The Joy of Blurbing

One of the services I offer is the blurb or book description. It can be very difficult for a writer to look at their own work objectively and compress a description into 300 words or less. While I don’t call myself a blurb expert, I craft them for my own books and I enjoy the challenge!

Each blurb has a different feel depending on genre. For example, here is a YA (young adult) novel blurb I did recently, heavy on character description and challenging circumstances:

For talented twenty-year-old Remi, home is an abandoned hotel in San
Diego. A foster child with a tragic past, her family has become the
two boys she looks after like a mother: six-year-old Benny, who’s
diabetic and in a wheelchair, and young teen Owen, an emotionally
scarred foster-home runaway. The only adult around is Brock, an Irish
army vet with PTSD who lives in the hotel lobby and is their
protector.

Remi works in a diner by day, but sings on street corners and attracts
the attention of Jude, a young music producer with his own troubled
past. Mesmerized by her voice, he offers her a contract. Remi seems
close to achieving her dream of opening a music academy for youth and
keeping her little family together. But in this seedy, dangerous world
where gang members rule the streets, nothing can stay the same for
long.

[Author X’s] latest novel is a bittersweet but optimistic tale of
what it means to be young, powerless, and want more out of life.

evil old haunted house

Hvala’s novel features an evil old house.

Another blurb I did recently has a slightly different feel, as it’s for a paranormal thriller by first-time author Jessica Hvala set in small-town Indiana, with a female MC. For that, I emphasized the quiet location and the creepiness lurking under the facade of normality. I also wanted to convey that the tone of the book was somewhat quirky!

A scatterbrained professional organizer comes up against unexplained
evil in her own quiet neighborhood in this debut paranormal thriller.

Thirty-something Sheryn Maples’s peaceful life with her dog Ginger in
her southern Indiana town is rudely interrupted when she purchases her
first home in a rural neighborhood, close to a grungy old house that
radiates darkness…

At first Sheryn’s life continues normally, with Sunday visits to her
snobby mother to bake goodies, runs with her dog, chats with her
married sister, and dreams of the hunky real estate agent who found
her the home. All thoughts of romance fly out the window, though, when
Sheryn begins to have disturbing episodes where she is visited by what
seems to be the ghost of a pretty young teenager in a pink T-shirt,
who can only wail in distress. The girl soon invades her dreams, and
Sheryn must pluck up the courage to discover what dreadful fate befell
the girl—or what is yet to happen. Aided by friendly local psychic
Randy and a quirky married pair of paranormal investigators, Sheryn
feels like she’s getting close to solving the mystery, and saving a
life.

But will she have the presence of mind to defeat the evil that lurks
just around the corner?

BOOK COVER3 (1)-001 (1)(I’m glad I emphasized evil in the blurb because the cover of Hvala’s just released book, We Are All Ghosts (at left), radiates it!)

I charge a reasonable $45 for this blurb-crafting service, so let me know if you are interested when I work on your project. (I can also blurb a book that I haven’t read if I’m provided with enough detail.)

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Happy Halloween!

undyingIt’s been a busy season for Edit for Indies. In the last month or so, I copyedited a paranormal title that has become a best-seller, Valerie Grosjean’s Undying. Subtitled “a tale of love…and zombies,” this crisply written, fast-paced YA book has plenty of gore, suspense, and heart, as freshman Christian races home from college to save his beloved Iris after the zombie apocalypse. Based on how the book ended, I’m sure this is the start of a very successful series for the Bay Area author.

It was my pleasure this year to work on a series of werewolf/shifter titles (Donna Flynn’s Pack series) and also to edit author Lillian Francken‘s set of books, which have action, suspense, and dark elements to them, and are set in the Wisconsin area. I’m always grateful for return clients who ask me to work on multiple books; it’s really a vote of confidence in me as an editor, and I appreciate it.

Other books I’ve worked on recently include Aditi Chopra’s Mystical Desi Girl, the third book in her current series about Mahi, a young Indian-American woman in San Jose who is balancing a career and the ups and downs of a traditional marriage, and a delightful children’s book by writer-actor Byron Marc Newsome called Take That, You Scaredy-Cat! on the subject of bullying…

dickinsteinFinally, I also edited Shannon Yarbrough’s Emily Dickinson/Frankenstein mashup Dickinstein, out now from Rocking Horse Publishing. The novel has one of the most striking covers I’ve seen, designed by the author himself—and it’s beautifully written.

As we go into the chilly season things always die down a bit, in my experience, and so I’m happy to offer a winter discount of $25 off to new clients that will run through January 2014. (This applies to full-length books, of course.) Just let me know when you contact me that you’re interested in the discount.