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jazzywaltz
10-01-2015, 02:46 AM
Hey everyone,


Im self-pubbing for the very first time and have been working on the back cover blurb for my Urban Fantasy. Ive got three different blurbs all 200 words or under and would like to know which you like best and why. Thanks!


#1


"Magic and I have a love-hate relationship. The more it hurts the people I love, the more I hate it."


Being a shifter in a world dominated by cruel, power-hungry mages is tough as it is. But Enforcer Sunaya Blake is more than just a shifter. She's also half-mage, a secret she's kept from birth in order to escape persecution. So when she accidentally incinerates a berserk rhino shifter in front of witnesses, things get bad really, really fast.


On top of that, someone's been murdering shifters at an alarming rate, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Stranded behind bars, with an execution looming over her head, she fears the murderer will never get caught, and in a bid of desperation appeals to Iannis ar'Sanot, the enigmatic and dangerous Chief Mage.


As cold as he is handsome, Iannis is blind to Sunaya's plight, and locks her up in his palace so he can study her further. But with the bodies piling up, Sunaya doesn't have time to be his lab rat. If she wants to catch the killer and regain her freedom, she's going to have to breach Iannis's icy exterior and win him over to her side.


#2


Enforcer Sunaya Blake is in trouble. A panther shifter with mage powers, shes not supposed to have magic of any kind, and constantly struggles to suppress the talent shes always hated. But while tracking down a serial killer targeting shifters, she accidentally incinerates a berserk rhino shifter, and brings the law crashing down on her own head.


With the power-hungry mages who run Solantha demanding her execution, Sunaya appeals to the elusive and dangerous Chief Mage for help - and instead becomes his prisoner. Reduced to little more than a lab rat, she is defiant against oppression from the palace guards and staff, but defiance isnt good enough. If she wants to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must breach the Chief Mages icy exterior and win him over before its too late.


#3


"Magic and I have a love-hate relationship. Every time it hurts someone I love, I hate it just a little bit more.


Enforcer Sunaya Blake is in trouble. She's supposed to be tracking down an elusive killer who's been poisoning shifters, but when she accidentally uses magic to incinerate a berserk rhino-shifter, murder becomes the least of her problems.


Magic has never been Sunaya's friend, but now it could mean her death. As a panther shifter, she's not supposed to possess magic of any kind. Now that she's drawn the attention of the poewr hungry mages who run Solantha, they demand her execution for posessing a talent she's never wanted nor asked for.


Desperate, she appeals to Iannis ar'Sanot, the dreaded Chief Mage of Solantha, who locks her up in his palace for further study. Reduced to little more than a lab rat, she remains defiant despite the constant hatred and oppression from the palace guards and staff, but defiance isn't enough. If she wants to regain her freedom and catch the serial killer, she must breach Iannis's icy heart and mind and win him over to her side before it's too late.

J. Tanner
10-01-2015, 05:37 AM
None of them really stand out to me as better than the others. I do have a few comments where I think whichever one you choose could be improved...

The tag line bothers me. At first, it seems clever, but on reread there really is no "love" for "it" in the second sentence making the first sentence inaccurate.

These summaries sound a lot more like a secondary world (Solantha?) fantasy than Urban Fantasy. For Urban fantasy I expect some grounding in modern, real-world, concepts. For example, in UF the accidental murder might result in being chased by police. But you have Chief Mages and palaces with their own prisons and guards--all elements that conjure up a D&D style world to my mind.

The sentences where you're less specific about names (outside of the protag) and such work better for me than those that get deeper into the specifics.

So one like this works for me: Magic has never been Sunaya's friend, but now it could mean her death.

While this one doesn't: Desperate, she appeals to Iannis ar'Sanot, the dreaded Chief Mage of Solantha, who locks her up in his palace for further study.

Similarly you could lose the explicit rhino shifter detail and just go with a "after a tragic accident" type summary to allow a reader to know something awful is coming but not knowing the first rhino they see is dead meat.

Hope that helps!

jazzywaltz
10-01-2015, 06:54 AM
None of them really stand out to me as better than the others. I do have a few comments where I think whichever one you choose could be improved...

The tag line bothers me. At first, it seems clever, but on reread there really is no "love" for "it" in the second sentence making the first sentence inaccurate.


Yeah, the tag-line is supposed to be a kind of play on words. The MC is sarcastic and says stuff like this a lot. But it might not be working.


These summaries sound a lot more like a secondary world (Solantha?) fantasy than Urban Fantasy. For Urban fantasy I expect some grounding in modern, real-world, concepts. For example, in UF the accidental murder might result in being chased by police. But you have Chief Mages and palaces with their own prisons and guards--all elements that conjure up a D&D style world to my mind.

The story is set in an alternate San Francisco, which is made fairly clear both on the cover (which features the Golden Gate Bridge) and throughout the story with various references. One of my beta readers turned out to be pretty familiar with SF, and he got it right away even though I didn’t tell him and there was no cover for him to look at. :) But anyway, it’s closer to UF than anything else.


The sentences where you're less specific about names (outside of the protag) and such work better for me than those that get deeper into the specifics.

So one like this works for me: Magic has never been Sunaya's friend, but now it could mean her death.

While this one doesn't: Desperate, she appeals to Iannis ar'Sanot, the dreaded Chief Mage of Solantha, who locks her up in his palace for further study.

Similarly you could lose the explicit rhino shifter detail and just go with a "after a tragic accident" type summary to allow a reader to know something awful is coming but not knowing the first rhino they see is dead meat.

Good points. One of the people I asked on another forum said she liked #1 better because there were less specifics, but everyone else seems to like #3 the best which has more specifics. I’ll have to give this more thought but I could probably afford to pare down some of the details.

Thanks for your feedback! :)

slhuang
10-01-2015, 09:43 AM
Once you get 50 posts, you can post these in Query Letter Hell for some critique, if you want it. You'll get much more detailed feedback there and blurbs are perfectly acceptable as well as queries. :)

jazzywaltz
10-01-2015, 10:47 AM
Good to know!

J. Tanner
10-02-2015, 06:45 AM
Yeah, the tag-line is supposed to be a kind of play on words. The MC is sarcastic and says stuff like this a lot. But it might not be working.

Yup. I like MCs that are unreliable and/or prone to saying things that aren't quite right and the reader can get their expectations set correctly pretty quick. But seeing it in a tag line that isn't attributable to anyone but the blurb writer is where it sort of throws me. But I'm WAY more nitpicky than readers... (and feedback is always a trend thing rather than trying to fix everything anyone mentions.)


The story is set in an alternate San Francisco, which is made fairly clear both on the cover (which features the Golden Gate Bridge) and throughout the story with various references.

The cover can do a lot for you in setting genre. If that's on point, you need to worry way less about my concern here.

You shouldn't consider what's inside the book as an element that supports the blurb at all. The job of the blurb is to get a potential customer to A) download the sample, B) read the sample online, or C) press Buy immediately (YAY!). So if there's any confusion about genre they'll click away before reading any prose and never know it might have been just what they're looking for. You want that UF reader to be absolutely sure that the book will deliver a UF experience just from the cover and blurb. Worst case, you confuse a reader who buys a book that isn't right for them and then you get a bad review or return. Those suck, so best avoided.

And I second the comment of using QLH when you're able. You'll tend to get detailed line edits and a feedback from a real cross-second of experienced writers.