Posted On August 2, 2017 by Print This Post

READ A LITTLE, READ A LOT by Laurie Schnebly Campbell

We are very excited to welcome back the awesome LAURIE SCHNEBLY CAMPBELL!

 

You want readers to devour every word you create, right? Whether it’s a 400-page saga or a 4-page short story, you want them to experience it fully from beginning to end.

But how do you get them to begin?

Some writers aren’t too concerned about that, because they’re perfectly happy just getting the story down on paper and sticking it in a drawer. Other writers DO care about reaching readers, which means they need people to find their book.

How can you make that happen?

Getting picked up by a major publisher who announces the movie rights and a big-name cast is certainly one way. So is hiring a marketing director who will publicize your work. But if you’re not working with a full-service publicity team, one of the biggest advantages you can give yourself is something relatively simple:

A great blurb.

That’s what readers will see on your back cover. On your website. On Instagram. They’ll see it in your bio with blogs, in newsletters from bookstores, in reviews posted near your release date, and — perhaps most important — they’ll see it when they’re browsing online for books.

What Blurbs Do

 

You’ve seen blurbs that made you think “I’ve gotta get that book!” You’ve also seen blurbs that made you think “Nope, not what I want” and others that make you think “Hmm…keep browsing.”

 

So how can you write a blurb that makes everyone think “I’ve gotta get that book!”?

The fact is, you can’t. No matter how great your book, it’s not going to thrill every reader in the world. Someone seeking a cookbook doesn’t want a story about fly fishing. Someone who wants a thriller won’t be satisfied with women’s fiction. Someone shopping for first-graders doesn’t want a romance novel.

That’s okay. You don’t care about those readers.

The readers you want already know what they’re looking for…and it’s the kind of book you write.

 

What about your book will appeal to them? That’s what your blurb needs to feature.

Creating Your Blurb

 

Some writers have an easier time creating a 60,000-word manuscript than a 60-word blurb. Or 30 words, or 150, or whatever length you decide on — and by the way, it’s good to have different lengths available for different uses.

I used to think I was incredibly gifted because I had a much easier time writing blurbs than manuscripts, until I discovered my gift wasn’t actually a special talent. It was from my day-job experience of writing ads.

Because, really, your blurb is an ad for your book. You’ve noticed how the headline of an ad either draws you in or makes you turn the page, right? The first line of your blurb is exactly the same way.

Websites that track the eye movement of people reading them (and I have no idea how they do it!) found that readers who aren’t captured within the first eight seconds are lost.

How many words can you read in eight seconds? The average adult reads 200-300 per minute, so this gives you about 30 words to capture their interest.

And how do you choose those words? This is where it helps to think like an advertising copywriter.

 

The Advertising Basics

 

* Know what your audience wants. If you’re not sure, ask them.

* Know what YOUR book offers that readers won’t necessarily get in ANOTHER book they might also enjoy. If you’re not sure, read others like your own.

* Know where your readers look for books, because that’ll affect which blurb you use where.

Yes, you’ll want different blurbs. Everyone browsing Amazon might see the same one, just like everyone reading the publisher’s catalog will see the same one, but if you’re going indie you can change it as often as you like. You can even do test-marketing to see what works best.

Before you start testing, though, try writing half a dozen blurbs of (for instance) 30 words apiece. See which points you keep using. Odds are good that those reflect your opinion of what’s most special about the book.

Then run those samples by people who know your book. Do they feel like you’ve left out something vital? What is it?

 

 

You can play with this for as long as you like, until you absolutely HAVE to get blurbs out to the public. But thinking about your blurb, even before you’ve finished your book, is a handy thing when it comes to marketing.

 

Which Leads To…

 

If you want some other tips on creating a blurb that’ll attract readers, you could win free registration to August’s yahoogroups class on “Blurbing Your Book” (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BookBlurb/info) just by leaving a comment before tonight’s prize drawing.

And since I’d love to get some comments I can quote during that class, here’s my question for you:

 

***

When you’re browsing for a book — not one you’ve already chosen because you love that author / topic, but when you don’t have any particular book in mind and just want to view some possibilities — what do you do?

 

I can’t wait to find out!

***

Laurie’s Bio:

http://booklaurie.com/

Laurie Schnebly Campbell combines work for a Phoenix ad agency with teaching other novelists about the craft of writing. She’s also published half a dozen romances (including one that won “Best Special Edition of the Year” over Nora Roberts) and a how-to for fiction writers on creating believable characters. Check out her workshop on blurbs — and more — at BookLaurie.com.

