Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two Common Blurb Mistakes

I haven't done a writing/editing post in some time. I've noticed a pattern lately with one thing in particular (always did, but more so now, so much so this is threatening to become a Kellypeeve--eek!). So, I decided I'd take a broader perspective and focus on TWO things I often see blurbs get wrong. These two things usually stop me from buying the book. I'm picky, I know that. I'm not your average reader. But it never hurts to have a mistake-free, blurb, right?

So, indies and publishers, listen up! Yep, publishers too. You're the main culprits of this, actually. ;-)

Mistake one (may be turning into a Kellypeeve!):
In your book blurb, don't put the first sentence character's name in commas.

For example, DON'T do: Perpetually lovelorn and crazy writer, Jane Doe, is kidnapped.

DO: Perpetually lovelorn and crazy writer Jane Doe is kidnapped.

Now, if you have a character who has ONE daughter, and only ONE daughter, then yeah, you can do something like: John Doe's daughter, Jane Doe, is kidnapped. (If John Doe has more than one daughter, don't put Jane's name in commas.) In either case (and I'm talking about lesfic here most likely), if Jane Doe is a main character and her dad isn't, forget about the dad! What's more interesting is that Jane was kidnapped. Get the dad out of the sentence.

Mistake two:
Ages. Have TWO hyphens if you're doing something like seventeen-year-old. Don't let your blurb read: Jane Doe is a seventeen-year old girl who is kidnapped.

You risk turning off readers because you need a hyphen between year and old.

Right: Jane Doe is a seventeen-year-old girl who is kidnapped.

No hyphens needed: Jane Doe is seventeen years old.
Yes to hyphens: The seventeen-year-old was kidnapped.

*** Nitpicking, you may cry! This is a blurb. Who cares?

Okay.

You can think that way, sure. But I've noticed that the blurb is often reflective of the book and the book's quality of editing. Why take the risk? Put out an error-free blurb.

1 comment:

Carol P. said...

Thank you. Excellent advice.

Carol