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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: Blurb Help (critique needed)- Bookbub Ad Prep  (Read 141 times)  

Offline VirginiaMcClain

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Blurb Help (critique needed)- Bookbub Ad Prep
« on: November 14, 2017, 01:00:39 PM »
Hey folks! So, I want to make sure my blurbs are at "maximum wow," as I am about to invest a bit in some Bookbub pay-per-click ads, and I want to maximize sell through. I have a two book series, and the following are the blurbs for each. Anyone is welcome to critique, but I would particularly like to hear from folks who enjoy reading fantasy in regards to whether or not you would read the books (or download a sample) with the blurbs as they stand, or what you would change to make you pick them up. Thanks so much for taking a look! (For what it's worth, the first book's blurb has been revised multiple times including by my editor, and the blurb for book two has been workshopped with two different writer's groups, but I figured it can't hurt to run them by the KBoards group because I think you folks understand sell through better than most groups.)

Book 1 - Blade's Edge:

Mishi and Taka live each day of their lives with the shadow of death lurking behind them. The struggle to hide the elemental powers that mark the two girls as Kisōshi separates them from the other orphans, yet forges a deep bond between them.

When Mishi is dragged from the orphanage at the age of eight, the girls are unsure if or when they will find each other again. While their powers grow with each season-cycle, the girls must come to terms with their true selves--Mishi as a warrior, Taka as a healer--as they forge separate paths which lead to the same horrifying discovery...

The Rōjū councils dark secret is one that it has spent centuries killing to keep, and Mishi and Taka know too much. The two young women have overcome desperate odds in a society where their very existence is a crime, but now that they know the Rōjūs secret they find themselves fighting for much more than their own survival.

Book 2 - Traitor's Hope:

For centuries the Rōjū council silenced all who opposed them, spreading lies and killing innocents in order to maintain the status quo and ensure that female Kisōshi were little more than a long-forgotten myth. Now that Mishi and Taka have helped to depose the corrupt council, the land of Gensokai is reeling as it takes its first steps towards recovery. As the New Council attempts to corral the renegade allies of the defunct regime, Taka is asked to take charge of a frontline infirmary, putting her in the heart of the battle. To survive, she will have to rely on a person she cannot possibly trust.

Meanwhile, Mishi is asked to lure a vicious band of mountain raiders into the open--a mission that has proven fatal to all who have attempted it so far. Making matters worse, Mishi's mind keeps betraying her and she fears that her kisō and katana will betray her next. As the two friends fight to re-establish the peace in their homeland, the only question is where the next betrayal will come from, and if Mishi and Taka will have the strength to survive it.
Warning: Stories may contain bad*ss women, possibly wielding katana
Virginia McClain | Blog | Website

Online Dana L.

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Re: Blurb Help (critique needed)- Bookbub Ad Prep
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 09:43:05 PM »
Hey,

I think these are good blurbs. They draw me in and make me want to read the books.

Here's an edit to the first paragraph of Book 1. It took two readings for me to determine what the original second sentence meant, so I've reworded it.

Mishi and Taka live each day of their lives with the shadow of death lurking behind them. They must constantly hide the elemental powers that mark them as Kisōshi. Keeping this secret separates them from the other orphans, yet forges a deep bond between them.

Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: Blurb Help (critique needed)- Bookbub Ad Prep
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 02:00:05 AM »
Quote
Mishi and Taka

Says anime/manga immediately. It's OK.

Quote
live each day of their lives with the shadow of death lurking behind them.

Like any other people, actually.
It's too vague.

Quote
The struggle to hide the elemental powers that mark the two girls as Kisoshi

What's your setting?
Japan today? USA today? Medieval Japan? Some fantasy world?

Quote
separates them from the other orphans

What orphans? They were not mentioned before.

Quote
yet forges a deep bond between them.

Good.

Quote
When Mishi is dragged from the orphanage at the age of eight

Dragged by whom? Why?

Quote
the girls are unsure if or when they will find each other again

Would be OK if it were the main conflict.
But it's not.

Quote
While their powers grow with each season-cycle, the girls must come to terms with their true selves--Mishi as a warrior, Taka as a healer--as they forge separate paths which lead to the same horrifying discovery...

Too many words, too many details, still no main conflict.

Quote
The Roju council's dark secret is one that it has spent centuries killing to keep, and Mishi and Taka know too much.

Make it short.

Quote
The two young women have overcome desperate odds in a society where their very existence is a crime, but now that they know the Roju's secret they find themselves fighting for much more than their own survival.

1. Too vague.
2. The main conflict is introduced too late.

Book 2 - Traitor's Hope:

Quote
For centuries the Roju council silenced all who opposed them, spreading lies and killing innocents in order to maintain the status quo and ensure that female Kisoshi were little more than a long-forgotten myth.

Too wordy. Make it short. Start with your setting (always! unless it's here-and-now).

Quote
Now that Mishi and Taka have helped to depose the corrupt council

Spoiler. Spoilers must be avoided when possible. Here you can avoid it.

Quote
the land of Gensokai is reeling as it takes its first steps towards recovery. As the New Council attempts to corral the renegade allies of the defunct regime,

Boring.

Quote
Taka is asked to take charge of a frontline infirmary,

Passive voice. Not recommended here.

Quote
putting her in the heart of the battle.

What battle? With whom?

Quote
To survive, she will have to rely on a person she cannot possibly trust.

Who is it?

Quote
Meanwhile, Mishi is asked to lure a vicious band of mountain raiders into the open

Passive voice. Not recommended here. - II

Quote
--a mission that has proven fatal to all who have attempted it so far.

Just say - a suicide mission. Brevity is the sister of talent (Chekhov).

Quote
Making matters worse, Mishi's mind keeps betraying her

Too vague. What does it mean?

Quote
and she fears that her kiso and katana will betray her next.

Most people don't know what kiso is.

Quote
As the two friends fight to re-establish the peace in their homeland,

Who is the antagonist?
What's their goal?

Quote
the only question is where the next betrayal will come from, and if Mishi and Taka will have the strength to survive it.

The final line must be stronger.

Just my two cents.
Good luck!
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 02:03:59 AM by Dennis Chekalov »
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Offline VirginiaMcClain

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Re: Blurb Help (critique needed)- Bookbub Ad Prep
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 09:31:37 AM »
Thank you both for your feedback and for taking the time to parse both blurbs! I will see what I can do with the suggestions you've given me.

Still open to additional feedback if anyone else would like to chime in!
Warning: Stories may contain bad*ss women, possibly wielding katana
Virginia McClain | Blog | Website

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