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No Direction Home
by Elizabeth Burns

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Kindle Edition published 2017-05-20
Bestseller ranking: 81281

Product Description
Hunter Grayson flits from job to job, relationship to relationship, continent to continent until thetragic death of her parents brings her back to her childhood home.While trying to figure out how to move forward, she meets wild, fun Natalya Haven, who quickly becomes the sister she never had. But when Natalya moves in, their friendship unravels.
A second tragedy sends Hunter to a small town in New Mexico, a town out of her own past. For Hunter, that's more than a coincidence, that's fate. Natalya's family will fill the void in her life. Natalya's parents will become her parents. She and Natalya's brother will fall in love. But nothing is ever that simple....

Poll

Does this blurb do the trick?

Yes.
No.
I dunno.

Author Topic: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?  (Read 691 times)  

Offline Mylius Fox

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First, I want to thank everyone that engaged me in discussion on my last version. The advice and criticism I received was invaluable in shaping my approach this time around. 8)

///
Note: Edited version further downthread!

When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him.

Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks. After eight years in Afghanistan with the Rangers, and a year with an elite counterterrorism unit, James Bandit finally has some downtime. A reporter named Najida brings out his tender side, and cyber warfare offers him the chance to hang up his combat boots for good, for her sake. But she doesn't need him behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun.

Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off the wrong regime, and the terrorists hired to kill her decide to keep her instead. She's taken into Syria, to be delivered to their genocidal leader, Qadir, a man whose reasons for wanting her are as bizarre as they are unknown to himself. No intelligence agency has ever managed to track Qadir down, and they're not about to pull it off now.

Only one man can save her. But Bandit's foray into cyber ops has created some serious blowback, and in one fell swoop he's ambushed by a Mexican cartel, abducted by a billionaire arms dealer, and forced to make a choice that thrusts him in the middle of a vast CIA conspiracy. He goes on the warpath to bring her back nonetheless, but a deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out.

////
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 05:08:03 AM by Mylius Fox »

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 01:41:54 PM »
I think it successfully tells the reader what to expect. Could be trimmed here and there, and I don't think Fell Swoop works with the tone of the blurb. But otherwise, it seems solid.
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Offline Decon

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 04:01:43 PM »
I know this is only a poll, but I have to say this, even though I'm no expert with my own thriller blurbs, just trying to be helpful.

I'm not pulled in by the tag line using him as I don't know what her is to him, whoever him is for him to be motivated.   The opening tag line is as far as many readers that browse get, so that needs more thought if you want to keep him and her without naming them.

Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks????? I'd delete this, and let the reader find out when they start reading the book.

Your telling the full complexity of the story when it flies off into Mexico when the kidnap victim is in Syria and the CIA etc. All well and good as the story develops for a synopsis, but It needs simplifying for a blurb. I couldn't keep track of what is happening in the blurb, so I'd not read on believing the story is the same and too disjointed. I can't work out what the main thrust/conflict of the story is as we have his kidnap, her kidnap, a cartel, and an arms dealer, and then the CIA conspiracy.

I would suggest that you keep it to her kidnap and only to alude to the obsticles that get in his way, rather than spell them out in detail.

I had to read it twice to realize Nijiada is probably Brandit's love interest... I think.

You currently have 225 words. The example below cuts that down to 150 by cutting out the fluff. Maybe yours is better. It'll be interesting to see what your poll shows

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Najida doesn't need her man behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun to rescue her

When journalist Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off a regime, the terrorists they hire to kill her instead spirit her to Syria at the behest of their genocidal leader, Qadir.

As elusive as he's psychopathic, no agency has ever been able to track Qadir down. Safe in his hideout with Najida as a trophy, he doesn't reckon on her man's determination to rescue her. He's no regular Joe. Seasoned in Special Ops, ex-Ranger Bandit had thought he'd hung up his boots. Problem is, his work in cyber-ops has made him some serious enemies who are going to throw everything on his path to prevent him succeeding.

