Author Topic: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch? (new version in reply #10)  (Read 449 times)  

Offline jm2019

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Feedback on Blurb/Pitch? (new version in reply #10)
« on: September 04, 2019, 04:43:27 pm »
Here comes the toughest part of writing... getting the ****** blurb/pitch (for the Amazon page) ready for my next work.

I had a horrid time with my first, so this time I got a little wiser and read "Gotta Read It" by Libbie Hawker (recommended by someone here) and it helped. Because my book is better pitched as a multi-character story rather than a single protagonists POV, I came up with the below. Does this work for starters? Too short, too long, too vague, I fell asleep half way, give up your hobby, makes no sense... I can take all the flak and feedback :)

NEW VERSION IN REPLY #10

====

The wealthy citizens of Atalanni go about their day, enjoying the benefits brought by their domination of the seas and the brilliance of their nobility. Aging king Hannuruk rules in peace and worries about his marriage and succession. General Teber is in love with a woman beyond his reach.  Oracle Khaia seeks to guide the affairs of Atalanni through the messages of gods.

In the neighboring empire of Egypt, Pharaoh Ahmose battles his griefhis father has been murdered by the wretched Asiatic squatters and his injured brother lies dying in his bed. The young Pharaoh burns with desire to drive the impostors out of Egypt and make his great kingdom whole again after a hundred years of shame.

But when the earth shakes and the temple floors bleed molten rock in the capital of the Atalanni, dark forces of deceit and ambition are unleashed on the two lands plunging them in violence and tragedy. And now the King fights for his glory, the General for the life of his love , the Oracle for the will of the gods, and the Pharaoh for his kingdom, as their lives clash in ways they never imagined.

When the ground quietens and the tears dry, two great civilizations will find out if the gods were with them or against them.

===

I also have a protagonist POV pitch, but I just don't like it that much. If this blurb falls flat on its face, then I'll try that one!

Thank you all.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2019, 08:11:05 am by thejayman »

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    Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 08:53:26 pm »
    I'd say the key challenge for me here is that the only named character whose plight sounds interesting (just on the basis of word choice) is Ahmose. Nothing stood out for me in the first paragraph. So Hannuruk is worried about his marriage and succession. And? He's ruling in peace, so to tack that on makes it sound like an attempt to drum up tension. Teber is in love with a woman he can't have. Why does it even matter that he's a general if that's the biggest problem he has? Khaia's sentence sounds like an ancient job description, not a character arc.

    Not beating up on you... just throwing out my two cents.

    Do you have anything spicier that can tear these people apart? I just don't come away with much here that makes me care about them.

    Let me ask you this--you mentioned you had a protagonist POV pitch. That might be the way to go. You don't have to describe every major character in your novel up front. If captain protag has a more interesting arc than the others (or at least something we can milk), let's focus on that.


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    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 12:25:04 am »
    Redone the blurb in a poetic way:


    Who's to be blamed for disrupting the peace of king Hannuruk?
    For disrupting the neighboring Egyptian kingdom, already threatened by Asiatic crooks?
    Two great civilizations, two great kings:
    King Hannuruk, Pharaoh Ahmose,
    Different destinies, now drawn close.

    Who's to be blamed for disrupting the peace of King Hannuruk?
    For when Atalanni's earth shook,
    Everyone realized how apocalypse would look:
    Dark forces of deceit and ambition,
    All propelled by the chaos, its ignition.
    The king fighting for his glory;
    The pharaoh, his already sad story;
    The King's general, for the love of his life;
    And the oracle, for the mercy of the gods' might.

    Who's to be blamed for disrupting the peace of King Hannuruk?
    Did the gods conspire with the demons?
    Did the earth conspire with the sky?
    The truth shall dawn upon the two great civilizations,
    When tears run dry, and the ground quietens to its realization.









     

    Offline jm2019

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 04:50:07 pm »
    @Jonathan - Thank you for the feedback. From your comment (and a couple of others I've received elsewhere) it's looking pretty clear that this is a dud. I find blurb writing the hardest part - this was my first draft for this book, so I'll persevere and come back with a revision, maybe focusing on either one principal POV or at most two, and bring in more conflict.

    @Visitas - very creative :) definitely far better than my lame attempt!

