Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Bittersweet Farm 1--Mounted
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Actually I think it still is quite a fine idea. My new YA will be live in a couple days. As I comb through it, a friend is reading it to see what it's about and how the blurb should be crafted.
I'm almost at the point where I think of the three elements that go into digital book, the book itself is least important. First is the cover which by now has to be a knock-out or potential readers won't stop scrolling. Then you have to have a great, nay super-great, blurb. Then the book. EL James proved if you shovel enough smut, you don't have to be Shakespeare to sell 20 million books. After reaching a threshold of readability, how good does a book need to be? Are digital books the new pulp fiction or are they literature? Is beautiful writing wasted? Do readers just want a story? I don't know the answers.
There are half-sisters in competition with each other. Are they competing over the horse shows or the new trainer? Is it about the after-effects of a riding accident? How much should be said in a blurb? How long is the "description" supposed to be? How much do customers really want to read and what do they expect?
Is the blurb at Amazon like the 1 paragraph we used to pitch to agents? Should a blurb contain plot or only the dynamics/conflict of the story? I think it's all become very Hollywood and the more one sticks to screenwriting principles and behavior, the less astray you'll go.
Give 'em the sizzle not the steak. That means don't talk about the plot, talk about conflict. Make it simple enough to be shouted across a parking lot and be understood.
How long should the description/blurb be at Amazon? No more than 150 words. 1 paragraph. They have Look Inside. If your blurb is compelling enough, they'll read the sample. If not, they're not intrigued enough to click buy anyway.