 

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75 Responses to “READ A LITTLE, READ A LOT by Laurie Schnebly Campbell”

  1. Great post, Laurie! I’m a Blurbing-Your-Book grad and this article was a good refresher on what to think about when crafting blurbs. As a reader who loves character-driven stories, I tend to read blurbs from the angle of “Do I like the sound of this main character? Is s/he a character I can care about?” Obviously the story has to sound interesting, too, but whether I’m browsing thrillers or romances, I need to get a feel for the hero/heroine and whether they’ll be a character I can root for.

    Posted by Angela Bissell | August 2, 2017, 3:09 am
    • Ange, your “will I like / care about this character?” is a good way of telling whether this is a book you’ll like / care about. And you raised a great point, there, because readers who are more plot-oriented will be likely to evaluate blurbs by asking “will I like / care about this plot?” Which makes it a relief there are so many kinds of books to satisfy both those desires.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:03 am
  2. Awesome post, Laurie! It never occurred to me to write several blurbs of varying lengths. It sounds like a lot of work, but I do love the idea of it since it would make promotion on twitter and in other limited-character/word places much easier.

    When I’m browsing for a new book to read, I usually look for atmosphere. If I can “feel” the setting, I’ll definitely want to know more about the characters who will occupy it.

    Posted by Debora Dale | August 2, 2017, 6:08 am
    • Debbie, you’re right about how setting can be a big influence — I wish I’d added that to the plot / character scale above, because there are readers for whom that’s every bit as important (if not more so). Boom, right off the bat today we’ve already come across three BIG issues!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:05 am
  3. Browsing for books? What’s that? I have soooooo many to read, I don’t browse anymore. Haha! But sometimes I’ll see an interesting cover (one that looks like someone spent some time on it) from a new-to-me author and I’ll go on to read the blurb. If the story looks interesting (I tend to look for some kind of danger involved), then I’ll look at the first chapter. If it’s in first person, I won’t buy it (not my fave and like I said, I have too many books now). If it’s in third and hooks me, I curse and put it on my wish list (and if I hear people TALKING good things about that book–BUY).

    So yeah, the blurb has to show me an interesting story. One that has a bit (or a lot) of danger (and not necessarily romance, although I prefer it).

    Posted by Stacy McKitrick | August 2, 2017, 7:44 am
    • Stacy, you’re a wonderful example of the readers we have to work extra hard to reach…somebody with a huge TBR pile is less likely to be moved by the World’s Best Blurb. πŸ™‚ But it’s interesting that what WILL make you look closer is when the cover is interesting — and now I’m wondering if it helps for the cover as well as the story to hint at some danger? Hmm.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:08 am
  4. I have a Twitter-length blurb, a back-of-book cover blurb, and a entice-through-a-blog-post length blurb for my books. You’re so right; different lengths come in handy for different media.

    Great post.

    Posted by Staci Troilo | August 2, 2017, 7:58 am
    • Staci, good for you on being prepared for just about any request — I’m tempted to say “there’s no such thing as too many different lengths for a blurb,” although (shoot!) that raises the question of when a writer should stop working on blurbs and start working on the next novel. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:09 am
  5. Wonderful article, Laurie. I’m a sucker for second chance stories so I would look for that. And I love very emotional, character-driven stories so I’d also look for that. My wonderful CP usually helps me with the blurbs. I think it helps to be able to stand back from the story when writing the blurb.

    Posted by Carrie Nichols | August 2, 2017, 8:23 am
    • Carrie, you’re so right about stepping back from the story — it’s a lot harder to write the blurb when you’re deep in the midst of writing the book. Some people who don’t tend to make big revisions will write the blurb first, but otherwise it’s sure handy to have a CP who can provide that extra bit of distance.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:11 am
  6. Thanks so much for this great post, Laurie! I see I’m not alone in finding your advice very useful!

    I have a waiting-to-be-read pile the size of a not-so-small library, and it frustrates me because I know there are hidden treasures in there. I just never know which books are going to introduce me to a wonderful author I haven’t “met” before. It’s so exciting when that happens! And expensive for me, too, because then I feel compelled to go after that author’s backlist, too.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 2, 2017, 8:48 am
    • Becke, you just nailed the only disadvantage of a huge TBR pile…it’s so hard knowing where the hidden treasures will be! I’m betting everything in your not-so-small library originally had a blurb that caught your eye (or a cover or an author name, which are good clues as well), and you’re lucky to enjoy so many different kinds of reading. Even though, yes, that CAN get expensive… πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:14 am
  7. I’ll admit, I quick-browse by looking at titles. If I find one that sounds like it might be interesting, I’ll look at the back cover. What I’m looking for is a fresh take on something, like Susan Spann’s novels set in 16th century Japan whose hero is a ninja-assassin compelled to protect the life of a Catholic monk.