    Offline EC Sheedy

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 05:21:10 pm »
    I am not suggesting this as a blurb, I just spun it a bit to give you another way to look at it. I would suggest you use a power adjective here and there to give it a kick, though.

    Sorry, I can't be more help. Blurbs baffle brains. Especially mine.  :D

    Pharoah Ahmoses father is savagely murdered and his brother lies grievously injure--both tragedies initiated by the squatters and imposters who have brought ruin and decay to his kingdom for over a hundred years. Even as Ahmose grieves, he burns with desire to avenge his family and drive the squatters from Egypt. Only then will his kingdom rise from the shame of their miserable occupation.
     
    The neighboring kingdom of Atalanni basks in a long-enjoyed and wealthy peace. While its aging king Hannurk, ponders his marriage and succession, the armys General Teber spends his days longing for a woman beyond his reach. Their affairs and those of Atalannis brilliant nobility are guided by the powerful Oracle Klaia through messages from the Gods.
     
    There will be war. The earth will shake, and the temple floors will bleed molten rock. Dark forces of deceit and ambition will emerge, plunging both Egypt and Atalanni into violence and tragedy.

    Now the King must fight for glory, the General for the very life of his love, the Oracle for the divine will of the gods, and the Pharaoh for the very survival of his kingdom.

    Their lives clash in ways they never imagined.

    When the ground quietens and the tears dry, two great civilizations will find out if the gods were with them or against them.

    Offline Luke Everhart

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 05:51:37 pm »
    Like most, I find blurbs a pita to write and am no expert. I can offer an opinion on what grabs me as a reader though. Sorry to say, this one doesn't.
    I really think you can't go wrong taking the nuts and bolts of Libby Hawker's blurb advice. Central to that is a protagonist as an initial point of identification for the prospective reader. I suggest giving the protag version you mention a go and see what the feedback on it is.
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    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 02:26:36 am »
    Peace is boring. :P
    You could set this up as a POV of the two leaders:

    Two empires, one calamity.

    The Atalanni empire has enjoyed a century of peace through sheer dominance of the seas. The only thing the aging king of Atalanni worries about is his crumbling marriage and what to do about the succession. Until the earth trembles and the seas boil.

    In the neighboring empire of Egypt, Pharaoh Ahmose battles his grief--his father has been murdered by the wretched Asiatic squatters and his injured brother lies dying in his bed. The young Pharaoh burns with desire to drive the impostors out of Egypt and make his great kingdom whole again after a hundred years of shame. He's already assembling his armies when the world shakes and the temples break.

    Dark forces of deceit and ambition arise, plunging both kingdoms into violence and tragedy. Their leaders are faced with terrible choices that impact the lives of those they love and hate. Who will be saved: the unrequited love, the cripple, the loveless wife, or the failed oracle? Or will anyone be saved? Because even their best efforts may not be enough as the gods seek their due vengeance.

    Offline Mip7

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #7 on: September 07, 2019, 12:13:26 pm »
    I was going to take a shot at this but can't do better than ^that ^. It's Gold, Jerry, Gold!
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    Offline jm2019

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #8 on: September 07, 2019, 04:24:57 pm »
    Might as well copy C. Gold's version and be done with this misery ;)

    But thank you. I am now working on two versions - one that follows the two empires view and one that follows a protagonist view.

    In the meanwhile, here's another blurb.

    Jay Penner leads a happy life preparing to release his second book, one that he and his mother think are the greatest works since Tolstoy and JRR Martin. But when the gods of writing and publishing demand that he write a damn blurb for the book, he realizes how far he is over his head.

    Facing the rough and powerful forces of fellow kboarders and absolute-forummers, Jay battles with various versions, each leaving him bruised and bloody. Soon, Jay is about to confront the great question: does he have the chops to write a blurb worthy of consideration, or should he just go back to his stale whiskey and hounding his wife for positive comments?

    Offline VisitasKeat

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #9 on: September 07, 2019, 11:47:50 pm »

    Jay Penner leads a happy life preparing to release his second book, one that he and his mother think are the greatest works since Tolstoy and JRR Martin. But when the gods of writing and publishing demand that he write a damn blurb for the book, he realizes how far he is over his head.