With time running out to rescue her, and his own life in danger, it's going to take all his skills if they are to survive.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Basically what that does is to follow a tried and tested thriller blurb pattern

It shows what Najida needs and that's her man to rescue her.

Then it shows what and who she is facing that prevents her rescue.

Then we have more conflict and what he is going to face as  obsticles to rescuing her.

Finally we increase the odds with what's at stake and that's both their lives.






« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 04:42:39 PM by Decon »


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Offline Tulonsae

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 04:20:53 PM »
I found the original one somewhat interesting, but it became too complicated.

The one that Decon wrote I find very appealing. I would probably buy that one. (Although a couple of tweaks wouldn't hurt. Like having "his" name sooner in the blurb.)

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 06:26:04 PM »
You are on the right track, certainly, but there is too much going on and confusion is momentum killing in a blurb.  I did enjoy Decon's simplified version.  Less is often more effective when it comes to blurbs.
              

Offline Jack Krenneck

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 02:05:47 AM »
First, I want to thank everyone that engaged me in discussion on my last version. The advice and criticism I received was invaluable in shaping my approach this time around. 8)

///

When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him.

Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks. After eight years in Afghanistan with the Rangers, and a year with an elite counterterrorism unit, James Bandit finally has some downtime. A reporter named Najida brings out his tender side, and cyber warfare offers him the chance to hang up his combat boots for good, for her sake. But she doesn't need him behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun.

Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off the wrong regime, and the terrorists hired to kill her decide to keep her instead. She's taken into Syria, to be delivered to their genocidal leader, Qadir, a man whose reasons for wanting her are as bizarre as they are unknown to himself. No intelligence agency has ever managed to track Qadir down, and they're not about to pull it off now.

Only one man can save her. But Bandit's foray into cyber ops has created some serious blowback, and in one fell swoop he's ambushed by a Mexican cartel, abducted by a billionaire arms dealer, and forced to make a choice that thrusts him in the middle of a vast CIA conspiracy. He goes on the warpath to bring her back nonetheless, but a deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out.

////

Quite a few changes there from the last one, but I still like it.

It's simpler and more straightforward compared to the earlier versions. Normally, I'd say that was a good thing. With thrillers? Harder to say. The ones on the bestseller lists often seem to be a dog's breakfast. (If that's only an Aussie saying and doesn't translate, it means they're a bit of a confusing mess). But this seems to work with thrillers for reasons discussed in the earlier thread. Pretty sure you've considered all that via study of bestseller blurbs, so straightforward ones must work as well.

"...as they are unknown to himself." I couldn't figure out what this meant. Would consider deleting.

"A reporter named Najida brings out his tender side..." There's a disconnect here. I like the second half of this, but the first half does nothing to show why Najida brings out his tender side. It's a dispassionate way of introducing her. I don't mean you need to write a plot point in here and expand the blurb. One extra word might do it. Beautiful reporter, maybe. Just needs something to liven her up, give a a reason that she brings out his tender side and shows why she's worth Bandit going on the warpath.

Apologies to Decon, but for a range of reasons, his rewrite didn't appeal to me at all.

Offline Nic

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 02:35:17 AM »
I'm ready to dismiss it on the contrived names alone. Is there a reason people have to use them?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 02:58:51 AM by Nic »

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 03:13:42 AM »
I'm ready to dismiss it on the contrived names alone. Is there a reason people have to use them?

Just curious - what's contrived about the names? They sound perfectly natural considering the backgrounds of the characters involved.

To the O.P: I feel like the blurb is much too long and gives away a lot of the plot. If it were me, I would nix everything but the first paragraph, tweak it a little to get rid of the 'tender side' phrase, then maybe add something about this being a race for their lives without mentioning anything else that happens in the book.
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Offline Nic

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2017, 03:45:40 AM »
Just curious - what's contrived about the names? They sound perfectly natural considering the backgrounds of the characters involved.

