This edition of Pitch Shredding brings us our first look at a book blurb. These are a little different than pitches, in that you are trying to sell the book to a reader rather than an agent or editor. The focus shifts from making them want to request more to getting them to click that buy button or buy the book in the store.
With that knowledge, here is the blurb, as submitted:
My Hour Glass is a selection of verse intertwined with a few very short dark fiction stories suitable in length for the quick read during a coffee break or during the odd moment when you only have a few minutes to spare.
From a British author, this selection covers previously unpublished works, selected and put together for the first time here in 'My Hour Glass'.
This book includes some verse and lyrics - some of which gained him the -UK- Smith Prize in 1972 - created as a teenager.
Since that time the author has written in other genres including non-fiction political history and children's short fiction stories for Kindle, both genres having enjoyed some success in Amazon's bestsellers lists.
Within this book, the line within the lyric 'IT NEVER RAINS IN KANSAS' - Missile silos into condos - is a reference to these obsolete relics of the Cold War being 'upgraded' into luxury private living accommodation, as already being actioned prior to the time of publication of this first edition.
Any resemblance to real events or real people within the short stories, could possibly be purely coincidental, but if you do notice a change in eye colour from blue to red, you are allowed to be a little worried.
There is a lot of talk in this blurb about the author, but not a lot about the actual stories. When writing a blurb, the most important thing to remember is that you are selling the book, not the author. I think it's fabulous that this author has won awards for something in this book, but if we don't know what the stories are about, do we really care?
This blurb poses another problem as well: How do you pitch a book of short stories?
I've seen this done in a number of ways. You could pick one particular story and really focus on that and rely on it to carry the rest of the book. This approach is popular if you have a title story that sets the theme for the rest of the book.
Another approach is writing a very small blurb for a number of the stories in the book. To be successful in this approach, you need to be really good at elevator pitches (which we'll cover with another submission).
The bit at the end, after the *** I think is a bit weird and extraneous. Personally, I would cut that, and use the extra words to focus on the stories.
How would you go about pitching a book of short stories?
If an author has awards or accomplishments, do you think this belongs in description or back cover copy?
Do you read the book blurb for books that you're interested in? How much does the book blurb affect your decision to purchase?
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