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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, let me first admit I totally suck at blurbs. I want the blurb to make it obvious it's a YA Romance with a Sci-fi backdrop. Since it's about people with powers, it could be a bit paranormal as well, but they are on a different planet so it fits more in the Sci-fi vein.

Here's the first one that I tweaked a bit, but it hasn't updated yet:

Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He's not having a good day. And he doesn't even know it.

When Shayne's telepathic abilities surface, he finds out Danielle isn't the normal teenager she appears to be. In fact, she's not even from his world. And when he finds out her race is responsible for the overtaking of his entire planet, he sets out to uncover the truth about her.

Danielle didn't mean to fall in love with a Maslonian boy. Her job was to observe and report. But when Shayne's well-being is at stake she must choose between her orders and her feelings.


And here's an alternative:

Shayne thinks he's a typical teenager at a college prep boarding school. He couldn't be more wrong. Danielle, the girl he likes, is keeping secrets which doesn't work too well when Shayne begins to hear her thoughts.

Danielle knows she can't fall for Shayne. It would never work out between them. For one thing, she's lying to him about who she is. Her people kidnapped him and erased his memories. That tends to put a damper on a relationship. Besides, she's leaving in a few weeks. At least, she thinks she is.


Okay, give it to me. Did I improve it at all? Does it say "YA Romance" now? What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Vicki
 

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I am far FAR from the  best of writing blurbs. I won't even try to rework it here. I think it's fine actually. The only thing I'll mention that you MIGHT want to consider is many YA novels blurbs start with High School senior Shayne or Seventeen-year-old Shayne or College freshman Shayne... just  so right off the bat we know we're talking about a young adult. Just my .02!

Good luck Vicki! ;D 
 

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I liked your original one.  Especially the first line.  If you do change it, I would find a way to keep that first line.  It is what drew me in when I first saw it.  :)  

After this silly "Sunshiny Happy Fun Day" Sale is over, I think all our sales will pick up.  You might want to wait to see what happens before you makes changes.  The book is really darned good and I'm betting it will find its audience.  
 

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Personally, I like this better:
Shayne thinks he's a typical teenager at a college prep boarding school. He couldn't be more wrong. Danielle, the girl he likes, is keeping secrets which doesn't work too well when Shayne begins to hear her thoughts.

Danielle knows she can't fall for Shayne. It would never work out between them. For one thing, she's lying to him about who she is. Her people kidnapped him and erased his memories. That tends to put a damper on a relationship. Besides, she's leaving in a few weeks. At least, she thinks she is.
This would be a great tagline though:
Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He's not having a good day. And he doesn't even know it.
 

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I'm not good at this, but fwiw, here are my thoughts on the first blurb (I prefer that one).

Fifteen year old
Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He's not having a good day. And he doesn't even know it. [This is a great start!]

When Shayne's telepathic abilities re-surface, he finds out (his friend?, cheerleader? science geek?) Danielle isn't the normal teenager she appears to be. In fact, she's not even from his world. And when he finds out her race is responsible for the overtaking of his entire planet, he sets out to uncover the truth about her.

Danielle didn't mean to fall in love with a (Shayne?) Maslonian boy. Her job (mission) was to observe and report. But when Shayne's well-being (life?) is at stake she must choose between her orders and her feelings.
[It needs one more line for me. Something hooky....]
 

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Victorine said:
Okay, let me first admit I totally suck at blurbs. I want the blurb to make it obvious it's a YA Romance with a Sci-fi backdrop. Since it's about people with powers, it could be a bit paranormal as well, but they are on a different planet so it fits more in the Sci-fi vein.

Here's the first one that I tweaked a bit, but it hasn't updated yet:

Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He's not having a good day. And he doesn't even know it.

Shayne thinks he's a typical teenager at a college prep boarding school. He couldn't be more wrong. Danielle, the girl he likes, is keeping secrets which doesn't work too well when Shayne begins to hear her thoughts.

Danielle knows she can't fall for Shayne. It would never work out between them. For one thing, she's lying to him about who she is. Her people kidnapped him and erased his memories. That tends to put a damper on a relationship. Besides, she's leaving in a few weeks. Or at least, she thinks she is.
I combined the two, because I liked elements of both. The second has the great YA romance aspects, and I agree with the others that the first one has the better "hook". Just my take.

I do want to say, I read a LOT of YA fiction, and the second one, overall, appealed to me more, as YA romance.
 

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Also, just wanted to say, I like the fact that you used the more mysterious "her people" which could mean ANYTHING: aliens, secret government organization, or fairies.  You just don't know and that is a nice draw for a potential reader.
 

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I really like kCopeseeley and Monique's edits. I'd take kCopeseeley's and add Monique's suggestion to up the stakes -- his life being in danger is much more compelling than his sense of well-being. My only issue is with which on is the protagonist -- who is the reader supposed to identify with?

Man. I was all set to add value, and all these people got there ahead of me.
 

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I'll chip in, though I am blurbally challenged, and don't read YA.
I like the beginning of the first sample. It seemed like a good hook. Overall, I preferred the first sample, although there seemed to be some wavering in the tense throughout.
I like the way kC's suggestion felt like it leaded in steps from Shayne to Danielle. Another possible arrangement would be to focus the first graph on Shayne, the second on Danielle, and the third on them together, or the larger plot or theme of the novel.
 

