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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
I'm a newbie, who's been stalking this forum for quite some time, and now I'm going to bore you to death with a bunch of questions. ;D
So I published my first novel. Just over 3 weeks ago. :))) Got a few very good reviews, which made me cry LOL. Anyhow, this is the cover -


And this is the blurb:

Elena knows what she wants from life. Her whole picture-perfect existence is planned out and allows for no deviation. She is engaged to be married and intends to be happy. Along with three of her girlfriends, she takes a summer trip across the ocean, to St. Simons Island, Georgia, United States. Pool parties, vodka watermelons and the eternal question - to shag or not to shag. Her whole world is about to be rock-n-rolled, and she will have to face a pretty hard choice. It all sounds like a setup for a summer-fling novel, but is it really like that in actuality, or does Miss Real Life have something more conniving under her sleeve? Are there happy endings in real life?

What do you think? Honestly! There's something about it I just don't like!
 

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Hi, Lena.

Know what? I like it.
You might break it up so that it doesn't read like one "long" paragraph, etc.
The blurb doctors around here might suggest that.

I think you're blurb is rather nifty: short & to the point & has this (potential)
reader intrigued.

Mind you, this is not even the genre I read in...but you have me interested.
I get the feeling the audience you're aiming for will go for it (the reviews
already prove it). You have no idea how tough it is to get that many
positive reviews that fast.

Looks like you hit the ground running.  :-*

Best,

Kirkee

P.S.

The reason you "don't like it" is because you're too
close to it & looked at it too many times. Like the cover, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers, Kirkee!  :-*
You made me really really happy :))). Oh yes - separation - I'll do that! Everything seems to be super confusing - I want to start doing everything and at the same time, but I know that I should just step back and take a deep breath. I'm a bit of an overachiever :):p I'm glad you like it! And yes, my cover artist rocks!
Nice to e-meet you - this forum looks pretty cool and everyone is super supportive!
 

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Hi Lena, and welcome to kboards!

It feels to me like something's missing from the middle of the blurb. It goes along really well, setting the scene: upcoming wedding, last trip with the girlfriends, pool parties, vodka, etc. And then we get to "Her whole world is about to be rock-n-rolled, and she will have to face a pretty hard choice", which seems to strike a different note altogether, as if something big happened in the space between those two sentences.

Did she meet someone else and fall in love, and the choice is whether to go through with the marriage or call it off? Something else entirely? If you could give us a little more information about the problem and what the stakes are as she makes her choice it would help.
 

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Hello, Marina, my friend.

Marina is another cool person who has a real knack when it comes to blurbs.

Let me try to reiterate what I believe the blurb to be getting at: the main lead character is talking about
temptation, being human & finding it tempting to live a little before settling down, only
she fears losing the real thing she has back home. There is the additional fear of not merely
having a brief fling, but getting emotionally attached to another person...which would clearly create
a dilemma for her to have to deal with... She is implying: there is always a price to be paid, and would it be worth it?

Perhaps a sentence or two could be deftly inserted, as Marina suggests, but either way, you have a winner, Lena. My gut feeling.

As far as trying to do everything all at once? We've all been there.  ;) Try to pace yourself. You will be
fine. It looks to me like the beginning of an amazing career. The added bonus, in your case, is that you're working in a genre that is huge right now. Promote this book, to the extent that you are able, and get going on the second (& third? If it's a series.)

RE: KB. You won't find a better place, with more kindness & support, than this board. We're all in the same boat: creative types/writers helping one another. As others have pointed out: it's like family here.
Yes, family members can & tend to disagree every now & then, that's normal, but you don't give up/disown a family member because you disagree. In a nutshell: we're connected. Many members will express this same sentiment on here. Peeps are not stingy with love here. 

Best,

Kirkee



 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Marina, thank you very much for the feedback! (Your name doesn't happen to be Russian, btw? :) All Marinas I know are Russian!) Yes, I can't shake off the feeling that something is missing, but I'm afraid that if I do say what happens (and she does indeed meet someone else), that I'll be revealing too much... And yes, Kirkee, you got me!  ;D This is exactly what is happening - and - the focus of the novel is exactly on the inner world of the protagonist. I was trying to explore and explain what is happening in a person's world when they are falling out of love (not only falling in love) - and the fear of losing oh-so-familiar stability... Hmm... So it is chick lit, but not really, because typically in chick lit everything is perfect and you clearly know what is right and what is wrong and in real life - well, it isn't clear  ;D.
Thank you for your support  though, really! I'm running a 99 cent promo (not on Kindle Countdown, just by myself) and I haven't sold a single book today! Where to run?  :'( Plus, the day started with a BookBub rejection. But you, Kirkee, are making me feel muuuuch better :))).
Yes, I hope that writing will eventually become my career. I'm writing a short novella now "Oh, You Are Having a Baby? Or Confessions of an Unmotherly Mother" and then on to the sequel for My Journey - A Year in the Sky. :). I'll just have to hope that I'll find time to do it all!!
 

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No, not Russian--true blue Aussie here! My mother read a book while she was pregnant that had a character called Marina and liked the name. Books have a lot to answer for!

I understand you not wanting to give away too much of the plot, but I think it's okay to hint at the possibility of a new romance. How about something like this?

Elena knows what she wants from life. Her whole picture-perfect existence is planned out and allows for no deviation. She is engaged to be married and intends to be happy. Along with three of her girlfriends, she takes a summer trip across the ocean, a last fling full of pool parties and vodka watermelons. But of course no shagging. That wouldn't fit the plan at all.

