Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Little Goes a Long Way

Imagine this scene:  You're scanning the shelves of your favorite book store when one of the titles catches your eye.  You reach for the book and flip it over to read the synopsis.  Six or seven (or more) detailed paragraphs later, you finish--what do you do next?  Do you buy the book?

My answer to that question may surprise you.  I usually put the book back and move on.  Why should I purchase the book when I've just read the complete story on the back cover? (or inside the jacket for some books)  It's not going to be an enjoyable read for me if I know exactly what's going to happen even before I begin.

I see this happen all the time, especially with first-time authors.  The synopsis--also called the cover copy or blurb--can be a difficult thing to write.  After all, how do you sum up an entire book in two or three short paragraphs?  Many times, the author feels the need to include as much information as possible, which generally results in giving away the entire plotline.  It spoils the reading experience for the consumer and loses the sale for you.  Remember, the blurb should entice the reader into wanting more; in other words, they'll have no choice except to buy the book to find out what happens.

Writing blurbs takes practice, but in time, you'll find that keeping the actual story INSIDE the covers of the book pays off. 

Until next time--happy writing!