"James Bandit" sounds like a character out of a cheap Burt Reynolds movie and "Najida" is unconventional enough to trip the reader each time he comes across the name. There are Muslim names for women far easier on the eye and inner reading voice than this one. It's the onslaught of "special names" which gives me a brain itch. I'm tired of the current fashion for "special character names".

Agreed, there are books where it's even worse, but the question is: is this necessary? Unless this is a humorous book in the style of Burt Reynolds movies (the blurb suggests a Stallone movie instead), I'd be more likely to buy it if the characters were named "James Curtis" and "Farah" or "Nima" or another simple name instead.

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2017, 03:48:13 AM »
Having read this blurb, I find no reason at all to buy the book. I already know the whole plot.

If this is a thriller, the blurb needs to thrill as well. It shouldn't say anything at all about the plot.

Who is the MC?
What is the challenge?
What are the stakes?

90% of that blurb is plot, and shouldn't be there. imo.

For my money, the blurb should demonstrate its a thriller with suspense and enticement, not with plot.

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2017, 04:28:39 AM »
I am a thriller fan and I like Decon's version much better. Part of the thrill of reading a thriller is not knowing what's going to happen next, so I don't want to start with a heads up that "he's ambushed by a Mexican cartel, abducted by a billionaire arms dealer, and forced to make a choice that thrusts him in the middle of a vast CIA conspiracy." I'd rather be surprised by that while I'm reading :D
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Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2017, 05:21:31 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! :) I've made a few changes to reflect what I'm hearing, most particularly with the third paragraph.

///

When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him.

Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks. After eight years in Afghanistan with the Rangers, James Bandit finally has some downtime. A beautiful reporter named Najida brings out his tender side, and cyber warfare offers him the chance to hang up his combat boots for good, for her sake. But she doesn't need him behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun.

Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off the wrong regime, and the terrorists hired to kill her decide to keep her instead. She's taken into Syria, to be delivered to their genocidal leader, Qadir, a man who needs her for a bizarre reason. No intelligence agency has ever managed to track Qadir down, and they're not about to pull it off now.

Only Bandit can save her, but his foray into cyber ops has created some serious blowback, and he's still mixed up with the CIA. A deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out.

///

Does that track better? I cut the "year with an elite counterterrorism unit" for the sake of conciseness, added "beautiful" to reporter to help strengthen/normalize the "tender side" bit (I wanted to avoid being too overt with something like "love of his life"), dropped the "unknown to himself" to avoid confusion, and most of all collapsed the succession of plot points in the third paragraph.

I'd meant for those to help signal there was a lot more to the story, especially in the sense of intervening obstacles, but maybe this works better, to allude to them?

Another option would be to reduce the third paragraph even further, but I was concerned it might not make follow why a deadly force is after him, and, as Jack mentioned, military thrillers usually do have more of a plot-heavy blurb...

Two possible options in that case, though:

"Only Bandit can save her, but a deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out."

or

 "Only Bandit can save her, but the CIA isn't through with him, a deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out."

What do y'all think? :)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 05:33:23 AM by Mylius Fox »

Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 05:41:07 AM »
Agreed, there are books where it's even worse, but the question is: is this necessary? Unless this is a humorous book in the style of Burt Reynolds movies (the blurb suggests a Stallone movie instead), I'd be more likely to buy it if the characters were named "James Curtis" and "Farah" or "Nima" or another simple name instead.

I'll grant you "James Bandit" is a stretch, a device, but I'm not sure why Najida is so different than Farah or Nima, beyond the extra syllable. ;)

Offline Wendy Jenae

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 05:42:56 AM »
I am a thriller fan. I'm going to respond to this strictly as a reader:

The original version was too wordy and lacked excitement.

Decon's version was better, but still wasn't powerful.

A few suggestions for Decon's version:

Najida doesn't need her man behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun to rescue her

NOTE: If you take out the "to rescue her", I'd be more inclined to read on. She needs a man behind a gun? Whoah. What's going on there? Tell me more (just not right from the get-go).