But Lena's world is rock-n-rolled when gorgeous [love interest] takes the deck chair next to hers. Suddenly the future is not so clear. Life may have other plans for Lena, and she faces a hard decision if she is ever to find her happy-ever-after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Aaaaa! Marina, I'm loving it  :))) LOVING IT! Thank you  :-*!
You managed to write a better blurb for my novel than yours truly! LOVE IT! Thank you  ;D
 

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I have a few comments, but please bear in mind that this isn't a genre I read in so I may be missing something obvious.

Firstly, I liked the cover. Secondly, I liked the blurb - I especially liked that it had a bit of "voice."

But do they match each other? The tone of the cover seems different to me than the tone of the blurb.

Looking at these two factors by themselves, I struggled to place either in a definite category. Looking at them together, I still struggled. In an effort to pinpoint genre, I went to your Amazon page to look at your categories. Two of these were vague (Teen & Young Adult, and I think the other one was New Adult & College). The other two were more specific (Romantic Comedy, and I think Multicultural & Interracial).

I clicked on the specific categories to see what was in them. I didn't see many covers like yours - they were photo illustrations and more "romantic." The blubs had a stronger vibe of romance as well. And although your book is in a multicultural & interracial category there's no hint of this in your blurb.

So, the point of all this is to ask you a question. Are you sure that your cover and blurb are reinforcing each other and pressing the right buttons for readers of your chosen categories? 
 

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Wow, Marina! Beautiful.

Dr. Krenneck, the estimable blurb surgeon makes
some excellent points here. Super sharp observations.

Further proof why KB is tops.

Looks like you've got some good stuff to work with here, Lena.  ;D

Best,

Kirkee

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Jack! It's nice to meet you and thanks very much for the feedback... Hmm.. it gives me something to think about. The thing is - my novel doesn't really fall under any specific genre. I would say it's mostly contemporary romance, but it's also YA (because it talks about adventures of 20-year-old college girls), women's fiction (because it's told from a perspective of a 32-year-old mom), memoir (because it's a memoir), multicultural (because it is told from a perspective of a Russian girl in the States), a romantic comedy (because it's funny and designed to make you laugh out loud - I hope!  :p) and it's also quite philosophical if you want to dig deeper. So - to answer your question, I have no idea what genre it is, and lovers of true chick lit more than likely will not like it. In true chick lit, everything is perfect, and this novel is all about finding harmony and happiness in the imperfections of this world. I believe the cover reflects the true nature of My Journey more. And the blurb is too clean and fairy-tale like.
As far as the categories go, I'll do just that - I'l go check out which ones have similar covers. If anybody has any ideas what genre my novel will do better in (judging by my quite confusing description above), please let me know!

Cheers!
Lena
 

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I think you're being a bit hard on chick-lit. It's not always perfect (although I know what you mean). There are a wide range of stories encompassed by that genre. I got a very chick-litty vibe from both your cover and blurb, and it's a category that sells well (just look at the top 100 books on Amazon). I think you could place it there without problems, but obviously I haven't read it, so please disregard if you want.  :)

ETA: There are a couple of good 'How to' books about writing chick-lit, which might help you decide, if you haven't read them. One is 'Will Write for Shoes'. There's another one, which is equally good, but I can't remember the name. I'd go and have a look, but it's in my bathroom (don't ask - it's like my second library  :)) and I'm currently sitting on my kitchen worktop, hiding from a mouse and waiting for my OH to come and rescue me.  ???

ETA: I'm saved! It's called See Jane Write.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lol, Annabel! I'm now hiding from my children in my bedroom - which is like my second office! I actually like chick lit - I do! I was reading Kinsella's Undomestic Goddess when I was in labor and 8 cm dialated (without an epidural) and was laughing my arse off!!  ;D Actually, even before having seen your post, I went and changed the key words to chick lit. But about the category? Everything else that seemed to have a similar vibe was in Romantic Comedy, I believe. Nice to meet you, btw!!  ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
While I'm here and while I'm thinking about it -  ;D - any ideas why I don't have a single borrow? Is it too soon? It was published exactly a month ago, it has 8 5-star reviews and a pretty cool cover (me thinks) - why is there not a single borrow?  :'(
 

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I added the other book above but, in case you didn't see it, it's called See Jane Write. They're both really good books. I don't know about the borrows but, since you've got reviews, why don't you try some promos? There's lots of threads on here about them, and you're nearing (or have reached) the end of your 30 days, so it might be a good time to do something to maintain visibility.
 

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I love the cover.  Not liking the questions in the blurb.
And yes my bathroom has books too.  And a phone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, Annabel! I'll check this book out - sounds interesting!  ;D I'm actually doing some promos. Since I have not planned anything in advance, I'm pretty much flying by the seat of my pants, but here's what I've lined up so far:

1. March 13-March 17 - fiverr, Desertgirl - nada yesterday, 1 sale today :(
2. March 15 - bknights
3. March 16 - SweetFreeBooks and Read Cheaply
4. March 19 - 30 day blog tour with Enchanted
5. March 22 - ebooksoda
6. April 7 - Buck Books

That's it so far - if you like, I'll update you on the results :)).

Cinisajoy - good to meet you :). Yeah, I love the cover too.  I tell my cover artist that I love her every day :)). You don't like the questions? May I ask why? I actually already got rid of them - because I liked Marina's blurb better than mine  ;D, but just out of interest.
 

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That is talking to the reader.    Don't ask me questions,  just show me the answers in the book.
I hope that makes sense.   
Oh should I add the asparagus to the chicken and fettuccine or leave it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
LOOOl  ;D I don't know, but chicken, asparagus and fettuccine for dinner sounds damn nice! I haven't made anything yet. My fam will starve! 
 

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I decided against the asparagus. Made zucchini instead.
 
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