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Old 07-27-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
OneandonlyDoc
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Opinions on a blurb?

I'm getting to the 2/3rds point in the final draft of a novel (a series, actually) that I've been working on for about twelve years (I'm slow, I know, but that's what happens when you're in college/grad school and working on multiple projects). I'm starting to draft the story blurb for when I e-publish the piece, so I was hoping to solicit a few opinions on it. Originally, the project was one massive novel, but revisions have caused me to shift it into a series of novels. Any and all feedback is definitely appreciated.

It's a science fiction piece, and the (tentative) title is Epsilon: Sins of the Father.


Quote:
Aaron Taylor is a man with nothing left. A shell of who he was, bereft of the woman he loves, he accepts an undercover assignment on the behalf of the Epsilon Alliance: to head into neutral territory to join the Resistance in their fight against the encroaching Drilin Imperium. On the border between two galactic powers, Aaron struggles to forge a new life and identity as he tries to undo some of the wrongs done by his father, an Imperium general.

Caren Flannery is the girl that Aaron feared he'd lost forever, and when she comes back into his life after escaping from Imperium custody, she brings with her some of the very darkest secrets the Imperium has. They are secrets worth killing for....

Together, these two Alliance SpecOps officers must find a way to keep themselves--and the greatest leaders the Resistance has--alive. If they fail, all of humanity may pay the price.
Thanks!
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:26 AM   #2
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My main thought is this section, "...on the behalf of the Epsilon Alliance: to head into neutral territory to join the Resistance in their fight against the encroaching Drilin Imperium" is dragged down by the details.

Seems like you can set the hook in us without using so many names. I'd say even to drop the characters' last names. You can give us those details inside the book. As a new reader of your work, those details are meaningless. Your blurb will be punchier without them.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:56 AM   #3
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I'm no writer but I think the opening needs just a little tightening.

Aaron Taylor is a man with nothing. A shell of who he once was.

and i don't like the word "bereft" there.

I agree with what penforhire says too. As a whole, it does get my attention though.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:59 AM   #4
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1. One thing that immediately catches my eye is "bereft". Generally, bereft is tied to possession, that is, the loss of possession. I wouldn't think itgoes so well with "woman" . Do you mean bereaved rather than bereft?

Yes, I know that there are secondary meanings that could make bereft appropriate, but it is always best to stick with primary meanings.

2. "on the behalf of" should be just "on behalf of"

3. Not clear to me how territory could be neutral if that is where he will find the resistance. Plus it appears to be on the border between two galactic powers, so is it a separate country that lies between the powers or is the border the border between the 2 powers?

4. If he is heading into battle on behalf of the Alliance, why is he trying to undo what the Alliance has done? Either is working for the Alliance or against the Alliance, or so I would think as a reader.

5. I find the description confusing. I certainly would not be intrigued enough to pay for a copy f the ebook based on the blurb. Free I might give it a try, but not if I had to pay for it. It is unclear to me what Aaron's problems are. If he has nothing left, why is he trying forge a new life and identity? If he is trying to forge a new life and identity, why did he volunteer to go undercover for the Alliance? What could his father have done that was so ant-Alliance that the Alliance would send the son undercover to help the Alliance and not worry about his crusade to right his father's wrongs might unravel things?

Basically, I find myself confused about the book and the blurb doesn't clarify; it confuses.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:22 PM   #5
OneandonlyDoc
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Of course, I'm hoping to sell it somewhere around the $2.99-$3.99 price point, so of course the feedback regarding whether or not you'd pay for the book based on the blurb is extremely useful. I plan on making the first chapter or so available as a sample as well (in my experience as a buyer and based on the advice of other folks, I've found a sample helps make a decision whether or not to pay for a book, too).

I've had someone at another forum encourage me to concentrate less on the two narrators (Aaron and Caren) and more on the intergalactic conflict. I'd be interested to know if anyone else felt this way.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:41 PM   #6
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Here's my suggested edit. Without knowing how important any of the details are to the story, it's hard to know what else might be eliminated to tighten it up further.

I personally wouldn't read the book, as SF is simply not my thing, but I think the blurb sounds pretty interesting.

Quote:
Aaron Taylor is a man with nothing left. Thinking the woman he loves _____ [is dead? has disappeared? is gone forever?], he accepts an undercover assignment for the Epsilon Alliance: to head into neutral territory and join the Resistance against the encroaching Drilin Imperium. On the border between two galactic powers, Aaron struggles to forge a new life and identity, and to undo the wrongs done by his father, an Imperium general.

Caren Flannery is the girl Aaron feared he'd lost forever. When she comes back into his life after escaping from Imperium custody, she brings with her some of the Imperium's darkest secrets. They are secrets worth killing for....

Together, these two must find a way to keep themselves--and the greatest leaders of the Resistance--alive. If they fail, all of humanity may pay the price.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
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I think the blurb is a little blah. I wrote an article on designing blurbs a while back. It's called "Book Differentiation" and it was published on the First Turning Point website. Perhaps it will help you out. You can read it here. It's in three parts so you'll have to go thru three pages but they are linked together.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Aaron Taylor is a man with nothing left. A shell of who he was, bereft of the woman he loves, he accepts an undercover assignment on the behalf of the Epsilon Alliance: to head into neutral territory to join the Resistance in their fight against the encroaching Drilin Imperium. On the border between two galactic powers, Aaron struggles to forge a new life and identity as he tries to undo some of the wrongs done by his father, an Imperium general.

Caren Flannery is the girl that Aaron feared he'd lost forever, and when she comes back into his life after escaping from Imperium custody, she brings with her some of the very darkest secrets the Imperium has. They are secrets worth killing for....

Together, these two Alliance SpecOps officers must find a way to keep themselves--and the greatest leaders the Resistance has--alive. If they fail, all of humanity may pay the price.
I don't know anything about your story thus far, but you've received some pretty good advice. I agree with the whole tease the conflict, not the narrator blurb. Unless you're writing about a zombie PI or something, the character doesn't matter that much in the blurb. The strength of your text seems to be in the conflict. You really should stress that and the mysteries this girl has.

Here's my take on it.

Quote:
The Epsilon Alliance is fighting a war they cannot win. As the Drilin Empire creeps closer to the borders, Aaron Taylor struggles to forge a new life from the ashes of his past.

But, one night his past catches up with him. Now Aaron finds himself undercover in the heart of the conflict, working with the girl he gave up for dead [eleventy] years ago.

Together, they must find a way to keep the Resistance alive. If they fail, all of humanity may pay the price. Because Caren holds a secret.

A secret worth killing for.
Hack away!
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:13 AM   #9
OneandonlyDoc
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Thanks for all the helpful advice, folks!
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