Month: October 2017

When You’re Over It: This Writer Speaks

When You’re Over It: This Writer Speaks

Okay, this post is going to be pretty short. There will be no editing or prep. I’m just going to write because my brain is mush and I can’t even think about forming proper sentences. I really don’t even want to be staring at the screen right now. My eyelids are fighting to stay open but I’m going to make this happen.

If you follow this blog, you’ll know I haven’t posted in about three weeks. Honestly, I am so sorry about that. I really try to be consistent on all my social media channels bu lately I’ve been done. And that’s what I want to write about. It would be wonderful to think that writing your novel is the easiest part. Sadly, that’s a lie we writers like to tell ourselves. Perhaps, so we get better sleep? Maybe we think lying to ourselves will ward off writer’s block? (P.S. It doesn’t.)

The last two months I’ve been the victim of an endless to-do list. Like, it never stops! There is so much to do and despite my own preparations, I doubt anyone could be 100% ready for this. The post-writing process of a novel includes self-editing, finding an editor, finding a cover artist, beta readers, reviewers, ARC readers, distribution channels, and probably several other things I’m forgetting. Like I said, my brain is mush.

Not to mention, book conventions! They’re fun but they’re also a great place to network with authors and meet potential readers. I mean, to be honest, who wouldn’t have a blast during a weekend dedicated to everything books and writing?

Now, while you’re doing all this stuff for your book, you still have to have a life. Or, at least, some semblance of a life. Oh,, and you have to work, too. Where do you fit all those things in, you ask?

When you figure it out, let me know because I’m going a little crazy over. The freelance work has been rolling in which is good. On the other hand, I crossed my book budget (Did I mention you should have one of those?) and am now expecting to go way over what I would like to. Ugh. Life is cruel and cold I tell you. My budget would still be in tact, for the most part, if I hadn’t have had to hire another editor. My first one was great but I realized I needed one more polish before formatting and uploading it.

Speaking of uploading…

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Author Highlight: Jill Archer-How to Write A Terrific Book Blurb

Author Highlight: Jill Archer-How to Write A Terrific Book Blurb

How to Write a Terrific Book Blurb

Hello, all! I’m Jill Archer, a former lawyer turned librarian who writes fantasy from rural Maryland. As a lifelong reader and frequent peruser of book stacks and shelves, I’ve read a gazillion book blurbs. Some are better than others.

Book blurbs are one of those things (along with synopses and query letters) that writers don’t like to write. If you’re traditionally published, your publisher will likely write it for you, but even then, you should be able to write a good one yourself. Like an outline, a book blurb can be a valuable tool that helps you maintain focus during the drafting stage. Many book blurbs are written after the manuscript is completed, but you don’t have to wait. I always write mine before the book is finished.

(A quick aside: book blurbs are sometimes referred to as “back cover copy” and a “blurb” can also mean a quote from another author who has something nice to say about your book. Confusing? Yeah, I hear you. Lots of things in publishing are.)

Here are some tips to help get you started on writing the book description type of blurb:

  1. Keep it short. Shoot for no more than 250 words. A longer blurb won’t make a reader want to read your book. A succinct hook and an enticing, brief description will.
  2. Keep it simple. Some writers are tempted to over explain or cram their entire story onto the back of their book. Don’t. Take some time to figure out what your core story is. Don’t include subplots. Try to use words that don’t require explanation.
  3. No spoilers! Don’t give away any plot points that occur after the first third of your book.
  4. Don’t include too many character names. The blurb is where you paint the broad brushstrokes of your story. Identifying more than three characters by name is off-putting, even to readers who like stories with myriad character viewpoints.
  5. Anchor the reader in space and time. Readers like to know where and when the story will take place. Don’t make them guess.
  6. Follow genre conventions. Romance blurbs usually reference both the hero and the heroine. Urban fantasy blurbs talk about the main character’s magic or special power. Mysteries usually involve a murder or a crime. Epic fantasies often center on wars or quests. Readers should be able to tell what type of story the book is by reading its blurb.
  7. Hint at something significant. A big risk. Something dangerous. A monumental love affair. A transformative journey. Make sure the reader knows that they, through the characters, will experience something meaningful by reading the book.

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