concerned about the new [be specific about the virus, what's its name?]."

You could then talk about her quiet life on the hobby farm and her job as an editor after the hook sentence, then loop in to Tristan (is she editing his manuscripts? How does she know him? Let readers know the connection).

After introducing Tristan and discussing how much Clara hates him, I'd write about their sexual tension.

Ex: "The real problem arrives in the form of the Devil, also known as Tristan Black, the author she avoids at all costs. Not only is he demanding she edit his latest manuscript, the arrogant, gorgeous jerk keeps looking at her with those smoldering eyes and tripping her up with his sexy smile.

The line between wanting to kill him and kiss him is becoming paper thin." (pun intended haha sorry, I'm a dork)

Then draw in the reader with the other major plot point of the story: "Before she can send him packing, a new regulation is announced: due to the rapid-spreading virus, everyone must shelter-in-place/stay inside/lockdown for two weeks."

Then a hook at the end.

"Two weeks. In the middle of nowhere. Alone together.

Who knew quarantine could be this hot?"

Hope this helps!


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie Guay-de la ronde | 59 comments DAMN Kenny, you're amazing. I am obviously a novice :S
You wouldn't happen to proofread or copyedit do you??? LOL. Honestly, thanks, you've helped me SO much.




Julie wrote: "Can someone please give me advice for my blurb? Thanks!

Clara enjoys editing manuscripts and is already a pro at social distancing out on her hobby farm when it's announced everyone is in quarant..."



message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie Guay-de la ronde | 59 comments AMARA, thank you for your additional help!! I am going to mesh both advice together and it's going to be fabulous. Thanks so much!!



Kenny wrote: "Hey Julie,

I'm no expert on blurbs, and someone else might offer better advice than me, but I'll tell you my honest thoughts as I read this.

The first time, I was quite confused, I didn't really ..."



message 6: by Julie (new)

Julie Guay-de la ronde | 59 comments Amara, do you edit for a price? :)


message 7: by Kenny (new)

Kenny (kenny_valentine) | 61 comments Hey Julie,

I'm happy the advice helped! Amara definitely added some great suggestions as well. No worries about being new with this stuff. We all start from scratch, and no matter how far we get, we always seek to improve.

To answer your question: no, I don't proofread or copyedit. There is a section in the group for paid services if you want to browse it. I'm sure there are a lot of qualified individuals there. I do beta reading (for free). I've beta read for some fellow authors on here before. If you need some honest feedback on your manuscript, perhaps I could take a look at it.


message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie Guay-de la ronde | 59 comments Hey Kenny! An editor is now combing through the story, so might touch base later with you :) Thank you for the offer!


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