How to write a lousy blurb – Competition

I’m the master of lousy blurbs.  😀

I’d like to propose, on this day on which we all are bored enough to blog frantically (as though our children/ ourselvers weren’t writing exams and we weren’t doing frantic end-of-year audits, print runs, Christmas functions and so on), two activities for my beautiful blog readers.  🙂

Activity 1 is the kind bloggers love:

Your call to write critical comments!  Go to town in P’ and comment here (on this post) on all the blurbs… let us know which ones are the biggest bloopers, and why.  There are no prizes for this one but it’s fun anyway.

Activity 2:

Try your hand at writing a blurb for the short-stories (they are still in “Freestuff” so now is the moment to read them, before they are published in a collection and made Christmas-present giftable).  The three best blurbs will each be sent a free paperback copy of one of our novels.  Proviso:  They must be good enough to be considered for replacing existing blurbs.

Activity 3:

Alternatively you can send in a deliberately lousy blurb.  The funniest will be posted here.  The prize for the 3 best will be an ebook of your choice, sent to you in pdf format (all e-readers handle pdf alright).

(Hmm.  That’s three activities!  It appears there are three kinds of people – those who can count and those who can’t.)

Submit your blurb to, and write in the subject line, “blurb for…” plus the name of the short-stories.

7 Tips for writing a great blurb:

1. Start intriguingly.

2. End by leaving unresolved conflict in the reader.  The more tension, the better.

3. Be specific to the story.

4. Include “hooks” (e.g. shoutlines and questions)

5. Spoiler-alert.  Beware of telling too much.

6. Keep it short – under 30 seconds to read, between 50 and 100 words.  Make every word relevant.

7. Go for the jugular – and leave the reader wondering whether it will be ripped .

(Only)  5 Classic mistakes one can make in blurb-writing:

1.  GIVING THE PLOT AWAY!  This is the biggest and worst mistake, and spoils the book.  You’ve already read the blurb.  Why buy the book?  (Please refrain from using this one in your deliberately lousy blurb entries below, for obvious reasons.)
2. Gushing.  Let the reader discover for himself how riveting this novel is…  (bring that rivet gun…)
3. Clichay.  Nay.  Do refrayn from clichay!  (“Alicia thought she’d never love again.”  …  drip … )
4. Writing too much.  A good blurb catches the reader in 30 seconds or less.  It’s like fly-fishing rather than     angling.  A good blurb creates a hole that needs to be filled.  With more story.
5. Slang.  Yeah.  Consider who buys this book.  It’s rarely the teen addicted to Twitter.  It’s her mother, trying to get her away from Twitter.

I’m sure there are 100’s of further tips for writing a great blurb.  If you’d like to share your tips, post a comment.  If you’d like to try your hand, you know where to go.  Remember, Christmas holidays are coming up and there are fresh crispy novels to be won.

Btw there are certain Freestuff items that will not be included in the short-story collection; they will stay in Freestuff.  See my previous post.

So have fun!  🙂


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