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Stone and Silt
by Harvey Chute

$2.99
Kindle Edition published 2013-08-14
Bestseller ranking: 713665

Product Description
Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Updated! In first post. Does it work?  (Read 384 times)  

Online Herefortheride

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Blood will flow.

In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, a sadistic sorceress queen plots an invasion of Havenglade. Assassins aided by foreign blood magic threaten to eliminate the Duenoro family line. And an ancient wall is the only thing standing between Havenglade and annihilation.

The Enchantress Laurena came to the badlands under the guidance of the legendary wizard Unai. But when Unai mysteriously vanishes Laurena must navigate a world of moral ambiguity she's not prepared to deal with or risk losing herself forever.

The Crown Prince of Havenglade Trium Duenoro is on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, he must evade his pursuers and destroy the enemy's greatest weapon, the magical Blood Cauldron before it's too late. 

Heroes will rise or a kingdom will fall.


For reference, here are the blurbs from the previous two books.

http://s1067.photobucket.com/user/harringtonhc/media/havenglade_wraparound6x91_zpshffkr8gl.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

http://s1067.photobucket.com/user/harringtonhc/media/blackdragondeceivers_wrap_zpsbraty1tg.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1





EDIT: I've linked the image tags for the links but nothing shows up in the post. MODS?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 12:28:54 PM by Herefortheride »
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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 09:12:40 AM »
Oh, I forgot to mention, I really like the blurbs that are enticing and less explanatory. And I know we have some real pros here on the Kboards.
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Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 10:32:27 AM »
Quote
Blood will flow.

Great.

Quote
In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood

Great.

Quote
the sadistic and beautiful sorceress queen

I'd rephrase this.

Quote
Loli

Are you sure?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loli

Quote
plots the imminent invasion of Havenglade from high atop the haunted tower of Xanith Castle. In one fall swoop she will overrun Havenglade's bastion of defense, The Outpost. A series of stone walls which have guarded Havenglade from the threats of the Kastig Badlands for generations.

Too many names, too much irrelevalnt information.

Quote
Laurena came to the badlands under the guidance of her teacher, the legendary wizard Unai but when Unai mysteriously vanishes

Good.

Quote
Laurena must decide if the cruel and barbaric ways of the badlands are something she can believe in.

A bit too vague.

Quote
As rebel groups multiply the queen's harsh responses will test Laurena's limits. And beg the question, is Havenglade really the enemy?

Too much of everything.

Quote
The Crown Prince Trium is on the run.

Good!

Quote
After slipping away from Gradur Castle and the monotony of life at court he embarks on a dangerous journey.

We know this already.

Quote
With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts Trium must find the Blood Cauldron.

Good.

Quote
A mysterious magical device that allows the minions of the badlands to shapeshift. They must destroy the Blood Cauldron before the assassins lay waste to the leaders of Havenglade.

Just say: "to save Havenglade."

Quote
Meanwhile Razik the mysterious monk of the Black Dragon Order

Would be good, but you have way too many characters for the blurb.

Quote
plans a string of assassinations dead set on killing every last member of the Duenoro royal family.

Who are they? Why should we care?

Quote
A hero will rise... or a kingdom will fall.

Would be good, but you have too many characters; who is that hero? Laurena? Trium? Razik?

Good luck!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 10:36:23 AM by Dennis Chekalov »
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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 10:39:05 AM »
Great.

Great.

I'd rephrase this.

Are you sure?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loli

Too many names, too much irrelevalnt information.

Good.

A bit too vague.

Too much of everything.

Good!

We know this already.

Good.

Just say: "to save Havenglade."

Would be good, but you have way too many characters for the blurb.

Who are they? Why should we care?

Would be good, but you have too many characters; who is that hero? Laurena? Trium? Razik?

Good luck!

Hey Dennis,

Thanks for the breakdown.

You said, I mention too many characters. Do you suggest I cut out the last part about the assassin monk? He's one of the bad guys and doesn't neeeeed to be in the blurb, I suppose.

Oh, and I'm not clear on the part where you say "just say: to save Havenglade". Say this instead of what, exactly?

=  )
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Offline Vale

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 10:43:04 AM »
In one fall swoop she will overrun Havenglades bastion of defense, The Outpost. A series of stone walls which have guarded Havenglade from the threats of the Kastig Badlands for generations.

