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Friday, June 23, 2006

The Art Of The Blurb


Blurbs... who writes this stuff? Blurbs are the most-read part of ANY book.

They are those text tags on the front or back cover... the equivalent of a carnival-barker who tries to lure unsuspecting readers into the tent:

"Step right up, folks! Come in, and see lurid depictions of betrayal, violence, wanton decadence and unbridled lust! Only fifty cents for the show of a lifetime!"

Here is a blurb I wrote for my novel THE ARGUS PROJECT (also see the image of how it appears on the back cover):

"ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR
He is a fighter.
She is a dancer.
They are joined by an unbreakable love.
Caught up in a colossal power struggle stretching across the Solar System, they join forces to win back their freedom - and each other."


Yeah, I think it sounds corny too.
But I've read many blurbs, and apparently they should be as in-your-face as possible.

(I might have added to the blurb: "WARNING: CONTAINS SCENES OF PREPOSTEROUS VIOLENCE" but I figured word-of-mouth would take care of that fact... )

For fun and exercise, try and write a lurid "blurb" for a classic novel:

Blurb for Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN:
"He played God and created a murderous monster bent on revenge!"
(Yes!)

Blurb for Samuel Beckett's "Waiting For Godot":
"They defied time and waited violently for a man who might never come!"
(Not quite bestseller material...)

Blurb for Gustave Flaubert's MADAME BOVARY:
"She raced toward an early grave in a reckless course of death, sex and betrayal!"
(You've got something there, but it needs polishing...)

Blurb for Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S GAME:
"He looked like a harmless little boy - but he was the worst mass murderer of all time!"
(Are you sure about this?)

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