Author Topic: Specialist blurb writers?  (Read 1188 times)  

Offline Phoenix61

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Specialist blurb writers?
« on: April 19, 2018, 03:50:41 PM »
I am probably not Robinson Crusoe here in the fact that I absolutely suck at blurbs. Anyone on KB a blurb specialist, and how much? I don't want to ask for anyone to look at my blurbs for free. As with anything in life, I expect to pay for quality.
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Offline Jena H

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 06:06:41 AM »
I don't know of anyone who specializes professionally in blurbs, but the collective wisdom of this group can be counted on to provide feedback on a blurb if you post it here.
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Offline Mylius Fox

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 06:46:50 AM »
I am probably not Robinson Crusoe here in the fact that I absolutely suck at blurbs. Anyone on KB a blurb specialist, and how much? I don't want to ask for anyone to look at my blurbs for free. As with anything in life, I expect to pay for quality.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=257648.0


Offline Elizabeth Barone

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 08:08:31 AM »
I write blurbs for romance and suspense authors.

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Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 02:19:45 PM »
I don't know of anyone who specializes professionally in blurbs, but the collective wisdom of this group can be counted on to provide feedback on a blurb if you post it here.
I agree. From what I have seen so far, there are some really helpful people here doing just that. However, as I stated, I didn't want to jump on that bandwagon and take advantage of anyone's time and energy for free. Opinions are fine, rewriting is valuable.
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Offline Phoenix61

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Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 02:23:10 PM »
I write blurbs for romance and suspense authors.
I have PMd you. You may not want to look at a blurb for a psychological thriller.
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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 08:43:23 PM »
I've begun dabbling in it lately -- so far for fun, not profit. Some people think I'm quite good. I've worked on two in this forum if you'd like examples.

In this thread: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,262375.msg3648512.html#msg3648512

And this thread: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,262546.msg3651774.html#msg3651774

I've also done more for authors in a different forum. In the above two, I had no contact with the authors, just worked with what was given in the thread. My purpose was to help them write their own -- though they could take mine verbatim if they wished. In each case, I made up some stuff which MIGHT fit the story, or might not because I could only guess at the content from what they posted.

In any event, these will give you an idea of how I think.

I'll be travelling for the next day or two, so probably won't see any reply until Sunday or Monday.


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Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2018, 12:22:43 AM »
I've begun dabbling in it lately -- so far for fun, not profit. Some people think I'm quite good. I've worked on two in this forum if you'd like examples.

In this thread: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,262375.msg3648512.html#msg3648512

And this thread: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,262546.msg3651774.html#msg3651774

I've also done more for authors in a different forum. In the above two, I had no contact with the authors, just worked with what was given in the thread. My purpose was to help them write their own -- though they could take mine verbatim if they wished. In each case, I made up some stuff which MIGHT fit the story, or might not because I could only guess at the content from what they posted.

In any event, these will give you an idea of how I think.

I'll be travelling for the next day or two, so probably won't see any reply until Sunday or Monday.
Oddly enough,it was your brilliant response in one of those threads that prompted my search for paid blurb writers. I have purposely not placed my blurb on here for assistance as I am not only very new to KD, but self-pubbing in general, and I did not feel comfortable imposing on the generosity of the good people here.

I checked out the link for the pro blurb writer, but found it a tad on the expensive side. $197 USD seems rather steep for a one or two paragraph blurb in my mind. I read a post on this link where a member suggested that any writer who couldn't produce his own blurb didn't know his own story. I have to disagree with that sentiment. A painter will commission not only a frame for their art, but often someone to pen their artists statement, their website, their promos etc.. I truly do believe that good blurb writing is a different skill set.

If you are interested in having a crack at one for me and are offering reasonable rates, please PM me and I will send you what info you need.
As it stands... Book title: Black Heart ( a psy-thriller).

Nature can provide any human with unique features, innate desires, and impulses, while only nurture can truly bequeath the dark resolve necessary for sadistic and bloody revenge. A serial killer with a unique signature stalks a small Queensland town, possibly in response to a malevolent legacy threatening the local citizens since its early inception. Decades of prejudice has the town mired in secrecy and deception. It seems only evil may prevail against the wall of injustice.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 12:35:01 AM by Phoenix61 »
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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2018, 01:19:25 AM »
Blurb-writing is indeed its own art form. Being a good novelist, where you get to tell your story in one hundred thousand words, doesn't mean that you will excel at telling it in one hundred words. And knowing your own story well can actually be a detriment. You, as author, know how even the smallest thing in your story has repercussions which make it important to holding the whole together. With all those hundreds of important bits, which do you chose to make available to the reader on the back cover?

