Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Dreaded Back Cover Blurb: My Progress So Far

Members of my critique group have witnessed my struggle to write a compelling back cover blurb for my 5th Casey Holland mystery, Knock Knock. Soon, my editor will be working with it and chiming in. Anyone who’s attempted to write a back cover blurb knows how daunting this vital process is. Many readers make decisions on whether to buy a book or not based on that blurb.

So, it was timely to come across a how-to blog about writing a back cover blurb, and for different genres. For my genre, mystery and suspense, author Marilynn Byerly provides a four paragraph process, but she also provides tips for paring it down.

Essentially, she says that the back cover blurb should set up the plot and the protagonist’s emotional investment in the first paragraph. Paragraph two should elaborate on more plot set up and emotional involvement, or more information about the victim. The next two paragraphs focus on the stakes and the obstacles the protagonist must overcome. What is the interior conflict?

Here’s the tentative draft, version no. 342, or thereabouts. I lost count...

The latest attack in a string of violent Vancouver home invasions kills senior Elsie Englehart. Security officer Casey Holland is devastated. She’s let Elsie down. Casey’s supposed to be watching over elderly bus riders in an affluent, high-risk area.

Determined to keep others safe, Casey escorts an elderly man home one afternoon, but an armed intruder forces his way in and attacks them both. Hospitalized and frustrated, Casey struggles to regain control of her life, despite interference from family and colleagues.

Her fiancĂ© wants to postpone their wedding, and Casey’s boss cuts her out of the loop. Another violent home invasion compels Casey to take action, but at what cost to her health, her relationship, and her career?

Find out in Debra Purdy Kong’s fifth installment, Knock Knock, where the risks have never been higher, or the consequences more deadly.

I think it’s almost there. But I certainly welcome input. For those who want to read blurb suggestions for other genres, check out Marilynn’s suggestions HERE.

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