When journalist Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off a regime, the terrorists they hire to kill her instead spirit her to Syria at the behest of their genocidal leader, Qadir.

NOTE: Spirit her off to Syria? What? Actually none of that makes sense. A regime hires terrorists. Are the terrorists part of the regime or are they third-party hires? And who does the leader belong to, the regime or the terrorists? This would be the sentence when you have to explain why her making the life or death choice to go to Syria is so important. And do it without giving the whole backstory. There has got to be one, powerful reason she'd get on a plane. I want to know what it is! Tease me!

As elusive as he's psychopathic, no agency has ever been able to track Qadir down. Safe in his hideout with Najida as a trophy, he doesn't reckon on her man's determination to rescue her. He's no regular Joe. Seasoned in Special Ops, ex-Ranger Bandit had thought he'd hung up his boots. Problem is, his work in cyber-ops has made him some serious enemies who are going to throw everything on his path to prevent him succeeding.

NOTE: "Safe in his hideout with Najida" I wouldn't give this away in the blurb. I'd suggest something like, "When no one had heard from Najida in two days, instantly, James snaps back to his Special Ops ways." Allow the reader to wonder what happened to her--to want to find out what happened to her--and get a sense of how quickly James comes alive for her.

"Who are going to throw everything in his path..." is a given. It's a story. The reader would expect conflict. I think stating in a blurb is a bad idea. It's like saying, "Hey reader, you idiot, if you're thinking this guy is going to have an easy time and this is going to be some fluff love story, you're mistaken." 

If you want to allude to the other forces of danger he's dealing with, then bring them to life...something like, "Facing Syrian terrorists is a challenge he's dealt before. Dealing with the Chinese hacker group whose off-shore bank accounts James recently shut down and whose vindictive leader is now tracking his every move, is to going to make this a mission like no other."


Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2017, 06:17:04 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, Wendy. Does the following version also come off as too wordy, in your opinion, or is it closer to the mark? :)

Quote
When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him.

Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks. After eight years in Afghanistan with the Rangers, James Bandit finally has some downtime. A beautiful reporter named Najida brings out his tender side, and cyber warfare offers him the chance to hang up his combat boots, for her sake. But she doesn't need him behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun.

Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off the wrong regime, and the terrorists hired to kill her decide to keep her instead. They take her into Syria, to deliver her to their genocidal leader, Qadir, who needs her for a bizarre reason. No intelligence agency has ever managed to track Qadir down, and they're not about to pull it off now.

Only Bandit can save her, but the CIA isn't through with him, a deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out.


Offline Wendy Jenae

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2017, 06:17:54 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! :) I've made a few changes to reflect what I'm hearing, most particularly with the third paragraph.

///

When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him.

Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks. After eight years in Afghanistan with the Rangers, James Bandit finally has some downtime. A beautiful reporter named Najida brings out his tender side, and cyber warfare offers him the chance to hang up his combat boots for good, for her sake. But she doesn't need him behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun.

Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off the wrong regime, and the terrorists hired to kill her decide to keep her instead. She's taken into Syria, to be delivered to their genocidal leader, Qadir, a man who needs her for a bizarre reason. No intelligence agency has ever managed to track Qadir down, and they're not about to pull it off now.

Only Bandit can save her, but his foray into cyber ops has created some serious blowback, and he's still mixed up with the CIA. A deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out.

///


Again, expressing my thoughts as a reader (who would be totally into reading this book!), this blurb doesn't pull me in.

The first paragraph is all about backstory. But I don't have a reason to care who these people are, what their past is, and what their current life is like. While I get you're trying to give an idea of how things were to make the second paragraph's events seem significant, I would probably click away before I even read the second paragraph.

There is so much that needs refining, but, generally speaking, I'd make the second paragraph the first. At least it would make me curious. Who is this woman? How is she going to get herself out of this jam?

Make the first paragraph the second. Oh, so, she has a bad*ss boyfriend who is coming to save her. There's a lot at stake for both of them. How are THEY going to get out of this jam?

