Today’s blurb is brought to you by sci-fi fantasy sequel The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels by indie author Dhesan Neil Pillay.
Here’s the blurb that landed on our sacrificial altar:
“Following the battle between Thaedis and Rezaaran, The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels sees the young War Mage embark on a journey of redemption. However, in the wake of Thaedis’s victory on Zynoo, the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems (IRIS) has lost a considerable margin against the tyrant’s Obsidian Dominion. The hope of freedom seems ever more distant.
Despite the odds, Rezaaran remains steadfastly determined and endeavours to unite a group of fabled warriors. But will this be enough to save Anmor from the coming darkness and defeat the nefarious villain who has bested him once before?”
The first, feathery impressions:
You can probably tell that I was thoroughly confused. Are Thaedis and Rezaaran names of countries or different factions? Is Zynoo a place? What’s the connection between the young war mage, Thaedis, Rezaaran, Zynoo, Anmor, Obsidian Dominion, and the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems? what is a “journey of redemption” and why? How is finding fabled warriors a redemption plot?
I went back and read the blurb for book one to see if that might help me figure things out. It did, a little…
Here’s the premise: Rezaaran is a slave who becomes a freedom fighter and a war-mage in a battle against oppressive and evil bad guys in a sci-fi fantasy galactic mashup world.
Still don’t get why he needs to be redeemed (sure sounds like he’s a good guy) but after bit of work, I figured it out. But the thing is, most readers won’t work for it.
Authors watch out: Even if you assume folks are already familiar with a previous book in a series, it’s never a good idea to use too many world-specific terms, locations, and vocabulary in your blurb.
Every book is a new chance to snag new readers. You want someone who’s never heard of your series to pick up a second book in a series, read the back, and say, “Huh, interesting! Oh, this is Book Two? I’m going to give Book One a try.”
This won’t happen if the reader has no idea what the blurb is saying.
See also: [Pitch Slapped] A book blurb is no place for world-building
For all the writers reading this, I challenge you to go back to a blurb of yours and highlight every single time you use a name, location, or book-specific term. Can you swap in a more common word or phrase?
For this blurb:
“Following the battle between Thaedis and Rezaaran, The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels sees the young War Mage embark on a journey of redemption. However, in the wake of Thaedis’s victory on Zynoo, the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems (IRIS) has lost a considerable margin against the tyrant’s Obsidian Dominion. The hope of freedom seems ever more distant.”
So what might a simplified version look like? Here’s a quick example:
“In a world of space travel and magic, the intergalactic alliance of independence planets is reeling after failing to stop the emperor’s invasion fleet. The alliance’s only hope is Rezaaran, a former slave turned war mage and hero. But Rezaaran is missing in action, pursuing a far-fetched quest to find and unite a group of fabled warriors. Will his gamble save the alliance, or will the empire crush the free planets in its inexorable march for complete domination?”
What do you think, Canaries?
Hungry for more pitches? Read more here.
Do you have a pitch or blurb that you’d like to send to the sacrificial altar? Email it our way to firstname.lastname@example.org