    Of course if they’re writing about something I have a special interest in, like Russia or historical fires, that’s always a draw too. ;>)

    When writing a blurb, I try to emphasize what’s different about my book because the framework (this is a mystery or this is a romance) has already been set in the readers mind by the time they pick up the book.

    Posted by Heather Jackson | August 2, 2017, 9:01 am
    • Heather, now you’ve got me wanting to read about the 16th-century Japanese assassin and monk — what a great example of how a few choice words can make all the difference in whether or not somebody wants to read more. And, voila, you showed right there what’s different about the book!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:16 am
  8. It depends a bit on how I got there. I don’t usually just go out and browse for books – usually, I’ve followed some link, or I’ve been reading something about a particular book, that’s led to me looking at the listing for it.(I mostly read on Kindle, so the Kindle Daily Deal emails are one of the big ways I discover new books.) So the process typically looks like this:

    Open the Kindle Daily Deals page.
    Look at the titles/cover images and see which ones look like my sort of books.
    Read the blurbs & decide whether to buy the book.

    Posted by Michael Mock | August 2, 2017, 9:04 am
    • Michael, good point about the title being as valuable as the cover image in determining whether to consider a new book — those are both big steps in making a reader decide to go for the blurb. Any author who has control over their cover AND title is going to have an enormous advantage.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:19 am
  9. Morning Laurie!!

    The cover has to grab me first, otherwise I won’t even look to read the blurb – unless it’s by one of my favorite authors. Then the characters and their occupations need to click with me. Then the setting.

    I just read through my latest Bookbub newsletter this morning to get those answers…=) And I also find that if a book lists something like “500 5-star reviews on Goodreads” then I’ll get it because if THEY all think it’s good, it must be, right?

    Nice to see you here again!

    =)

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Peters | August 2, 2017, 9:07 am
    • Carrie, it’s always a treat to be here — thanks for hosting! And how smart of you to actually read the Bookbub newsletter to discover what intrigues you about a blurb; now we can add author & reviews & occupations to the list of things people look for.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 9:20 am
  10. Hi Laurie! I can’t write blurbs at all. I find it much easier to write the entire book than a 30-word mini-synopsis of that novel. So I always look for help from my editor or whoever else is working with me.
    When I read a blurb I’m looking for something “different”, something that isn’t the same-o, same-o that I see over and over again. Something has to catch my eye that makes the topic of the book unusual. It could be a different type of main character or an interesting subject about what that character is going to do or have happen to him or her. I just don’t ant to see “boring” or “yeah, I’ve read THAT a million times”.

    Posted by Patricia Yager Delagrange | August 2, 2017, 9:35 am
    • Patti, isn’t it appalling how often a blurb DOES leave us thinking been-there-seen-that? There’s something to be said for classic themes which millions of readers find comfortable, but readers who prefer something they HAVEN’T seen before often have a harder time finding it in a world where success often means “do that story again only different.”

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 10:14 am
  11. Hi Laurie. Writing a blurb is up there on the “degree of difficulty” factor. But yes, a great blurb does make me hit the buy button. So, what entices me is: does this story have that something special that promises to be a good read? “Something special” could be anything from a quirky character, an intriguing premise or a novel situation.

    Posted by Adite Banerjie | August 2, 2017, 10:21 am
    • Adite, your possibilities for something special are great ones — it’s easy to envision any of those making a reader think “ooh, yeah, I want to know more about this!” And while every book buyer might have their own Top Three, it seems like those particular three appeal to a whole LOT of readers.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 10:42 am
  12. This is a really great post. I’m terrible at blurbs, synopses, pitches, queries, etc. Trying to condense something is very hard for me. I’m bookmarking this.

    Posted by Mercy | August 2, 2017, 10:48 am
    • Mercy, I’m so glad this helped! You’re right that condensing is hard, especially for writers because we tend to be so GOOD with words…lots and lots and lots and lots of words. Like that guy whose name I’ve forgotten apologizing for the long letter because he “didn’t have time” to write a short one. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 10:52 am
  13. I’ll admit, I’m one of those people who don’t know what they’re looking for when the start looking. I know conceptually I want a romance adventure novel but when I start searching for that at Amazon or Google, nothing seems to pop up. I have to keep changing the words around until something pops up…but by then I’m tired and no longer in the mood to read! I’ve noticed this causes me to pick up something I’ve already read and reread it.