A swoop is a fall (a descent) =] I think you mean one fell swoop, like from Maceth.

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 10:47:52 AM »
A swoop is a fall (a descent) =] I think you mean one fell swoop, like from Maceth.

Thanks! I'm not sure that line will even make the cut anyway. We've gotta tighten this puppy down. Give it some spark!
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Offline Vale

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 10:49:55 AM »
Thanks! I'm not sure that line will even make the cut anyway. We've gotta tighten this puppy down. Give it some spark!

Well, for your future swooping adventures. It is a cliche, so it's probably a good candidate for the cutting room floor. I'm out and about, but I'll take a closer look tonight when I get back. (On the premise that more eyes might be better, not that I'm one of the blurb masters. I'm sure they'll help you make it sparky!)

Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 10:52:40 AM »
Quote
Do you suggest I cut out the last part about the assassin monk?
He's one of the bad guys and doesn't neeeeed to be in the blurb, I suppose.

It depends.
If he's one of the main characters, keep him and remove someone (or something) else.
The problem is that we know nothing about the Duenoro royal family as well.
If he isn't one of the main character, maybe you don't need him here.

Quote
Oh, and I'm not clear on the part where you say "just say: to save Havenglade". Say this instead of what, exactly?

Something like this: "must find the Blood Cauldron to save Havenglade."
Or maybe you could keep these details and remove something else.

Just my two cents :)
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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 10:53:50 AM »
Well, for your future swooping adventures. It is a cliche, so it's probably a good candidate for the cutting room floor. I'm out and about, but I'll take a closer look tonight when I get back. (On the premise that more eyes might be better, not that I'm one of the blurb masters. I'm sure they'll help you make it sparky!)

Do return!

I actually like a fair bit of cliche in my sales pitch...I mean blurb.  :P

I usually go out of my way to find those kinds of phrases you might hear on movie trailers and what not because they are catchy.
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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 10:54:55 AM »
It depends.
If he's one of the main characters, keep him and remove someone (or something) else.
The problem is that we know nothing about the Duenoro royal family as well.
If he isn't one of the main character, maybe you don't need him here.

Something like this: "must find the Blood Cauldron to save Havenglade."
Or maybe you could keep these details and remove something else.

Just my two cents :)

Ok, thanks! We'll keep revising.
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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 12:29:11 PM »
Blood will flow.

In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, the sadistic and beautiful sorceress queen Loli plots an imminent invasion of Havenglade. The only thing standing in her way is The Outpost. A series of stone walls which have guarded Havenglade from threats for generations.

Laurena came to the badlands under the guidance of her teacher, the legendary wizard Unai but when Unai mysteriously vanishes Laurena must decide between a world full of shades of grey.

The Crown Prince Trium is on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, Trium must find the Blood Cauldron before time runs out.

Meanwhile Razik the mysterious monk of the Black Dragon Order plans a string of assassinations dead set on killing every last member of the Duenoro royal family.

Heroes will rise or a kingdom will fall.

(This feels sparse. Can we jazz it up?)
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Offline kdiem

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 02:26:07 PM »
Hi! A few suggestions. I'm prawny, so take my advice with a grain of salt and your salty snack of choice.

Blood will flow.

If you wanted to evoke Dune, this is a good phrase. I don't think it adds much otherwise, but I'm usually not a huge fan of these kinds of catchphrases so can't judge this fairly.

Quote
In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, the sadistic and beautiful sorceress queen Loli plots an imminent invasion of Havenglade. The only thing standing in her way is The Outpost. A series of stone walls which have guarded Havenglade from threats for generations.

Sadistic gets the idea across that she's going to be nasty, and sorceress implies magic user, but beautiful is extraneous. If the Outpost isn't sentient, it doesn't need naming here.

Quote
Laurena came to the badlands under the guidance of her teacher, the legendary wizard Unai but when Unai mysteriously vanishes Laurena must decide between a world full of shades of grey.

The Crown Prince Trium is on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, Trium must find the Blood Cauldron before time runs out.

Laurena's challenges seem smaller than Trium's. See my comments below.

Is Trium the Crown Prince of Havenglade? Say so, if only to tie this back into the queen's planned assault above.