    Facing the rough and powerful forces of fellow kboarders and absolute-forummers, Jay battles with various versions, each leaving him bruised and bloody. Soon, Jay is about to confront the great question: does he have the chops to write a blurb worthy of consideration, or should he just go back to his stale whiskey and hounding his wife for positive comments?

    I like this blurb! :)

    Offline jm2019

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch?
    « Reply #10 on: September 08, 2019, 08:09:59 am »
    Hi all,

    Back with a rewrite. I have two versions. The first one is an expansive view (many thanks to C. Gold for structure inspiration) and the second is a protagonist journey view.  Appreciate all feedback and which angle you prefer. It's too exhausting to pursue both!

    ===format 1: 225 words====

    The Atalanni empire has enjoyed centuries of peace and wealth through sheer dominance of the seas. The only things the aging king Hannuruk worries about are his succession and the uneasy relation with the powerful Oracle.

    In neighboring Egypt, Pharaoh Ahmose battles his grief--his father has been murdered by the wretched Hyksos and his injured brother lies dying in his bed. The young Pharaoh is readying to launch an offensive to drive out the impostors and make his great kingdom whole again after a hundred years of shame.

    But when the earth trembles and lava erupts from the temple floors in the Atalanni capital, a sinister plot plunges the Atalanni into a war with Egypt. The gods seek complete victory, the Oracle announces, or the Atalanni will face their wrath.

    As the signs from the gods grow increasingly frightening, the kingdoms clash and their leaders are faced with terrible choices.  Who will persevere and who will perish? A general who wants to rescue a queen who is under threat of a cruel execution? An Oracle with a hidden agenda? A Pharaoh fighting two fronts? Or a King who wants his vicious son to prove glory in conquest?

    When the fires stop burning and the ash settles, two great civilizations will find out if the gods were with them or against them.

    ====FORMAT 2 218 WORDS===

    Atalanni general Teber is deeply in love with a woman far above his station and suffering the abuse of a powerful husband. He plans to rescue her and escape to the far eastern deserts. But when the earth shakes and lava oozes from temple floors in the capital, a sinister plot plunges the Atalanni into a war with Egypt. The gods seek complete victory, the Oracle announces, or the Atalanni will face their wrath.

    Bound by loyalty and a desire to gain glory, Teber thinks that his brilliance, the power of the Atalanni divine weapons, and the blessings of his gods can overpower Egypt swiftly and allow him to return to the life he longs for. But the hopes of a quick invasion dies in the heat of Egypt as duty conflicts with morality,  treachery hides behind a veil of piety, and hubris confronts cold reality. The formidable young Pharaoh Ahmose, enraged by the Atalanni cruelty, seeks nothing less than their annihilation.

    Tormented by inscrutable signs from the gods, Teber must soon make a terrifying choice: survival of those he leads, safety of those he is duty bound, or the life of his love facing a cruel execution.

    When the fires stop burning and ash settles, Teber will know if the gods were with him or against him.

    Offline alhawke

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch? (new version in reply #10)
    « Reply #11 on: September 08, 2019, 08:41:59 am »
    I like this one. I like how it flows - better than your first draft.

    Book blurbs are maddening, aren't they? How do you convey a lot in such a short amount of time? How do you keep a reader's interest?

    The gist and flow suits you welll. I think you should choose 1 or 2 based on the structure of your book - is your book expansive or more character driven? Personally, the expansive one grabbed me more. Good luck!


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    Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch? (new version in reply #10)
    « Reply #12 on: September 08, 2019, 08:19:33 pm »
    If it makes you feel any better, don't worry. Unless the book is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, you'll still find yourself tempted to tinker with the blurb until the end of time. ;)


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    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch? (new version in reply #10)
    « Reply #13 on: September 08, 2019, 08:54:47 pm »
    Well done on the rewrites. I'm going to be no help though since I like both! :P

    Offline jm2019

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    Re: Feedback on Blurb/Pitch? (new version in reply #10)
    « Reply #14 on: September 09, 2019, 06:02:49 pm »
    Thanks everyone. I'm feeling better about the latest version. I'll keep an eye out here for any new feedback, but at this time I might be going with my format 1 and will be fine tuning it a little before finalizing.

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