    Posted by Nicole | August 2, 2017, 11:33 am
  14. I so admire anyone who can write a comprehensive book blurb. Any time I try to condense the gist of one of my books I can’t seem to pare it down enough. I appreciate the writers who can write “short”.

    Posted by Roz Fox | August 2, 2017, 11:49 am
  15. I usually look at covers before I look at blurbs. If the cover doesn’t grab me, I rarely look at the blurb.

    As far as blurbs go, obviously it has to be something that interests me. A book about a woman trying to lure a fly-fishing addict from a river isn’t going to interest me. A Navy SEAL coming in to save the day and rescue the damsel in distress might pull me in. So too, a duke who steps down from on-high for the woman he can’t get out of his mind.

    Or…serial killer hunts female cop, who escapes with the help of FBI hunk and they fly off into happily ever after.

    Whatever captures my imagination!

    Posted by Susan Mertesdorf | August 2, 2017, 11:55 am
  16. Laurie,
    This was a great refresher on your class, which I’ve taken and has made me look at blurbs differently. As an author, blurbs ARE MY SELLING TOOL, as a reader they will catch me and make me want to know more, or catch me and I’ll buy.

    Usually, I look at the setting, time period and then the character’s conflicts. The downfall on the latter is that huge numbers of character conflicts tend to sound the same. And I just go to the next book.

    I think that is the magic is by setting your conflict apart from all the others. Not an easy task. In the words of advertising shampoo, it’s all rinse and repeat, but what makes one appeal more than another?

    Great post. Hugs, L.A.

    Posted by L.A. Sartor | August 2, 2017, 12:44 pm
    • L.A., I like your “rinse and repeat” parallel — it’s tricky for readers who want something different than the usual, and tricky for authors who can’t decide whether to market the tried-and-true that’s proven popular or something that actually IS different and might not be so popular. Which is getting pretty philosophical, huh?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 1:15 pm
  17. I think I’m going to take this class again, because I lost all my class e-mails and I STILL suck at the short ones, as evidenced by my failing Amazon ads. LOL

    If someone makes reference to Firefly in their blurb, I’m probably gonna pick up the book. πŸ˜‰ (Though if they stretch the truth about it, it will backfire. LOL)

    Posted by Natalie J. Damschroder | August 2, 2017, 12:52 pm
  18. Hi Laurie!
    Love the blog. Great point about knowing what your readers want. When I’m browsing, I get pulled in by a good cover and a short blurb. More than 100-150 words and I usually lose interest.
    Best,
    Laurel

    Posted by Laurel Greer | August 2, 2017, 12:59 pm
  19. Oh, man…I wish I’d read this before I wrote my latest blurb. But, come to think of it, maybe I can still change it…or if I’m very lucky, read it again and realize it does the things you describe. Clear, cogent, concise. Thank you for this!

    Posted by Lisa Heidinger | August 2, 2017, 1:01 pm
    • Lisa, it’s sure handy when you run your own website and can experiment with blurbs all you like — even if you can’t change the publisher’s description, what you put out on Facebook and interview quotes and email tags is ALWAYS up for tweaking. Unless it’s working beautifully, in which case the biggest challenge is leaving it alone!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 1:24 pm
  20. Laurie, your depth of knowledge always impresses! This is a great post for those of us without your background or skill level. I keep trying! Thanks for one more tool on my workbench.

    Posted by Sharon Moore | August 2, 2017, 1:04 pm
    • Sharon, as a marketing person you totally GET the value of blurbs — and I love your metaphor of tools on the workbench, because that’s really what this is all about. It’s tempting to say blurbs are the Most Important Tool, but they’re just ONE that go into attracting readers, and it’s probably good we need so many because that way everybody’s naturally gifted at SOME of ’em.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 1:27 pm
  21. Great thoughtful piece! I always think of my stories in blurb form first as sort the first beam in the frame. When I lose focus or feel lost, I go back and reread the blurb and it’ll often energize me. Now this doesn’t include stories that get hijacked by a character! LoL. Thanks again for sparking my creativity

    Posted by Margie Hall | August 2, 2017, 1:27 pm
    • Margie, I was just talking about you — how some writers start with the blurb as a way of getting themselves focused on the story. But, drat, there’s always the risk of running into those pesky characters who somehow manage to hijack the whole thing. πŸ™

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 3:29 pm
  22. The title and blurb are the first things that draw me in, along with the cover. If the blurb interests me, then I look at the first page. But the blurb has to get me there first.