Quote
Meanwhile Razik the mysterious monk of the Black Dragon Order plans a string of assassinations dead set on killing every last member of the Duenoro royal family.

If he's a baddie, I'd drop him from the blurb, and maybe just add in a mention of assassins. If his order is working with Loli, you might rework the first paragraph to just include that she's sent out assassins.

I'd be tempted to add a new paragraph/sentence where you tie it all together here, maybe mention the Outpost.

Quote
Heroes will rise or a kingdom will fall.

(This feels sparse. Can we jazz it up?)

You asked for jazzing it up, so I'll take a stab at it below.

NOTE: Trium travels with an aging wizard. If that's Laurena's master, you could beef up Laurena's part about how her master abandoned her to keep her safe or left her to watch his/her things while Unai went adventuring with the prince. Right now she's having to survive and trust people -- not clear how that fits into the imperiled kingdom above or the embattled prince below in your blurb. Either add more to her part or tie her in somehow to the rest of the plot.

Here's my suggestion, based on my best guesses about your plot and characters:

In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, the kingdom of Havenglade faces war and dissolution, with its royal family targeted by a ruthless order of assassins and a sorceress queen plotting invasion.

Laurena, a wizard's apprentice, must survive the harsh, unfamiliar badlands of the queen, find her missing master, and secure allies before she becomes another victim of the war against her homeland or an unwitting dupe of evil.

Havenglade's Crown Prince, Trium, is on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a handful of rough outcasts, he must evade his pursuers and destroy the enemy's greatest weapon, the magical Blood Cauldron.

Both Trium and Laurena must move fast, for their chance (and the hope of the kingdom) ends when the queen's forces conquer the last defenses of Havenglade, stone walls that have protected the kingdom for generations.

Heroes will rise, or a kingdom will fall.

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 05:47:05 PM »
Are the characters all ones from the previous books? Is Laurena the only main character? I wonder if throwing out that many names is helpful. Here's how it reads in my head without the names.


In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, a sadistic and beautiful sorceress queen plots an imminent invasion of Havenglade. The only thing standing in her way is a series of stone walls and three unlikely heroes.

The apprentice from the badlands in search of her master, a legendary wizard who mysteriously vanishes, leaving her to navigate a world of moral ambiguity she's not prepared for.

The crown prince on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, he seeks the Blood Cauldron before time runs out.

The mysterious monk of the Black Dragon Order plans a string of assassinations dead set on killing every last member of the royal family.

Heroes will rise, or a kingdom will fall.

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 06:43:26 PM »
I like Kdiem's approach. It ties everything together. Right now your blurbs are a list of separate bullet points that have nothing to do with one another and hence, don't draw the reader in with a sense of danger. Your initial blurbs lack any stakes of what happens if heroes fail. Just a vague line at the end which isn't stirring. Think of it as weaving together separate threads. You have the pieces in place, now you need to tie them together in a way that intrigues.

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2017, 11:01:36 PM »
Blood will flow.

In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, a sadistic sorceress queen plots an invasion of Havenglade. Assassins aided by foreign blood magic threaten to eliminate the Duenoro family line. The only thing standing between Havenglade and annihilation is a series of stone walls which have guarded the kingdom against threats for generations.

The Enchantress Laurena came to the badlands under the guidance of her the legendary wizard Unai but when Unai mysteriously vanishes Laurena must navigate a world of moral ambiguity she's not prepared to deal with or risk losing herself forever.

The Crown Prince of Havenglade Trium Duenoro is on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, he must evade his pursuers and destroy the enemy's greatest weapon, the magical Blood Cauldron before it's too late. 

Heroes will rise or a kingdom will fall.

(new version) I've taken a lot of the comments into consideration and changed the text quite a bit. Does anything still really stand out negatively?
« Last Edit: November 19, 2017, 11:29:08 AM by Herefortheride »
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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Do your worst!
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2017, 07:36:37 AM »
Are the characters all ones from the previous books? Is Laurena the only main character? I wonder if throwing out that many names is helpful. Here's how it reads in my head without the names.

Yes, they are all part of the series though I've removed the names of both villians in this latest version to streamline. Laurena and Trium are the 2 main POV characters but there are several others.

In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, a sadistic and beautiful sorceress queen plots an imminent invasion of Havenglade. The only thing standing in her way is a series of stone walls and three unlikely heroes.

