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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My book is still a ways from release, but I've just had a great cover made by our own Ronnell D. Porter, and wanted to solicit some thoughts on my blurb and which variant of the cover to use.

Here's my rough blurb, for your consideration:

Dennon Lark is a Scriber, a scholar of the Kingsland's forgotten history. Driven into self imposed exile by the mistakes of his past, he wants only to be left alone in the isolated village of Waymark. But when the King's infamous warrior niece Bryndine Errynson arrives in the village with her company of female soldiers, Dennon is forced to journey to the capital-the scene of the disaster he went into hiding to forget.

Rebels calling themselves the Burners strike all over the Kingsland, wielding mysterious powers and threatening to burn the kingdom to the ground. Soon, it becomes clear that Dennon's research-the research that made him a pariah among his fellow Scribers-holds the secret to the Burners' sorcery. Pursued by forces beyond his understanding and trusted by no one but Bryndine and her company, Dennon must uncover the truth of Kingsland's lost past in order to preserve its future.

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And here are the cover options. I'm leaning towards the one with the orange background, the firey look fits the story more thematically. The purple one looks great, and might make the text stand out a little more in thumbnail, but it leaves me with kind of a darker paranormal feel than I'm going for, I think. Both are fabulous work by Ronnell, but which should I go with?

My current preference:





Option 2:



 

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You may want to reduce the size, mate - you just add this to the image code (height='___') - for a cover thread I prefer about 400, so the code would be as such: (img height=400) image url here (/img)

Make sense? like this:



PS - if my vote counts for anything, there's something about that purple that I just love... so I vote the purple one...
 

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What's funny is that I liked them better when they were larger since I was having fun reading the text :p - maybe settle with a healthy 800 height? I dunno, it's not my thread, I'll shut up now so you can get some replies that matter hahaha
 

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Hi,

I prefer the golden/orange version, but don't really have a reason why.

I do, however, have some thoughts on your blurb:

1) Is Kingsland a mythical place, an alternate reality, or somewhere rooted in history?

2) I like the action-based setup of the blurb, however, I was left wondering about what exactly it is that Dennon did. Perhaps just a little more detail could be useful? Obviously nothing spoiler-ish :) The "scene of the disaster" refers to "mistakes of his past" which is in itself is an unknown property.

3) Upon the first read, I thought Bryndine was an antagonist. It wasn't clear to me until the last paragraph that Bryndine and Dennon are on the same team. I guess this was due to the fact that I initially thought the King was in opposition to Dennon--maybe I was having a lughead moment, lol :D

4) Burners are rebels who have powers and "want to burn the Kingdom to the ground." Okay... that's simple and efective. Great! But what special gifts do Scribers have?

5) Is this a book in a series? Upon a second read, the blurb seems to suggest epic fantasy.

6) If it is fantasy, I did not pick up on the fantasy element until the words "mysterious powers." If fantasy is only a small element within the book, then it's suitably subtle.

7) "Pursued by forces beyond his understanding and trusted by no one but Bryndine and her company, Dennon must uncover the truth of Kingsland's lost past in order to preserve its future." <-- This line seems to suggest the possibility of some kind of romance. Is this something that's found in the book?

I'm no expert on blurbs (and I'm never happy with the blurbs I've written) but I do hope some of these points could be useful :)

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ciye Cho said:
Hi,

I prefer the golden/orange version, but don't really have a reason why.

I do, however, have some thoughts on your blurb:

1) Is Kingsland a mythical place, an alternate reality, or somewhere rooted in history?

2) I like the action-based setup of the blurb, however, I was left wondering about what exactly it is that Dennon did. Perhaps just a little more detail could be useful? Obviously nothing spoiler-ish :) The "scene of the disaster" refers to "mistakes of his past" which is in itself is an unknown property.

3) Upon the first read, I thought Bryndine was an antagonist. It wasn't clear to me until the last paragraph that Bryndine and Dennon are on the same team. I guess this was due to the fact that I initially thought the King was in opposition to Dennon--maybe I was having a lughead moment, lol :D

4) Burners are rebels who have powers and "want to burn the Kingdom to the ground." Okay... that's simple and efective. Great! But what special gifts do Scribers have?

5) Is this a book in a series? Upon a second read, the blurb seems to suggest epic fantasy.

6) If it is fantasy, I did not pick up on the fantasy element until the words "mysterious powers." If fantasy is only a small element within the book, then it's suitably subtle.

7) "Pursued by forces beyond his understanding and trusted by no one but Bryndine and her company, Dennon must uncover the truth of Kingsland's lost past in order to preserve its future." <-- This line seems to suggest the possibility of some kind of romance. Is this something that's found in the book?

I'm no expert on blurbs (and I'm never happy with the blurbs I've written) but I do hope some of these points could be useful :)

Cheers!
Thanks for the comments! I like the orange cover too, so that's good to know.

I will answer the blurb stuff numerically

1) It's a fantasy world, and the book is an epic fantasy, which applies to a lot of these answers. However, it's a world where the magic and the like is seen as legend and myth, not a high-magic setting.

2) Exactly what Dennon did isn't immediately revealed in the book, so I didn't want to give it away in the blurb. If you were left wondering what it was, I'm going to count that as a good thing! Maybe it'll get people reading.

3) I see your point on Bryndine at first seeming like an antagonist. They aren't friendly to begin with, so that could suit, but I don't want people getting the wrong idea. She is pretty solidly a good guy, infamous because her choice of being a soldier makes her a bit of an outcast, her and Dennon are alike in that way. Any suggestions to clarify this would be appreciated--it's hard to get enough information in without the blurb being too long.