Personally, I have a lot more trouble writing my own blurbs than fixing someone else's. I know too much about my own stories. Sometime only a little knowledge is a good thing.

Besides that, I've lately come to believe that the blurb isn't really about telling what your story is about; it's more about getting a reader to actually open your book to page one. What does that isn't a blow-by-blow summary  -- which entails 'knowing the story well -- it's about exciting the reader with possibilities.

Right now, I'm on holiday (and should be sleeping as I have a full day of travel ahead of me as I return home). Your blurb is intriguing; I'll get back to you on it. However, most people react better to a character in a situation than to merely the situation. We should know who your main character is and what his stake in the story is. If, for example, it's a journalist who gets in over his/her head investigating the murders, we'd have a different slant on it than if it's a police detective, who might want something entirely different -- the journalist may want to unearth the story; the policeman just wants to  catch the killer. If the main character is the killer, it's a different slant for the blurb. Whoever it is, we need to have the reader sympathize with him/her, identify. If the reader thinks, "What would I do in his/her place?", then you have a much better chance of selling the story.


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Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 01:45:57 AM »
I have purposely not placed my blurb on here for assistance as I am not only very new to KD, but self-pubbing in general, and I did not feel comfortable imposing on the generosity of the good people here.


That's very gracious of you.   :)


Quote
I checked out the link for the pro blurb writer, but found it a tad on the expensive side. $197 USD seems rather steep for a one or two paragraph blurb in my mind.


Yeah, that's kind of insane.   :o


Quote
I read a post on this link where a member suggested that any writer who couldn't produce his own blurb didn't know his own story. I have to disagree with that sentiment.


I also disagree with it.  Blurb writing is copywriting, not prose fiction.  Two completely different mindsets, and excellence at one doesn't translate into competence at the other.

I've sent you a PM.
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Offline Michele Brouder

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2018, 02:14:19 AM »
Disclaimer: I pay my editor to write my blurbs.

With that being said, I am determined this year to start writing my own blurbs. I'm tired of being intimidated in writing 2 paragraphs when I can write a  manuscript...

The other day, I was reading through this post
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,262648.0.html
and if you go down a bit, Nicholas Erik has some wonderful advice (as usual). Look at #3 about copying by hand the blurbs of the top 50 in your genre to get the feel of it. Well, I might just do that.

And then there is this:
http://victoriamixon.com/2016/03/21/how-to-write-a-blurb/

Good Luck

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Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2018, 02:29:30 PM »
Disclaimer: I pay my editor to write my blurbs.

With that being said, I am determined this year to start writing my own blurbs. I'm tired of being intimidated in writing 2 paragraphs when I can write a  manuscript...

The other day, I was reading through this post
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,262648.0.html
and if you go down a bit, Nicholas Erik has some wonderful advice (as usual). Look at #3 about copying by hand the blurbs of the top 50 in your genre to get the feel of it. Well, I might just do that.

And then there is this:
http://victoriamixon.com/2016/03/21/how-to-write-a-blurb/

Good Luck



That last link you supplied was fascinating. Her formula...inspired. Now you would think that any old dummy that can type 100k novels could follow that formula with ease wouldn't you? Try it.
I will have to study that a bit more and practice it. It seems so cut and dried, yet her examples are great. Succinct, yet informative.
Thank you for this.
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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2018, 09:41:45 PM »
I am probably not Robinson Crusoe here in the fact that I absolutely suck at blurbs. Anyone on KB a blurb specialist, and how much? I don't want to ask for anyone to look at my blurbs for free. As with anything in life, I expect to pay for quality.

The thing is, you can pay someone between 5 and 300 bucks to write a blurb for you. But without a fine-tuned understanding of what makes a blurb good...how will you know that you're not being ripped off? And if you have that understanding...you can write your own.

You can post your blurb on a forum like this, but without that same understanding of what makes a blurb sell books on Amazon etc. how are you going to sift through the responses to sort out good suggestions from catastrophic advice? And if you can tell one from the other, then once again you can write your own blurb.

So, my advice is to learn how to write your own blurb. You'll find the knowledge also helps enormously if you ever use PPC advertising like AMS ads. And it's not really that hard to learn.   

How do you learn? There are free blog posts/videos from highly successful authors that tell you what makes a good blurb. Search them out. Compare them. Look for what they have in common (advice from people who sell LOTS of books is consistent, and if the advice is coming from someone not selling lots of books...why are they pretending to be an expert? Disregard these sources). Then study the blurbs of bestselling books to see the advised techniques in action. And you will.

Here are a few resources that I especially like.

https://catherineryanhoward.com/2012/10/05/the-11-ingredients-of-a-sizzling-book-description/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVPkeQdMKJs

https://insights.bookbub.com/the-anatomy-of-a-bookbub-blurb-ebook-description-copy-tips/

There are others.