The apprentice from the badlands in search of her master, a legendary wizard who mysteriously vanishes, leaving her to navigate a world of moral ambiguity she's not prepared for.

The crown prince on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, he seeks the Blood Cauldron before time runs out.

The mysterious monk of the Black Dragon Order plans a string of assassinations dead set on killing every last member of the royal family.

Heroes will rise, or a kingdom will fall.

I've incorporated a bit of this. Thanks!
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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Updated! In first post. Does it work?
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2017, 11:36:41 AM »
Trying to finalize, does it seem good?
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Offline baldricko

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Updated! In first post. Does it work?
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2017, 12:21:47 PM »
Pretty good. Just two things I would change.

Blurbs that make me want to open the sample have short hooky sentences. The best of them are both evocative of mood and with each word weighed for maximum delivery (if you know what I mean). Nothing extraneous.

Do these three sentences need to be this long? Can you split them so they are have more snap and punch? Particularly the second sentence?

....

The only thing standing between Havenglade and annihilation is a series of stone walls which have guarded the kingdom against threats for generations.

The Enchantress Laurena came to the badlands under the guidance of her the legendary wizard Unai but when Unai mysteriously vanishes Laurena must navigate a world of moral ambiguity she's not prepared to deal with or risk losing herself forever.

...

With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, he must evade his pursuers and destroy the enemy's greatest weapon, the magical Blood Cauldron before it's too late. 

When I reach 'a series of stone walls' I stop. It's a clunker--like a series of stone walls. There must be another single word that says this you could use instead.
...a series of stone walls which have guarded the kingdom against threats for generations.

(new version) I've taken a lot of the comments into consideration and changed the text quite a bit. Does anything still really stand out negatively?

Otherwise, its coming together very well.

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Re: Calling blurb doctors [Epic fantasy] Updated! In first post. Does it work?
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2017, 12:32:25 PM »
Pretty good. Just two things I would change.

Blurbs that make me want to open the sample have short hooky sentences. The best of them are both evocative of mood and with each word weighed for maximum delivery (if you know what I mean). Nothing extraneous.

Do these three sentences need to be this long? Can you split them so they are have more snap and punch? Particularly the second sentence?

When I reach 'a series of stone walls' I stop. It's a clunker--like a series of stone walls. There must be another single word that says this you could use instead.
Otherwise, its coming together very well.

Thank you. I've removed the clunker and I think worked that sentence down into something better.

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Hi there! I've seen folks giving you a lot of good advice on this blurb, and it seems a lot stronger now. I have some thoughts...

Blood will flow.

In a world where magic stems from crystals and blood, a sadistic sorceress queen plots an invasion of Havenglade. Assassins aided by foreign blood magic threaten to eliminate the Duenoro family line. And an ancient wall is the only thing standing between Havenglade and annihilation.

Nice tagline. This may not be an issue for others, but to me, the beginning of the blurb is a little unclear. Are the assassins sent by the sorceress queen? The wall seems like something that would stop an invading army, but is the wall an impediment to the magical assassins? Maybe this would be clear to someone who read the previous book.

If you can find a way to unify the description of these things... the sadistic sorceress queen, assassins, and the wall... or to clarify... that would help me understand more what I'm getting into as a reader.

Quote
The Enchantress Laurena came to the badlands under the guidance of the legendary wizard Unai. But when Unai mysteriously vanishes Laurena must navigate a world of moral ambiguity she's not prepared to deal with or risk losing herself forever.

What does it mean that she risks losing herself forever? You're describing the stakes, but this description is a little abstract; the stakes can't hook me if I don't know what it means. Again, though, this might be much clearer to me if I'd read the previous book.

Quote
The Crown Prince of Havenglade Trium Duenoro is on the run. With the help of an aging wizard and a team of rough outcasts, he must evade his pursuers and destroy the enemy's greatest weapon, the magical Blood Cauldron before it's too late. 

Heroes will rise or a kingdom will fall.

What happens when it's too late? In other words, I just want to have a clearer picture of the stakes here. But, my disclaimer about not reading the previous book still stands. I imagine this would probably make sense to someone who's read the previous book. I still like clarity on the stakes, personally.

Love the closing line.

I hope at least some of this has been helpful.