4) Scribers are simply scholars, dedicated to uncovering lost skills and history. An event in the past caused much of the Kingdom's history and knowledge to be lost when the Royal Archives were destroyed, and Scribers are meant to recover what they can and make sure it isn't forgotten again. That's why I refer to the 'forgotten past' a few times. Again, it's hard to get too heavily into the information, especially in a fantasy where it's all new, without going over-long on a blurb. Does it need clarifying?

5) It isn't part of a series, it's a stand alone epic fantasy. I may write other books with the same characters in the same world, though.

6) Back to the fantasy thing--it's not a high-magic world, but the fantasy elements are revealed as it goes on. Dennon does have odd dreams early on, I might put a line in about that so it's clearer. "Plagued by terrible dreams" or such.

7) Without spoiling too much, there is not a very heavy emphasis on romance in the book. It isn't lacking completely, but if it reads like that might be a major plot, I should change it. Though it may be hard to do--any mention of a guy and a girl working closely together could be read that way.

Here's a possible version that implements some of those changes:

Dennon Lark is a Scriber, a scholar of the Kingsland's forgotten history. Driven into self imposed exile by the mistakes of his past and plagued by terrible dreams he doesn't understand, he wants only to be left alone in the isolated village of Waymark. But when the King's outcast warrior niece Bryndine Errynson arrives with her company of female soldiers to evacuate the village, Dennon has no choice but to journey to the capital-the scene of the disaster he went into hiding to forget.

Rebels calling themselves the Burners strike all over the Kingsland, wielding mysterious powers and threatening to burn the kingdom to the ground. Soon, it becomes clear that Dennon's research into the long lost library known as the Archives-the research that led to his greatest failure-holds the secret to the Burners' sorcery. Pursued by forces beyond his understanding and trusted by no one but Bryndine and her company, Dennon must uncover the truth of Kingsland's lost past in order to preserve its future.
 

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7) Without spoiling too much, there is not a very heavy emphasis on romance in the book. It isn't lacking completely, but if it reads like that might be a major plot, I should change it. Though it may be hard to do--any mention of a guy and a girl working closely together could be read that way.
No. I think it's subtle; I was probably looking too closely at that.

As for the second blurb you posted, I tells me a lot more info :) There were a few "ah ha!" moments when I read over it.

I understand now that Bryndine is an outcast (therein providing me with clues as to how she might behave, and what traits she might possess). There's more detail with regards to why she was there: to evacuate people (From Burners, right? This is based on what I know from the second paragraph). And I like the rejigged bit about Dennon's research ("Soon, it becomes clear that Dennon's research into the long lost library known as the Archives-the research that led to his greatest failure-holds the secret to the Burners' sorcery").

I think it's clearer than before. I do have a suggestion about the sorting of content in the blurb:

Maybe an alternate idea could be to sort things from macro to micro. For example, letting people know about the world of Kingsland and its Burner/Scriber conflict in the first paragraph... before detailing Dennon, Bryndine and the current-day conflict in the second section. That way people would not have to read to the second paragraph to understand why the village was being evacuated (as mentioned in the first paragraph.) It might help people to understand the story better if they're just doing one quick skim.

Starting with Dennon has its benefits too, though. I like the immediacy of that version.

As stated before, I'm a noober, so please bear that in mind :)
 

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Really like the purple one better. The lettering stands out more that way. Otherwise you have gold on gold. Not very visually popping. I almost think your name should be a slightly different color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ciye Cho said:
No. I think it's subtle; I was probably looking too closely at that.

As for the second blurb you posted, I tells me a lot more info :) There were a few "ah ha!" moments when I read over it.

I understand now that Bryndine is an outcast (therein providing me with clues as to how she might behave, and what traits she might possess). There's more detail with regards to why she was there: to evacuate people (From Burners, right? This is based on what I know from the second paragraph). And I like the rejigged bit about Dennon's research ("Soon, it becomes clear that Dennon's research into the long lost library known as the Archives-the research that led to his greatest failure-holds the secret to the Burners' sorcery").

I think it's clearer than before. I do have a suggestion about the sorting of content in the blurb:

Maybe an alternate idea could be to sort things from macro to micro. For example, letting people know about the world of Kingsland and its Burner/Scriber conflict in the first paragraph... before detailing Dennon, Bryndine and the current-day conflict in the second section. That way people would not have to read to the second paragraph to understand why the village was being evacuated (as mentioned in the first paragraph.) It might help people to understand the story better if they're just doing one quick skim.

Starting with Dennon has its benefits too, though. I like the immediacy of that version.

As stated before, I'm a noober, so please bear that in mind :)
I had the same thought--one the one hand, I think starting with the main character is a good idea, but it does add context to why he has to leave if you already know about the Burners. Not sure what direction I'm going to go with that.

Fayrlite, I thought I would get a lot of people supporting the purple. The purple does add more contrast to the text. I like the subtlety of the orange version, but in terms of catching people's eyes, purple is probably better.

My only issue is that it gives me a different impression. It's a pretty vague sense, but that kind of darker black and purple scheme is common in paranormal/horror stuff--I don't want people going in with the idea that it's some kind of dark fantasy/paranormal thing. Am I just crazy on this?

Also, fire is important in the book, and the orange just has that firey feel, but that's something that I imagine no one but me cares about.
 

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I'd buy it!  :) I liked the blurb and the cover (although the cover doesn't tell me it's fantasy, but still, it's beautiful)
 

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I like the purple background, because in the thumbnail the title stands out better and the quill and pot look luminous.

Your name sort of blends in with the font used, although the title looks awesome--maybe something a little plainer for your name?

Also, the second blurb is better--gives just that extra tiny bit of info to make me want to read the book.

But, this is my personal opinion, so take what you want from it.
 
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