Synopses and Blurbs and Word Count, oh my!

Okay, so book 3 in the MacQuire Women, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, is in final production right now and I’m hoping it will be released in September, since it’s a fall themed book. This is the cover.

FirstImpressions_w9816_2_85

I know!

Gorgeous, isn’t it? I love my artist at the Wild Rose Press, Rae Monet. She’s done all three covers for me so far and – please, Jesus – she will do the rest.

But I digress.

It isn’t enough just to write the story any longer. Along with the story a writer must also pen the dreaded SYNOPSIS and (gulp!) the official BOOK BLURB. The synopsis is a detailed (or not) outline of the plot of the book. For most authors, writing a synopsis is tantamount to being tossed into the ninth circle of hell for all eternity. And that’s not an exaggeration. The blurb is that little mini description the publisher places on the back of the book or for hardcover books, on the inside jacket cover. It’s supposed to be the tease that lures the reader into wanting to purchase and read your book.

Until I had my first book published I never knew the author was responsible for writing this. You’d think it would be easy. Just sum-up the book’s main theme, right?

Ha!

It’s about as easy as putting together a car from scratch without directions, diagrams, or pictures. Or any outside help, mechanical or human.

Not kidding.

First of all there are word count restrictions of between 100 and 150, maximum. I am a verbose writer. And by verbose I mean I write A LOT of words. The task of paring down the storyline into what amounts to about 10-15 sentences is torture. Add that you must hit the high points of the story, identify the hero and heroine, describe them and the conflict resounding around their relationship ever coming to fruition, PLUS make it sound exciting and buy-worthy, well…this is why I’m sweating right now as I write this piece. Writing a blurb gives me more indigestion than Crispy Crème donuts – and I had to have my gall bladder removed after eating just one of those suckers. I really did.

But I digress. Again.

Back to the blurb. I have been told by manymanymany people in the publishing realm that a blurb can make or break a sale. Pressure, much? When I wrote my first one for SKATER’S WALTZ I thought I really did a great job. I was proud of it and the hours it took to do, so I sent it in and just knew it was perfect.

Not so much.

It took three back and forth trials between me and the burb committee (yes, there is one, and it is made up of WONDERFUL and SMART PEOPLE!) before the blurb was deemed publishing-worthy.

For THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, I took everything I learned from the first blurb debacle and did my best not to make the same mistakes. I must have done something right this time because it only came back to me once.

For book 3, FIRST IMPRESSIONS, I let myself get cocky and knew – knew! – there was no way the blurb I wrote was coming back this time.

Yeah, no.

It took two tries, but I think they did a fabulous job guiding me in the right direction. Read for yourselves, this is the official blurb:

Family Practice Doctor Clarissa Rogers’ first impression of Padric Cleary is biased and based on gossip. The handsome, charming veterinarian is considered a serial dater and commitment-phobic by his family and most of the town. Relationship shy, Clarissa refuses to lose her heart to a man who can’t pledge himself to her forever.

Pat Cleary, despite his reputation, is actually looking for The One. When he does give his heart away, he wants it to be for life. With his parent’s marriage as his guidebook, he wants a woman who will be his equal and soul mate in every way.

Can Pat convince everyone – including Clarissa – she’s the only woman for him?

I truly can not wait until the book is released. It’s my favorite so far – and I know every writer says that when they’ve got something new coming out, but this one really is. Pat and Clarissa’s story was an absolute pleasure to write and I’m thrilled I get to share it.

I’m currently editing the 4th book, The Voices of Angels, and I am putting off the blurb until I absolutely need to submit it. Trying to come up with something that will wow the reader is much too exhausting right now. Better I write the story down and get that good and right. Then and only then will I tackle the blurb.

I’ll also have to make sure I have a couple bottles of Rolaids handy as well when I do.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, First Impressions, Life challenges, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, There's No Place Like Home

2 responses to “Synopses and Blurbs and Word Count, oh my!

  1. Mary Morgan

    I turned in my blurb, excerpt, etc. last week for my fourth book. Waiting to see how the committee will respond, lol! Just mentioning the word “blurb” makes me shudder. I only had one (my third book) where the blurb flowed out of me and was instantly approved. Practice makes perfect, right? 😉 All the best with your upcoming release, Peggy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peggy Jaeger

      Isn’t it amazing how the thought we have to write a blurb makes us get all jiggly inside?? Nerves, butterflies, whatever you want to call them, I hate writing blurbs. Bless those that do it well.

      Like

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