My Blurb Needs Help. Please Help!

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Happy Hump Day, everyone! I wish I could say mine was going good, but it’s been one of those days. Maybe you can help me out with at least one of my problems:)

Below is a very very very … very rough draft of the blurb to my upcoming release. It’s the first in a comedic fantasy series about an outcast named Mongrel who is trying to unite the various kingdoms. Any advise would be helpful … even grammatical advises. Thank you in advance!

Blurb: After 1,001 years of war and hostilities among the six—er—seven kingdoms, Wizard White Beard proposes an alternative to war—a scavenger hunt! The winner determines the fate of all. The rules are clear: no weapons, no bloodshed, just clean, honest competition. Simple enough, but when contestants refuse to follow them, it’s up to Mongrel, an orphan with an unconventional upbringing, to bring about real peace. With the help of a hodgepodge group of outcasts including a gentle ogre, a magically-challenged elf, a feisty young dwarf appropriately named for her weapon of choice, and a wizard’s apprentice, who doesn’t even want to be a wizard, Mongrel just might stand a chance of winning the competition—that is, if he can survive!

A hilarious tale of magic, mayhem, and outrageous situations, BLANK offers a fresh spin on the classic fantasy universe while subverting everyone’s favorite fantasy tropes along the way.

Please leave any thoughts for feedback in the comments below. Thank you very much!

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33 thoughts on “My Blurb Needs Help. Please Help!

  1. I like the humor and clear explanation in the first paragraph. It really sets the tone for the book, so you know what you’re getting. Keeping that in mind, the second paragraph/ending line seems too serious for the rest of it. It’s like bouncing around on a fun adventure and suddenly being yanked into a literature class at the end. What about making a first line/solo opening statement that is similar to this and reveals it is a fantasy spoof? Nothing about subverting tropes, but keeping the ‘fresh spin’ and parody/spoof revelation. This way the reader knows it will be a spoof and then they step into the meat of the blurb, which is where they stay before inevitably hitting the purchase button.

  2. armenpogharian

    To some degree it depends on where you plan to use the blurb, back cover, web page, Amazon, ad blurb, other sales site, etc. Each typically has limitations on the number of words and the e-versions need to be searchable. Most of the time I’ve been told to keep blurbs down to 100 or even as few as 70 words. With that in mind I made some edits to yours – doing my best to keep and use your words or at least to follow your style/tone.

    After 1,001 years of hostilities among the six-er-seven kingdoms, Wizard White Beard proposes a non-violent alternative – a winner-take-all scavenger hunt! When contestants refuse to follow the rules, it’s up to the unconventionally raised orphan Mongrel to bring real peace. Together with a gentle ogre, a magically-challenged elf, a feisty female dwarf, and a reluctant wizard’s apprentice, Mongrel just might stand a chance of winning – if he can survive!
    BLANK subverts everyone’s favorite fantasy tropes and delivers a titillating tongue-in-cheek tale of magical mayhem and daring-do. A must read for anyone who enjoyed the first Xanth novels!

    This clocks in at 90 words including the last sentence which is probably only good for a review or marketing piece unless you know Mr. Anthony better than I do (I have exchanged emails with him, but that’s a different matter).

    I hope you find this useful, even if only to be wary of free help.

    Best of luck.

  3. OK, let me try, I have a good track record at blurbing. Here we go:

    There has been war among the six (or possibly seven) kingdoms for over a thousand years. Fed up with this state of affairs, Wizard Whitebeard proposes that the dispute be instead decided by … a scavenger hunt, the winner of which will decide the fate of all six – or seven – kingdoms.

    The rules are clear – no weapons, no bloodshed, no biting and no cheating. Not all the contestants are following the rules, though. With the fate of the world at stake only one team can bring about real peace. Mongrel’s team of outcasts has a gentle ogre, a magically challenged elf, an unwilling wizard’s apprentice, a feisty but very young dwarf and Mongrel himself, an orphan with an unconventional upbringing. They can win – if they can survive. Some of the other teams are trying to make sure they don’t.

