Friday, June 22, 2012

Writing your blurb

You now have the book, and the cover

The final item you have to get ready before publishing on Kindle is the blurb

This is the quickest and simplest task, but it is just as important as the first two -- maybe more so, because this is the advertisement for your book, the enticing description that will prompt someone to buy it.

Think of it as the inside flap of a printed book. In the same way, it should tell just enough of the story to make reading the novel enticing, with an indication of what kind of book it is -- a maritime historical adventure, in my case.

You will insert this into a special box in the publication process. It must not be attached to the novel itself. Therefore, open a new word document, and save it as YourBookBlurb Then start writing, very carefully and thoughtfully, and be prepared to rewrite several times. And proof it until you are absolutely sure that there are no typos. Unfortunately, html tags don't work, so you won't be able to italicize anything. However, you will be able to post it in Times New Roman font size 12, just like your novel.

Kindle is generous with length, allowing you 4,000 characters, which is about 750 words. However, if you look at book descriptions on the Amazon book site, you will find that after about 200 words the description fades, and the reader needs to hit "read more." So, you must put the major message into those first 150-200 words.

Accordingly, this is what I put into the first three paragraphs, or 185 words:

Born at sea and raised on shipboard, adventurous young Abigail Sherman wants nothing more than to be wedded to the ocean. Like her mother, a pioneer seafaring woman, Abigail is convinced that her destiny is to be a captain’s wife at sea.

Instead, fate conspires against her, when her father packs her off to the dour household of relatives in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to learn proper womanly decorum. Arriving on the same day as the momentous news of the discovery of gold in California, Abigail does her best to conform, despite being involved in controversial events, including the Women’s Rights movement, and a sensational murder trial.

News of her father’s brutal murder impels her to escape to South America, where she enters into a marriage of convenience with a strongwilled young whaling captain. Her legacy is the ownership of the brig she grew up on, and a puzzling rhyme that may lead to a fortune. But, before she can return to New Zealand to collect, Abigail must outwit the grumbling seamen of her husband’s ship, a mystery murderer, and her own attractive, strangely hostile husband.

This covered the area before the text fades into "read more." After that, I concentrated on the history of the book and something to promote it, rather than its core story.

When originally published as Abigail, this colorful seafaring saga attracted many enthusiastic reviews. “Lots of adventure, a colorful cast of characters, and enough whaling details to provide a first-rate vicarious experience,” wrote Joan Hinkemeyer for Library Journal, while Publishers Weekly applauded, “Excellent characters in full sail amid tangy salt air and creaky timbers offer prime entertainment ... engagingly captures the atmosphere of whalers and their world.”

Updated to reflect Joan Druett’s continuing love affair with the sea and the courageous women who voyaged under sail, A Love of Adventure steers the reader through Abigail’s incident-ridden voyage to a nail-biting conclusion, with many exotic landfalls on the way.

And that was it. I thought it was plenty.

While you are writing, you can keep track of your character count by hitting "review" in the ribbon at the top of your word page.

This brings up a ribbon where the fifth option from the left ends with the tab "Word Count." Hit this, and a little screen will come up.

You probably won't need this, the character count allowance being so generous, but it is nice to be sure that you won't be stalled at the publication process by having a book description that's too long.

That done? Everything checked? You are now ready to start registering and publishing on Kindle. Hit THIS LINK to get there.


  1. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this still of value three years later - well done!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. You have been a Godsend! Thank you so much!

  6. You are most welcome. I am glad it was helpful.