It’s harder to write less than more
Several weeks ago I sent in my comments on the final proof stage of my latest ebook, Too Damn Nice. It’s around 80,000 words; shorter than some of my books (Before You was 96,000) but longer than others (A Second Christmas Wish was 65,000).
So the words are done. As I mentioned last week, the cover is nearly there, and I hope to share it with you in the next week or so.
That means the only part of the book left to be worked on ready for publication on 1st August is the ‘blurb.’ I always thought that was a made up word, or the name of a rock band, but the dictionary definition is:
A short description of a book, film, or other product written for promotional purposes
The key word here being short.
For example, here’s how the blurb for Before You will look when it comes out in paperback (1st August – you see, there’s a common theme here. I’m hoping repetition of message will work).
The idea of the blurb is to attract you, dear reader, into buying the book. It needs to reflect the sense, the atmosphere of the book without going into pages of detail about it. Sounds easy? It should be, because let’s face it, between writing it and editing it, I’ve spent over half a year on this book. If anyone knows how to sell my beloved masterpiece to the reader, it must surely be me, huh?
Wrong! In my experience, it’s a damn sight harder to write 150 words that convey the essence of the book, than it is to write the 80,000 words of the book. I think it’s because I know the book too well (either that or I’m useless, a sentiment I can’t possibly ascribe to). When people read the back of the book, funnily enough they don’t want to read a three page synopsis of the book – and trust me, condensing 80,000 words into 3,000 words is hard enough. They also don’t give a toss about all the little details e.g. is the Beverley Wiltshire a good place for a sex blackmail video to be made (umm, I’ve gone with yes?). When is London Fashion Week? Sadly, because I’ve painstakingly pondered over these, that’s what’s on the forefront of my mind when I think of the book.
No, potential readers only want the bare bones. Enough to give a flavour of who (it’s about) what (is the main conflict) and where (it all happens). Written in a persuasive enough manner, and without giving away anything important, that they’ll immediately click the buy box. Or take it to the till if you’re doing things the old fashioned way, though you won’t be able to do that for Too Damn Nice as it’s coming out first as an ebook. You will be able to take Before You to the till. After 1st August…!
Thankfully I’m not in this blurb quagmire alone. My publisher is working on it, too. Between us, we’ll get there. And hopefully what we come up with entice you enough to give it a try. If not, there’s always that mention of what happened in the Beverley Wiltshire.