Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Trouble with the BLURB

A blurb is a short summary or promotional piece accompanying a creative work. The word was coined in 1907 by American humorist Gelett Burgess (1866–1951).  -Wikipedia

The trouble with the blurb is that it tends to overpromise (and the book to underdeliver).

We cannot fault the author or the blurb writer entirely because the nature of the blurb is to persuade us (readers) to purchase the book. It will overpromise at some point. After all, it is a sales pitch hiding under the guise of a cleverly written synopsis.

It’s a tricky little thing to write because it wants to reveal things without revealing things (see, it really is tricky!). And that part it doesn’t reveal is the proverbial hook that magically transforms ‘window shoppers’ into actual buyers.

An effective blurb reels you in with the book’s perceived (preliminary) brilliance in 200 words or less. It thrills. It provokes. It intrigues. 

But there’s also this tiny bit of unspoken consequence of a very convincing blurb – it raises expectations of the book unnecessarily. 

And we all know what happens when expectations are not met. It gives reason for some readers to post negative reviews and DNFs (Did Not Finish) –  OR the rather more permanent consequence of “no repeat purchase”.

No wonder authors dread writing the blurb more than re-writing or editing the book itself. 

Too clever and they could disappoint; too boring they could repel.

What's an author to do?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Reviews for October: Gods, Mortals, Comets, Jazz and a Rat!

It's race against time as I attempt to read and review all the books I've purchased this year before 2014 ends!

TBR pile is down to a very manageable level so book-purchase moratorium is lifted. 

For October, the books are about accidental goddesses, warring gods and the mortals caught in between, comet-themed stories, Jazz in the roaring twenties, and a steampunk rat! 

Click on thumbnails to read the full review.




Available in Amazon

The Necklace of Goddess Athena by Effosyni Moschoudi
Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks
American Goddesses by Gary Henry
Steampunk Rat by Madeleine Holly-Rosing
Celestial by Katie Hayoz, Jamie Campbell, Sarah Dalton, Zoe Cannon, Susan Fodor, Sutton Shields, Anya Allyn, Ariele Sieling, Marijon Braden, H.S. Stone

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Words Some Authors Will Never Use In Their Book Titles

If you are easily offended by filthy words, pls. stop reading.

You've been warned.

I was reading  a discussion on the “worst words” in the English language that quickly turned into a discussion of the nastiest words used in novels. It became very entertaining fast! 

This gave me an idea for a blog post, but I wanted a little participation from authors and writers in my social media network. So, I asked 60 authors this intriguing question:


Warning: Cannot be unseen.

Click for bigger view. This could blind you.

A word cloud is generated in which the size of the word indicates its frequency (or popularity or importance – or in this case, the level of disgust?).

**The word “THE” should be included but the word cloud maker didn’t include articles.

My thoughts:

-Most of the words are vulgar, filthy, and just plain disgusting. You might need to wash your eyes after reading. And if you said these words out loud, wash your mouth, too.

-There is no shortage of words to refer to male and female private parts. The most vulgar C-word in the English language made it to the list. It should never be uttered out loud, like the V-word (and no, it’s not Voldemort).

-I see one author is not a fan of Sharknado.

-Love, Epic and Awesome – wholesome words, but massively overused

-Most unexpected: Um 

-Even the innocent word Oil becomes ‘sexual’ when read in conjunction with these other words (or that’s just me?)

-Damnation – something that I’d probably get for writing this blog post.

-Bodily fluids in book titles? – yeah, you might need to wash your hands too.

-Why's there so much hate for Moist?  

Super Moist - Does this make you cringe?

See how it quickly turned into a list of (mostly) sex-related words? This may or may not be indicative of the authors’ state of mind. Hah!

Some other things you might be interested to know.

-Most authors asked me “What are you up to?” and “Why?” before answering the question. Perhaps with raised eyebrow.

-Most authors used abbreviations and *** because they weren’t comfortable typing the complete words.

-One author asked me a random question which was better than my question (LOL! I love this author).

-Some authors admitted to saying the first word that came to mind  (this might explain Snake, Spider and Cockroach.

-Some authors provided more than 1 word.

-The response rate is 82%

I’d like to thank the authors who have participated in this (crazy) survey. I promise to do another round in the future.

Join the discussion, let us know that one word worthy of eternal damnation.

Post your comments below.