    Posted by Vicky Burkholder | August 2, 2017, 1:46 pm
    • Vicky, that’s a good clear progression — cover-including-title, blurb, Page 1. And with blurb right in the middle of the sequence, that’s an argument in favor of it being the strongest of the three elements…or for people who hate writing blurbs, we can say the middle element gets to be the weakest!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 3:31 pm
  23. Thanks for another great post, Laurie. I like the idea of writing several blurbs.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | August 2, 2017, 2:37 pm
  24. The picture on the cover is the first thing I notice. If I like it, I’ll turn the book over and read the blurb. If I like the blurb, I’ll open the book and read the first couple of pages. If I like it, then I’ll buy it.

    Laurie, thanks for this great post! It’d definitely a keeper!

    Posted by Jackie Layton | August 2, 2017, 2:40 pm
  25. Jackie, I’m worried that my response won’t ever reach you — but how great that you’re thinking “keeper;” it’s always nice to feel like something came in handy! Gee, now I wish I could add a picture… πŸ™‚

    Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 3:39 pm
  26. What a great article! And know the class will have even more in-depth info in it.

    When reading the book blurb, I look for characters I want to see succeed in a situation that sounds interesting.

    Posted by Rowan Worth | August 2, 2017, 3:58 pm
  27. Hi Laurie,

    If I want a romance novel, I go to the Harlequin site and read all the blurbs in the lines I like. If a particular blurb intrigues me then I read the first paragraph and then, if I like that, the first chapter. If that turns out to be brilliant I buy the book. For something different from romance I follow the links in my BookBub e-mails and go through the same procedure but this time on Amazon.

    Posted by Janet Ch | August 2, 2017, 5:02 pm
    • Janet, I’ll bet you’re Harlequin’s “ideal reader” — how can they not love someone who goes directly to their site for the blurbs, and (at least sometimes) winds up buying as a direct result? Nice to have some variety with BookBub in there as well; you’re probably well outfitted with books for a rainy day!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 5:08 pm
  28. Hey Laurie! Great post! I recent did shop for books as gifts, and for this particular person, I went to the NPR recommended book list. I read blurbs there, and the ones I chose focused on characters and had something really unique about them – something written with history in mind, but in a unique way. When shopping for myself, I of course start with genre, and but then I also look at characters first, and then for a challenging story line.

    Posted by Charlotte | August 2, 2017, 5:17 pm
    • Charlotte, I never even thought of checking books on an NPR-recommended list — what a great place to find titles we wouldn’t normally come across? And your friend’s preference for “unique history” has me thinking of the (relatively few) books I’ve loved which offered that…isn’t it nice to have friends with slightly different tastes?

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 5:36 pm
  29. I’d written stories ever since I was in junior high, and some of them I even submitted. Not one was ever accepted. It was just a few years ago that I went to one of your speeches, Laurie, and that one experience changed my life. I finally got one published. That’s all so far, but now I know it can happen I plan to see going!

    Posted by Madeline Melody | August 2, 2017, 5:36 pm
    • Madeline, I’m so glad that speech made a difference — congratulations on your first sale! You might’ve already started thinking about blurbs for that book, or even for the next one, but meanwhile I hope you’re taking all kinds of time to enjoy the experience of getting your story published.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 5:45 pm
  30. The blurb has to tell me whether the book is about a subject that interests me, and then whether I’ll be interested in the writer’s treatment of it. The blurb itself has to be specific enough to engage my mind, and to let me feel confident in my choice.

    Posted by Meg Umans | August 2, 2017, 5:39 pm
    • Meg, you’ve got a good point about needing to be interested in not only the subject, but also the way the author treats it. I can think of a lot of subjects I’d enjoy if they were covered by certain writers, yet not by someone else. And that sense of confidence in your choice really DOES mean you’ve read a great blurb!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 5:47 pm
  31. Laurie,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful insights. This is really helpful!

    Posted by Nan McNamara | August 2, 2017, 6:23 pm
    • Nan, anytime you start a new blurb you can always come back and re-visit what’s here…and for that matter, anytime you READ blurbs for a book you might find yourself paying attention to what works. It’s always fun to learn new tricks while shopping for something you were going to buy, anyway. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 6:45 pm
  32. I have a 150-word blurb, now I need a 30-word and a 60! I love historicals, so I definitely want a sense of time and place in a blurb, maybe something that draws me into a aspect of that time period that I don’t already know about.