The third paragraph, in essence, is fine but needs to be tightened up a bit.

P.S: To reply to your "too wordy" question. Your new version, I think, is the perfect length. The issue is you give too many unnecessary details. And some of those details are too vague ("bizarre reason"?)

You're trying to sell the book, not give a brief, but vague, synopsis.

P.S.S:

It could look something like this:

Journalist Najida's pursuit of the truth ticks off the wrong regime, and the terrorists hired to kill her decide to keep her instead. She's taken into Syria, to be delivered to their genocidal leader, Qadir, a man who needs her for a bizarre reason. No intelligence agency has ever managed to track Qadir down, and they're not about to pull it off now.

Only James Bandit can save her.

Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks. After eight years in Afghanistan with the Rangers, James Bandit finally has some downtime. A beautiful reporter named Najida brings out his tender side, and cyber warfare offers him the chance to hang up his combat boots for good, for her sake. Now that Najida is in trouble, she doesn't need him behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun.

Bandit's foray into cyber ops has created some serious blowback, and he's still mixed up with the CIA. A deadly force is hot on his trail, and time is running out.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 06:29:09 AM by Wendy Jenae »

Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2017, 06:26:58 AM »
Thanks, I really appreciate it. :) Starting things off with Najida's predicament definitely stirs something up in my mind. It'll require more than flipping the paragraph order, so I'll take some time to mull over an alternate version.  8)

Offline Wendy Jenae

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2017, 06:29:59 AM »
Thanks, I really appreciate it. :) Starting things off with Najida's predicament definitely stirs something up in my mind. It'll require more than flipping the paragraph order, so I'll take some time to mull over an alternate version.  8)

Check out my P.S.S. I was modifying the post when you left your reply.

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2017, 06:43:24 AM »
Being shot by a CIA agent has it's perks?  Sorry but I can't see the context in that to the blurb at all. Could you explain why that's even in there.


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Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2017, 09:18:14 AM »
Check out my P.S.S. I was modifying the post when you left your reply.

Thanks, the only issue I see is switching their order breaks up the logical flow between them that they originally had, so the paragraph about Bandit would need rewritten to help fix that.

I'm taking a couple stabs at an alternate version, but so far it hasn't gone well. :D Mostly because it'd take extra time to first explain who she is, and it sounds weak compared to the description I had in the beginning about them both... I'd originally thought the opening tagline "When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him" would put the first paragraph in a more suspenseful context, so it wouldn't seem like just a static description of two people, but it seems it's not having that effect...

Being shot by a CIA agent has it's perks?  Sorry but I can't see the context in that to the blurb at all. Could you explain why that's even in there.

It probably didn't telegraph too clearly because of the extra clause the next sentence used to have, but his being shot is why he has downtime. "Being shot by a CIA agent has its perks. After eight years in Afghanistan with the Rangers, James Bandit finally has some downtime." It having perks is a little tongue in cheek, I suppose.

Offline edwardgtalbot

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2017, 11:17:01 AM »
So, as an action thriller author who quite enjoys writing blurbs, I'd pretty much go with Decon's blurb with Wendy's changes. "Najida doesn't need her man behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun." is a great lede, though I'd probably put a period instead of the comma. Maybe eliminate "ticks off"as that is not a thriller feel, but these are really quibbles. The point is that Decon's version attempts to hook you instead of tell you what the book is about. The former is what a book description should do.

Note that I think "When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him." is a serviceable lede. It's just that "Najida doesn't need her man behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun." is noticeably better in this genre.

Action thriller descriptions need to be all punch and nothing else. Unless you're going to go all in on snark, which sometimes makes sense for individual ads but not for your book description. I'd have rejected the book instantly once you mentioned "tender side."
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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2017, 11:44:00 AM »
So, as an action thriller author who quite enjoys writing blurbs, I'd pretty much go with Decon's blurb with Wendy's changes. "Najida doesn't need her man behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun." is a great lede, though I'd probably put a period instead of the comma. Maybe eliminate "ticks off"as that is not a thriller feel, but these are really quibbles. The point is that Decon's version attempts to hook you instead of tell you what the book is about. The former is what a book description should do.