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Kidnapped ... powers disabled ... memory wiped.  Shayne is not having a good day - and he doesn't even know it.  But when he realizes he can hear Danielle's thoughts, and that she's been lying to him, he knows something isn't right.

Danielle can’t tell Shayne her people kidnapped him and erased his memories, no matter how much she's starting to fall for the guy. Besides, school will be over in a few weeks and she'll be gone. 

That was the plan - wasn't it?
 

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I hate writing blurbs, and am convinced that someone could make a lot of money writing GOOD blurbs for indie authors. That being said, I'll try my best, especially since I read (and write) ya romance!

The second blurb worked better for me, and I think it's partially because it doesn't sound like the emphasis of the book will be the relationship between Shayne and Danielle. The things that stands out to me most in the first blurb is the fact that a different "race is responsible for overtaking his entire planet," and so if I picked it up I'd probably expect a action/adventure scifi mystery (like "Minority Report" or something like that) instead of a romance.

Like everyone, I like the first line. However, if you do decide to go with the second blurb, I don't think you should use it. This is because you've done a really good job of introducing his powers and the conflict between the two characters already within the blurb, and talking about it beforehand kind of dampens the impact. The line about the difficulty of her "keeping secrets when he starts to hear her thoughts" introduces both his telepathy and a big conflict between the two characters brilliantly. I immediately want to know what secrets Danielle is keeping, and am eager to read the next paragraph, which does not disappoint. It’s pretty shocking to hear that “her people kidnapped him and erased his memories.” However, this line wouldn’t be as shocking if I already knew that Shayne had been kidnapped and stripped of his powers going in.

The only thing that doesn’t work for me is the line about her leaving. Why is she leaving? Are the aliens going to destroy the planet and everyone on it? Or is she just going to a different post? I don't know if the reason is a spoiler or not, but I'd either give a little more detail or leave the line out completely. I think the fact that her people took over his planet and wiped his memory already has the reader hooked :)
 

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I like a lot of pieces of both the blurbs. 
I tried to combine the snazziest qualities of both excerpts.  See what you think.  I think the last paragraph needs more bulk - but I don't know enough of the story to add anything else.

Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered.  He’s not having a good day.  And he doesn’t even know it.

Shayne Bartlet thought he was a normal teenager.  He liked (insert interest here) and he had a crush on his classmate, Danielle.  But when Shayne suddenly starts reading Danielle’s mind, he realizes that not only is he not a normal teenager, neither is Danielle. In fact, it turns out that Danielle’s people have kidnapped Shayne and erased his memories. Which kind of puts a damper on a relationship.

Danielle didn’t mean to fall in love with Shayne. Her job was to observe and report. But when Shayne’s life is threatened, Danielle must choose between her orders and her feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, I've tweaked it a little bit. How's this read?

High school senior Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He's not having a good day. And he doesn't even know it.

Shayne thinks he's a typical teenager at a college prep boarding school. He couldn't be more wrong. The girl he's interested in is keeping secrets which doesn't work too well when Shayne begins to hear her thoughts.

Danielle knows she can't fall for Shayne. It would never work out between them. For one thing, she's lying to him about who she is. She's responsible for his kidnapping. That tends to put a damper on a relationship. Besides, she's leaving his planet along with the rest of her people in a few weeks.

At least, that was the plan...


Thanks again for all your help!

Vicki
 

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Victorine said:
Okay, I've tweaked it a little bit. How's this read?

High school senior Shayne Bartlet has been kidnapped, his powers disabled and his memory altered. He's not having a good day. And he doesn't even know it.

Shayne thinks he's a typical teenager at a college prep boarding school. He couldn't be more wrong. The girl he's interested in is keeping secrets which doesn't work too well when Shayne begins to hear her thoughts.

Danielle knows she can't fall for Shayne. It would never work out between them. For one thing, she's lying to him about who she is. She's responsible for his kidnapping. That tends to put a damper on a relationship. Besides, she's leaving his planet along with the rest of her people in a few weeks.

At least, that was the plan...


Thanks again for all your help!

Vicki
I don't even read YA too often, and I'm interested in it after reading that. :D
 

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I agree with all the tweaks to the blurb, but I am concerned about one thing ... in the first blurb it states that Shayne was a "Maslonian boy." What does this mean? Does this actually take place on another planet besides Earth? If so, that's fine, but then the blurb that you have now is a tad misleading as it doesn't address this important aspect and your readers might be a little angry with the bait and switch.

I think what you have now is very good, I'm just confused. probably because i don't know the whole story.

-Tristan
 

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"From the New York Times bestselling author of NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS..." That's how the blurb should begin.

Also, I'm going to keep preaching it, get a new cover...this one screams hard sci-fi and is confusing your potentially gigantic fan base. You have to make it easy for people to one-click.

Look at your "customers also bought" books on NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS' page. The Overtaking doesn't even show up. That is an indication that 99% of the people who bought your first book have no idea that you've even written another one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, great comments!

Blake - I'll play around with the cover and see if I can't find something that is better. :)

Tristan - You're right, the story takes place on another planet, but then when they get kidnapped they are put into a fake Earth environment, so much of the story takes place on 21st century Earth, even though it's not real, if that makes sense.  I can try to tweak the blurb to include that, if you think it's necessary.

Vicki
 
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