    Posted by Janice Laird | August 2, 2017, 6:35 pm
    • Janice, way to go on getting your first one done — seems like no matter which length you start with, the others come easier because you’re in “selling” mode. As for time-and-place, that’s a great thing to include in any blurb, although probably a bit MORE important in historicals…and it makes sense that a previously unknown aspect of any time period will be a big draw!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 6:47 pm
  33. It’s mostly about voice for me. Outside of YA, I’m not a big fan of first person but I love close third. I need a strong heroine and conflict, be it internal or external. I read the blurb but I usually read the first page too. If they both grab me, I’m in.

    Posted by Margaret | August 2, 2017, 8:52 pm
    • Margaret, it makes sense to read the blurb AND the first page — that way you can be sure the voice inside is the same as the voice outside. We’ve probably all been disappointed when they don’t seem to match, although it’s rare to get fooled twice.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 8:58 pm
  34. Titles rarely interest me in choosing a book. Artwork–cover art does. I click on a choice and check out the first few lines of the blurb then either continue to read it or go to another one. So, I guess I depend on the first lines of either the blurb or the opening chapter & scene to hook me.
    Laurie, the workshop’s bound to be another winner.

    Posted by Elaine S Bedigian | August 2, 2017, 10:22 pm
    • Elaine, you’re a great example of why blurbs need to grab the reader right from the start — not to mention the book itself has to grab ’em right from the start. Because at both steps of your consideration process, there’s only a few quick moments to snag your interest or they’ve missed their chance. πŸ™‚

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 11:02 pm
  35. Jennifer, I’m sorry it’s taken this long to get back to you — I’ve been thinking one of my three stacked-up posts would eventually get through, but that doesn’t seem likely tonight. Anyway, you’re right about liking the idea of several blurbs because there are so MANY ways you can use the different kinds…it’s always good to have a whole array at hand!

    Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 2, 2017, 11:00 pm
  36. Wow! We sure kept you busy responding to comments today! Thanks so much for spending the day with us. If anyone has any doubt what topic generates interest, I think your post pins it down: blurbs!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 3, 2017, 12:21 am
    • Becke, it’s fun to have a busy day! And blurbs are sure an interesting thing to think about, because what reader (and writer) hasn’t loved / hated them more than once? πŸ™‚ I went to bed a bit too early last night, but as soon as I catch up with the last few comments I’ll hit random-dot-org and post a free-class winner.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 3, 2017, 11:00 am
  37. When choosing a new book, I want to hear the author’s voice in the book blurb. Will the book be a tear-jerker? A laugh a minute?

    Posted by Jackie Marilla | August 3, 2017, 2:22 am
    • Jackie, it’s wonderful when the author’s voice comes through in the blurb. In fact, the class gets into that — how many words do you need in order for your voice to come through? Without checking the lectures, my guess is a minimum of 10…but now I’m curious!

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 3, 2017, 11:02 am
  38. I look for blurbs that show the author will go down an unexpected road in the story

    Posted by Susan Goshert | August 3, 2017, 6:48 am
    • Susan, there’s a lot to be said for unexpected roads — when a reader likes something different, it’s enticing to see that in a blurb. Other readers who like the comfort of tried-and-true themes to fall asleep with will be warned away, which is great…everybody should be able to count on the blurb to let ’em know if a book will deliver the kind of reading experience they want.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 3, 2017, 11:04 am
  39. It’s usually the cover or the author who grab me first if I’m browsing. Then I turn to the back blurb before going to the last couple of pages if still interested. Looking forward to your book blurb class Laurie. cheers Tracet

    Posted by Tracey Turner | August 3, 2017, 11:06 am
    • Tracey, it’s intriguing that you go to the last couple of pages rather than the first — I wonder how many other readers do that? That’s sure a good way of determining whether in fact the book WILL deliver the kind of ending you expect…because after all, it’s the ending that’ll keep readers looking for more.

      Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 3, 2017, 12:52 pm
  40. Wow, thanks to all 35 of you who shared your thoughts on what a blurb should do…I’m seeing all kinds of great quotes to use in the upcoming class. πŸ™‚

    Speaking of which, free registration goes to random-dot-org’s pick of #15, which is Susan Mertesdorf — Susan, congratulations and let me know at Book Laurie gmail where I should send your yahoogroups invitation.

    And if anyone else wants to join the fun starting Monday, just let me know!

    Posted by Laurie Schnebly Campbell | August 3, 2017, 11:15 am

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