Note that I think "When they kidnapped her, they didn't count on him." is a serviceable lede. It's just that "Najida doesn't need her man behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun." is noticeably better in this genre.

Action thriller descriptions need to be all punch and nothing else. Unless you're going to go all in on snark, which sometimes makes sense for individual ads but not for your book description. I'd have rejected the book instantly once you mentioned "tender side."

I totally agree with this. The blurb as it is right now and with only your moderate changes is still boring. There's too much non action-y language in there. When nobody has heard from her in x days/weeks, he's not going to reminisce about how sweet he is on her or ruminate about how awesome it is he got shot and is on vacay. No, he's going to go ballistic and crack heads, gather his old buddies together for one more special ops mission to tear the world apart if he has to. Not even the hordes of assassin hackers he's p*ssed off will stop him from finding her and killing anyone who has so much as laid a finger on her.

Offline Monique

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2017, 11:49:13 AM »
You've got a Dude With a Problem.

Who is he? What's the problem? What's he going to try to do to solve it? What happens if he fails?

Monique Martin | author website | facebook | twitter

Offline Jack Krenneck

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2017, 02:21:14 AM »
Lots of versions of the blurb floating around!

My objection to them in general is that they're based on a tagline that centers on Najida. So too is the first paragraph. But the book is a military thriller and James Bandit is the hero. To start the blurb with a side character doesn't add up to me. Also, are military thrillers usually pitched to a female target audience with a female lead? It's not my genre, but I'd be surprised if the answer was yes.

Also, the existing tagline is a cracker. I wouldn't mess with it.

I do see that the OP's blurb reads as a bit of a summary, but the changes made to the last paragraph go a fair way toward remedying that.

Edited to add this: After another read through of the thread, I also note that the alternate versions not only put Najida center-stage instead of Bandit, they also introduce a bad guy (Qadir) before Bandit. I think this is a serious problem...
« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 02:38:50 AM by Jack Krenneck »

Offline Decon

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Re: Poll: Pretend you're a thriller fan. Does this blurb do the trick?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2017, 05:19:55 AM »
Lots of versions of the blurb floating around!

My objection to them in general is that they're based on a tagline that centers on Najida. So too is the first paragraph. But the book is a military thriller and James Bandit is the hero. To start the blurb with a side character doesn't add up to me. Also, are military thrillers usually pitched to a female target audience with a female lead? It's not my genre, but I'd be surprised if the answer was yes.

Women do read thrillers in big numbers. If the tagline indicates "her man" then it is understood he will have to do the heavy lifting to resolve her plight. Also by including "her man" that sorts out his motivation as there is a relationship there. There has to be motivation.

I don't mind how it is formed as long as long as it follows the basics in around 100/150 words. If he doesn't want to lean towards attracting women readers, which is what I took from reading his blurb, then maybe he should concentrate on Bandit and only alude to Najida and refer to her as his woman to get rid of what some consider an awkward off-putting name. We don't even need to know why she has been kidnapped only that she has.

What does Bandit need and who is he?  Ex- Special Ops and to rescue his woman
Show what and who he is facing  that will prevent his success
What is at stake

As a rough example in 100 words leaving room to add to it.  ....  (Just as a point, the tag line of the blurb can be longer than the original if that is intended to go on the front cover with the title.)

His woman doesn't need her man behind a laptop, she needs him behind a gun

Seasoned in Special Ops, ex-Ranger Bandit is no regular Joe. When his woman is kidnapped by terrorists in Syria, their psychopathic leader hadn't bargained on his determination to rescue her.

Problem is, since he hung up his combat boots to take up cyber ops, he's made equally determined enemies who will stop at nothing to prevent his mission succeeding.

With time running out to rescue her, and his own life in danger, it will take all his skills for them to survive their chilling ordeal.







« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 06:36:11 AM by Decon »


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