Blurbs Drive Me Batty #IWSG

Blurbs, am I right? They’re the scourge of the writing world. A plague. They must be destroyed.

Blurbs are the bane of every author’s existence. (At least mine. And it’s my blog so I say OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!)

Also, I’ll add, intros. Ugh. Though not quite as bad as blurbs, intros are pretty awful. I have a whole post on rejected book intros that’s totally worth reading. It’s sad and kind of hilarious and 100% true.

Here’s a snippet from that post (which could definitely work for blurbs):

During this time of lunacy when I was alienating friends and forcing family to disown me, I came up with some real doozies.

The following introductions are real. They were not written for your amusement. But I thought I would share them with you in case you are amused. It’s okay, you can totally be embarrassed for me.

  • I like writing. I don’t like spiders. I made a book. Read it.
  • I think I’d rather become dinner for the Swamp Thing than continue working on this foreword. Which is ridiculous because the Swamp Thing protects people (and is probably a vegetarian).
  • Short fiction is like dark chocolate. It’s pure cocoa with no fillers. A small piece is rich and satisfying.
  • I don’t like writing bios, forewords, or introductions. Actually, I don’t care for anything that requires me to tell readers about myself or my work.
  • This pumpkin spice stuff is seriously getting out of control. Here’s a book with NO pumpkin spice in it.
  • I’ve missed meals, skipped family outings, remained unshowered for two five days, typed until my eyes were sand paper and my fingers bled, developed headaches that laughed at Tylenol, and alienated many friends with my writer moods. I do hope you appreciate all that went into this book and that you will take pity on me and read it.
  • I triple dog dare you not to read this book!
  • This is a collection of mini stories… But, wait! There’s more! No, there isn’t. But mini stories are fun and delicious. Like those little cupcakes with sprinkles that you can eat a bunch of without having to explain yourself to anybody because they expect you to eat more than one.
  • Will this torment never cease?!!!
  • I’m seriously considering finding a vampire and asking it (“him”? or “her”?) to turn me so I have an excuse to not finish this intro. No, seriously. Now I’m wondering. What is the correct pronoun for creatures of the night? Are they “it” or do you refer to them by the gender they were before they were bitten? And, technically, they are still that gender. Regardless, if I were a turned into a vampire it would require some adjustment on my part. Would that be an acceptable reason for not including an introduction to this collection?
  • There is nothing (not one thing) in this book that mentions the United States political system, the election, or the candidates.
  • Short fiction is known by many names. Flash, sudden, postcard, micro, hint… Hint fiction. Get it? Hinting at Shadows does hint at darkness but it’s also hint fiction. Cool, huh? *nudge* *nudge* *wink* *wink* Know what I mean?
  • I’d rather be watching Harry Potter.
  • If I write any more introductions, there’s a real possibility I will spontaneously combust.

Titles? Now that’s a different ball of wax. I love titles. Titles for books, blog posts, short stories, flash… Titles are wonderful. Delightful. Magically delicious. (And easy. And fun. Have I mentioned I love them?)

What say you, gentle readers? Can you write blurbs easily? (If so, I don’t like you anymore. Kidding. But do comment because I may hire you.) What about titles? How easy or difficult are those for you?

IWSG Question of the Month

November Prompt – Which is more difficult–coming up with a title for your book or writing the blurb?

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group)

This post is part of IWSG , a monthly blog hop/prompt started by Alex J Cavanaugh. 

49 thoughts on “Blurbs Drive Me Batty #IWSG

    • Ah, the old “working title”. Yeah, I’ve used that though not often. It’s a good plan and, oftentimes, the title emerges from a phrase or bit of dialogue. Rises to the surface, as it were. 🙂

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  1. Sarah, if it is any consolation, I know you hate to write them, but as a reader, I do read the cover flap. My wife and I browse old bookstores and we will pick up a book by author, subject matter, or clever title, but we do read the summary. Sometimes we are disappointed, but often we are not. I must confess the best source is the book store owner, who often will hold book club meetings in these small towns. I recall one recommending two books we would not have picked up – “A Man called Ove” about a curmudgeon and “The Only Woman in the Room” about the actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr. They were outstanding. So, thank you for writing them. Keith

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    • Don’t get me wrong. Blurbs are important but I find them so challenging to write. I read them as well and base buying decisions on them but, often, I read the first line/paragraph before making a decision. I’m a huge fan of first lines. (The Hedy Lamarr book sounds fascinating.)

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      • Sarah, thanks. The Hedy Lamarr book is a fictional representation of a factual story. She received a Medal of Freedom for an invention that is present in every cell phone, but she initially designed it to help guide torpedos in WWII. As a woman, you can appreciate how her ideas were demeaned and diminished because she was a woman and a beautiful actress. It is well worth the read. Keith

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    • I like chapter titles. They’re back in style, apparently. (Did they go out of style? I don’t know. But I just read a post that they’re back in so maybe.) And, yes, that would be…not funny but inconvenient if you had trouble with titles. Blurbs are beasts but I recall you’re fairly good at them. 🙂

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  2. So if you’re not going to use the one about spiders – I can totally use that one. And the rest of them are really good, so you don’t really need that one, right? But the one about not telling readers about myself comes in a close second! 😆

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  3. You need to write a book of intros with a ‘speaks for itself’ opening. It’ll exorcise all those ghosts.
    As for blurbs these the literary equivalent of trips to the dental hygenist: unexpectedly painful.

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  4. I’m with you on the pumpkin spice thing. They put it in just about everything, whether it makes sense or not. Ditto for the U.S. political system. I’ll buy pretty much anything that doesn’t have pumpkin spice and/or politics in it.

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    • Yeah, it was quite the overload of pumpkin and politics at the time I wrote that. I actually like some pumpkin-spiced things but there has to be a limit. It seems everything is pumpkin-spiced now. Won’t someone please think of the children!

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  5. I love LOVE the intros, especially the one that throws itself on the reader’s mercy.

    I like writing blurbs (and intros), but titles are my achilles heel. I struggle with those things, and am never happy with ’em. Titles seem to be so effortless for some people, and I admire that. I’ve sometimes published a blog post and changed the headline 2-3 times. (I’m serious!)

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    • Thanks. They’re funny now. 😉 I was really struggling then.

      Ooh! Let’s trade! Pretty please with a cherry on top??? I’ll write your titles if you write my blurbs! (Although…the titles on your blog are always so good. I think I’d be getting the better end of that deal.)

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    • That’s the Light/Dark side of Sarah. It’s kind of weird. Is it helpful to know I’m in good company. Not that I want others to struggle but knowing I’m not alone. Doesn’t get the blurb written, but it helps my sanity. Somewhat. 😉

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