Help me with my Blurb, please!

Oh…..blurbs are so hard to do!  Any writer knows how difficult it can be to place strategic, juicy details about your masterpiece, without giving away too much, into a tiny paragraph….arggghhhh!!!

And the worst part is that unless you’ve had someone beta read your manuscript, cover to cover, it’s difficult to have someone gauge how effective your blurb is…and you certainly can’t ask anyone to write one for you, unless you’re fortunate to be able to afford one of those expensive reviews like Kirkus or Clarion.

Not me!

Help me with my blurb, please!

When I create a blurb, I usually create two, because historically, I reveal too much with my first one.  It’s taken me two days to compose these blurbs, and I have one vote (I won’t reveal for which one), so I need more votes.

Please review and tell me which one (or neither of them) would compel you to pick up this book.  Or maybe even a combination of the two?

The cover is of course, above.

Blurb 1:

A person can be loved by many for one reason, yet hated by many for another.  Born into a Native Indian family, Sam Corrolla grows up in a community with racists.  When their neighbour, Mr. Seamington, finds unfounded fault in Sam, the boy learns the shocking truth about what lengths people will go to out of prejudice.

With a keen interest in karate, Sam joins a dojo with his older brothers, and the discipline soon becomes a love of his.  Some of his peers can’t accept Sam’s unmistakable prowess, and the boy finds himself in a life-altering situation.

Becky, among many females, finds Sam exotic with his caramel skin and long, ebony hair, unbeknownst to him. After winning Sam over in a deplorable manner, the young man is suddenly inserted into a new life; one that he wouldn’t have dreamed he would be living.

When tragic loss sweeps over Sam, he is forced to go against the one he loves, in order to save the only thing he has ever loved.

Inspired by a true story, The Man with a Black Belt is about personal triumph and tragedy, learning that love can conquer all, that dreams can be reality if your heart is true, and even the toughest hearts can be softened.

Blurb 2:

A person can be loved by many for one reason, yet hated by many for another.  All Sam Corrolla ever wants is to be a black belt, everything else is secondary.  Being the typical boy next door, Sam is thoughtful, caring and quiet.  But he is hated by some for the one thing that he can’t change about himself.

Being picked on and ostracized is something Sam grows to accept, until the cross that he has to bear becomes too large, and someone wants him dead.

When tragedy hits, Sam learns about love from places he would never expect to learn it from, and support blooms from one shocking source.  Sam’s life is suddenly changed forever.

Go ahead, pick away!  Tell me what you would change from either blurb, or which one would make you want to read this book.

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4 comments on “Help me with my Blurb, please!

  1. The second one is slightly better because it’s shorter, but neither of them really work. You’re trying to convey a couple of different things about the book: the main character’s experience with racism and his desire to become a black belt. Instead of letting a little story that makes potential readers want to know more, you go back and forth between these two elements. A blurb needs to be more self-contained.

    Here’s a blog post I wrote a few years ago on the subject: http://covertocoverllc.com/blog/?p=184

    That said, most authors don’t do a good job writing their own blurbs. I’d recommend hiring a professional if you’re serious about getting the book out there. If you’re absolutely set on writing it yourself, go on Amazon, look up books in your genre and age category, check out the book descriptions, and think about which ones appeal to you and why.

  2. I think both are far too wordy. I’m not saying keep it simple because readers are idiots, but because they’re standing a bookshop absolutely packed with books and they can only take in so much. Not being a master blurb writer myself I won’t presume to advise exactly what you should change, but I’m giving my opinion as an avid reader. Short, powerful descriptions get me, not random plot elements.

  3. The following is the blurb of my book, Sand. It sells very well, so something must be right.

    Just about a hundred and fifty years ago, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, the river Gariep is the northern border of the Cape Colony. Beyond lies uncharted country, untamed veld giving way to the great red dunes of the hostile Kalahari Desert. This is Africa.
    SAND is its story.

    Three white people, defying their Church and society, settle on the edge of the Kalahari to escape censure. One young man is the girl’s husband, the other her lover. One must die to secure their future.
    SAND is their story.

    Kora is the last hereditary chief of the Korana clans living along the Gariep. He has vowed to avenge his people, who have been hounded from their ancestral lands in the south by white settlers, but knows that time is running out. The river banks which shelter them will shortly become their last stand against the British Colonial troops.
    SAND is his story.

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