Hope that helps!

 

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2018, 09:57:11 PM »
Echoing the above. You can learn to write copy. (Former copywriter here. Learned to do it the same way as learned to write fiction. On the job.)

Libbie Hawker has a good book on blurb writing. I wrote a post on romance blurb writing that includes basic tips for any genre of blurbhow you can learn to do it. If you google romance blurb it will probably come up first. I recommend at least trying before farming it out.

Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2018, 10:09:59 PM »
The thing is, you can pay someone between 5 and 300 bucks to write a blurb for you. But without a fine-tuned understanding of what makes a blurb good...how will you know that you're not being ripped off? And if you have that understanding...you can write your own.

You can post your blurb on a forum like this, but without that same understanding of what makes a blurb sell books on Amazon etc. how are you going to sift through the responses to sort out good suggestions from catastrophic advice? And if you can tell one from the other, then once again you can write your own blurb.

So, my advice is to learn how to write your own blurb. You'll find the knowledge also helps enormously if you ever use PPC advertising like AMS ads. And it's not really that hard to learn.   

How do you learn? There are free blog posts/videos from highly successful authors that tell you what makes a good blurb. Search them out. Compare them. Look for what they have in common (advice from people who sell LOTS of books is consistent, and if the advice is coming from someone not selling lots of books...why are they pretending to be an expert? Disregard these sources). Then study the blurbs of bestselling books to see the advised techniques in action. And you will.

Here are a few resources that I especially like.

https://catherineryanhoward.com/2012/10/05/the-11-ingredients-of-a-sizzling-book-description/



I understand the concept of editing extremely well, yet that does not enable me to edit my books or become an editor. I understand the machinations of design software used for book covers, which does not indicate that I am able to use it. I have read many books and know the type of blurbs that grab me as a reader. That does not translate into me being capable of writing with the same flair. There are many things in life which I could learn to do if I had the time and the inclination. I taught myself how to carve wood into realistic shapes that people purchased and enjoy. I have shown through my two books on the subject that anyone wishing to try it, should not believe they cannot. That doesn't mean that everyone can or will.
I could plod along with my meagre attempts at blurbs, or I could take a whole lot of time to learn, or I could find someone who is reasonably-priced to write one for me. I get to choose the person based on their work samples, and I don't mind spreading a bit of work and money around to get what I'm after.
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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2018, 10:19:14 PM »
Well, I wish you luck then.

Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2018, 10:29:06 PM »
Echoing the above. You can learn to write copy. (Former copywriter here. Learned to do it the same way as learned to write fiction. On the job.)

Libbie Hawker has a good book on blurb writing. I wrote a post on romance blurb writing that includes basic tips for any genre of blurbhow you can learn to do it. If you google romance blurb it will probably come up first. I recommend at least trying before farming it out.
As a caravan park owner, I am very much the handyman, but that doesn't mean I try to do everything myself. I could learn and get qualifications in electrical engineering, carpentry, and plumbing which would save me heaps of dough, but it is not realistic or feasible.

In self-pubbing, I started out doing my own covers with the CS Cover Creator, I wrote my own blurbs, sought advice and critiques. I patrolled the forums for a long time, since 2009, when I wrote and published my first memoir. Newbies have it hammered into them constantly when asking for advice on how to sell their product; Story(Edit, edit, edit), Cover, Blurb!  I have tried to do everything on my own. That hasn't paid off, so I started looking around for some assistance. Found an editor who does not charge me an arm and a leg. Found a couple of book designers recently whose work I believe I can afford. And now I am looking for a reasonably priced blurb writer, because I basically suck at it. While I do not have the resources to throw money away, I do expect that judicious expenditure may pay off in the end.
If I find it too difficult to recoup my expenditure after a few years, then I give it away. After all, I can't be good enough if all that fails.
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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2018, 10:43:11 PM »
Fair enough. Like cover artistry (which I could not do in a million years), expect to pay a fair amount for an expert. I would not expect anybody really good to do it for under $150. The rule in copywriting is, the shorter the copy, the longer it takes, and like plumbing or covers, you are paying for expertise. I am a pretty fair expert (ex pro copywriter), but it takes me an hour or two and some days to get it right on my own books, which obviously I know very well. Somebody who was doing it for a living would be expert on what sales copy currently looks like for different genres and will be learning the voice of your book. The blurb should be in the same voice.

I am sure there are folks out there. Not as many as for covers, alas. Good luck in your search.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 10:45:45 PM by Usedtoposthere »

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2018, 11:04:38 PM »
I never mind helping people with their blurbs and I think people can learn something from the iterations that happen on this forum. It's ok if you want to find a professional, but I think we come up with some pretty good ones for people for free.

Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2018, 11:37:27 PM »
I never mind helping people with their blurbs and I think people can learn something from the iterations that happen on this forum. It's ok if you want to find a professional, but I think we come up with some pretty good ones for people for free.

I totally agree. I have seen you and others give generously and often of your substantial expertise. For that reason, I did not want to come on here as a total newbie with a few posts under my belt asking for free blurb assistance. If I find someone to help me who doesn't mind a few extra bucks for their time, I will use him/her with my future efforts. If I cannot find someone for a reasonable amount, I will continue with my own blurbs and may be forced to have a read of some material on the subject. I will see what comes of this thread.

You and others like you are a wealth of information and we newcomers really appreciate your efforts. I do not want to wear that generosity thin by asking for free stuff. I am happy to ask for opinions on covers and such, but rewrites should not be a free service.
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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2018, 11:56:06 PM »
You and others like you are a wealth of information and we newcomers really appreciate your efforts. I do not want to wear that generosity thin by asking for free stuff. I am happy to ask for opinions on covers and such, but rewrites should not be a free service.

Eh, it takes me about five minutes to whip up a blurb for someone, plus I get to toy with it when they don't add enough info. It's like a mini creative writing assignment -- how to present a good example while adding a bit of ridiculous! :) A fun way to procrastinate writing about angry trees (yep, they are still angry and about to get angrier!).

Though I think it's a good idea to make sure there aren't other blurb requests going at the same time when submitting one.

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2018, 07:15:15 AM »
so what if you're new here? or new to writing-- everyone was new, once. My advice- you post the blurb.  people who have time or want to help... will take a stab at it. plain and simple.  people who aren't good at it won't (or sometimes they will, and you'll need to figure out if their advice is solid;).

I've seen-- and used- various paid services that were okay... I've used some that were definitely not even close to what I would consider polished and suitable.

THE BIG ADVANTAGE to posting it here.. is others can see the different bits of advice and build on that... so that there is a collective effort and multiple sets of eyes and minds working on your concept... and you can give feedback ONCE.. not 20 times...:)

trust me, trust the process:)

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2018, 05:37:38 PM »
so what if you're new here? or new to writing-- everyone was new, once. My advice- you post the blurb.  people who have time or want to help... will take a stab at it. plain and simple.  people who aren't good at it won't (or sometimes they will, and you'll need to figure out if their advice is solid;).

I've seen-- and used- various paid services that were okay... I've used some that were definitely not even close to what I would consider polished and suitable.

THE BIG ADVANTAGE to posting it here.. is others can see the different bits of advice and build on that... so that there is a collective effort and multiple sets of eyes and minds working on your concept... and you can give feedback ONCE.. not 20 times...:)

trust me, trust the process:)

I agree with the above. And we were all beginners once and have benefited from others who came before us. And there's one final thing that a lot of people don't take into consideration: by critiquing others' work, we become better ourselves. So, if I help someone with a blurb, the mere process of studying and working out what I consider to be a better rendition helps me write better blurbs for myself -- as well as for others. Sometimes helping others helps the helper more than the helpee. And that's worth a lot, too.


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Offline Phoenix61

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Re: Specialist blurb writers?
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2018, 06:21:58 PM »
so what if you're new here? or new to writing-- everyone was new, once. My advice- you post the blurb.  people who have time or want to help... will take a stab at it. plain and simple.  people who aren't good at it won't (or sometimes they will, and you'll need to figure out if their advice is solid;).

I've seen-- and used- various paid services that were okay... I've used some that were definitely not even close to what I would consider polished and suitable.

THE BIG ADVANTAGE to posting it here.. is others can see the different bits of advice and build on that... so that there is a collective effort and multiple sets of eyes and minds working on your concept... and you can give feedback ONCE.. not 20 times...:)

trust me, trust the process:)

I agree with the above. And we were all beginners once and have benefited from others who came before us. And there's one final thing that a lot of people don't take into consideration: by critiquing others' work, we become better ourselves. So, if I help someone with a blurb, the mere process of studying and working out what I consider to be a better rendition helps me write better blurbs for myself -- as well as for others. Sometimes helping others helps the helper more than the helpee. And that's worth a lot, too.

What can I say? I am humbled at the wealth of generosity by people such as yourselves, and am in awe of your expertise. A very big thank-you on behalf of all us newcomers , newbies, rookies, noobs, or reticent lurkers. It is because of you wonderful authors and forum members , including moderators, that we are growing as authors and persons with every kind word offered to assist us on our journey.
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Mt. Moulamein: 45%

Wood Whisperer Volume 3: 95%
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