    BLANK is the new and hilarious fantasy parody from Kylie Betzner, author of ‘The Quest for the Holy Something-or-Other’. BLANK turns the classic fantasy universe on its head; there’s magic, mayhem, and outrageous situations. Not to mention a lot of jokes.

    BLANK: spinning old tales right round.

  4. amiegibbons15

    I’m with the woman above who said depends what you need it for. Blurb is used for a few things these days, but I think you mean the back of the book paragraph. There the job is to hook the reader. You want person, setting, problem, stakes. Just enough to make the reader interested and want to at least read the first few pages. With yours, there’s a looooot going on. I do think it’s too wordy, but I don’t have good suggestions right now on how to fix. (I can think it over and get back to you, but my lunch break’s just about over so can’t really do it now. 🙂 I think it’s a good start but you definitely want to streamline it.

  5. I like what Charles and Armenpogharian have to say and I like the final sentence in Armenpogharians blurb. Here’s my take mixed with theirs… hope it helps 

    BLANK subverts everyone’s favorite fantasy tropes and delivers an outrageous tongue-in-cheek tale of magical mayhem. A must read for anyone who enjoyed the first Xanth novels!

    Wild Wizard White Beard believes a scavenger hunt will bring an end to a 1001 year’s war that has raged across his six (or seven) kingdoms. He’s made the rules clear: no scratching, biting, clawing or fighting, just good clean competition. Seems simple enough, but contestants refuse to oblige, and only a boy named Mongrel can fix things. This unusual orphan finds help from a hodgepodge group of unlikely heroes who might be his winning team if he can manage to survive.

  6. First off, your book sounds awesome! Such a clever and original idea. Sounds really fun to read. 🙂

    My edits would be simply removing some words to smooth it out. Here’s how I would rewrite these portions:

    — After 1,001 years of war among the six—er—seven kingdoms, Wizard White Beard proposes an alternative—a scavenger hunt!

    — The rules are clear: no weapons, no bloodshed. Just clean, honest competition.

    — That is, if he can survive!

    — A hilarious tale of magic, mayhem, and outrageous situations, BLANK offers a fresh spin on the classic fantasy universe while subverting favorite tropes along the way.

    All I did was remove some words or change some punctuation. Overall, I think your blurb is great!

    P.S. Hi! We follow each other on twitter but somehow I didn’t notice you had a blog! Following you now. 🙂

    • Oh, no, you’re fine. That’s what I want people to do! I want them to tear it up and move it around and add stuff. Input helps me make the best product possible. I love creative input and critical examination. Plus, it makes writing more social:)

      • Oh I know, what I meant is I hope it was clear that the rest of your blurb that I didn’t include in my comment was all fine! I was posting only the sentences I futsed with, punctuation or wording wise. I wasn’t saying to remove any of the rest of your blurb. That was probably obvious and I’m probably overtalking it now so I’ll stop. 😛

  7. You’re probably all set with your blurb now after all the great suggestions, but I couldn’t help tossing out another one.

    A thousand years of war is enough to put anybody in a bad mood. Wizard White Beard is no exception. He’s had it with the constant fighting between the kingdoms. His solution — a scavenger hunt! The winner determines the fate of all. The rules: no weapons, no bloodshed, no cheating.

    But do the contestants follow the rules? Of course not. It’s up to Mongrel, an orphan with an unconventional upbringing, to save the day. With the help of a gentle ogre, a magically-challenged elf, a feisty young dwarf, and a wizard’s apprentice who doesn’t even want to be a wizard, Mongrel might stand a chance of winning the competition — if he survives!

    A hilarious tale of magic, mayhem, and outrageousness, BLANK turns the classic fantasy universe on its head, subverting everyone’s favorite fantasy tropes along the way.

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