Friday, May 17, 2019

Beyond Breathing and Counting - Ideas for Handling Our Emotions BY: CAROL P. ROMAN, J. ROBIN ALBERTSON-WREN

Beyond Breathing and Counting - Ideas for Handling Our Emotions

Whether we are at home, school, or spending time with friends, there are times when our emotions are going to shift to the not-so-fun side of the chart: anger or frustration; embarrassment; anxiety, fear or overwhelmed-ness; sadness; or even emotions we can't name. Using everyday scenarios (pesky siblings, spats with friends, accidental damage, lost items) peer guides acknowledge the emotions, help label them, and offer ways to take control of them so they can make healthier and more thoughtful decisions. 

Parent Perspective:
Readers in the target audience will most definitely have experienced many of the scenarios described. The book's structure is such that the advice for overcoming the negative emotions of a situation seems to come from a peer. I particularly like that the five guides treat the emotion(s) as a 'normal' part of life and walk the talk about understanding the emotion without judging. That may not seem like a big deal, but I would imagine that some kids can easily get emotionally invested in the story they just read and begin to 'project' those feelings themselves.
Although I can see how Mindfulness for Kidscould be beneficial for first graders (6), adults will need to participate not just in sharing the stories but in modeling the strategies. Which leads me to my bottom line: this is a book for families to share. One is never too young or too old to be more attuned to their emotions, reactions, and choices. Highly recommended.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:
Readers of all ages will recognize themselves in these 15 stories about emotional challenges. They will also be able to think of a situation from their own life that matches the emotions that are expertly described. The book provides exceptional opportunities to open discussion with a parent reader or other family members, and also experiment with different strategies to see which one(s) work for them. 
Content Awareness Factors:
The audience is described as 6 to 10, but the reading level is beyond that age group. Phonetic parentheticals for words like amygdala would have been helpful. The subtitle is a misnomer, as these are not isolated "activities" but ideas/strategies for building mindfulness skills.

Type of Book:
This is a "case study" style book to engage kids in thinking about and providing strategies for their emotions, stress, and reactions to situations.
Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
11 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
6 and Up
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy. Especially if you are going to read this together.

Mindfulness for Kids: 30 Fun Activities to Stay Calm, Happy, and In Control
Carol P. Roman, J. Robin Albertson-Wren
Althea Press © 2018

State Of Publishing

Carole P. Roman and R.L. Jackson discuss publishing, magazine news and other topics dealing with the indie publishing industry.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Feathered Quill: The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology (Book 1)

The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology (Book 1)

The Knowing by Brit Lunden
By: Brit Lunden
Publisher: Chelshire
Publication Date: March 2019
ISBN: 978-1947188990
Reviewed By: Holly Connors
Review Date: April 11, 2019
Author Brit Lunden starts out her new "Bulwark Anthology" series in the same way she started (with her initial offering, Bulwark), with a fast-paced, satisfying story that will have readers glued to the pages, trying to figure out what is going to happen next.
In The Knowing, the first book in the "Bulwark Anthology," the reader is re-introduced to JB Stratton, an elderly man who we first met in Bulwark. JB played a small role in that story, briefly taking care of an out-of-town couple hurt in a car accident. When the injured woman saw a picture of JB's late, beloved wife and made a nasty accusation, JB didn't take it lightly. After all, his late wife Ellie was, and would always be, his soul mate. If you didn't read Bulwark, it's not necessary to read it before reading this novella, but I'd recommend it as it's a great read. But for those without a copy of that first book, fear not, as the author covers those events in the first chapter of The Knowing.
Once the refresher chapter is complete, it's on to the new story. The reader is transported back 52 years, to a slower time in Bulwark, GA, where JB is a high school student, a star football player, and dirt poor. Between working on his parents' farm, school work, and football practice, the young man has no time for anything else. That is until Ellie Bronson, a blonde, blue-eyed, beautiful young woman, one year younger than JB, arrives from Connecticut. JB is smitten, but he's also shy and too ill-at-ease to ask Ellie for a date.
Soon, JB could think of nothing but Ellie. It was as if he knew her, but that was impossible because she'd just moved to Georgia. Something out of his past perhaps? Still, he couldn't stop thinking of her, nor could he shake the feeling of knowing her from...where? And then he started dreaming about Ellie. But the dreams...they were unusual and left him uneasy which was particularly odd because he couldn't remember what they were about. 
At last, JB and Ellie connect and their romance begins. Things are going great until Ellie's brother finds out about the couple and decides to put an end to JB's desires. JB gets knocked out and that's when things get really odd, or fantastic, depending on your point of view. JB is transported to a Civil War battlefield, or is it just a dream? Readers will be pulled into the story to find out, and eager to learn how Ellie fits into the story.
The Knowing, a novella of just 80 pages is a quick read, made all the quicker because you won't want to stop reading until the very end. I was eager to dive into this story because Bulwark, the short story that started this series, was such an enjoyable read. I wanted to re-visit the town of Bulwark, GA and learn what other oddities were awaiting the reader. I was initially surprised to learn that this story didn't revolve around Sheriff Clay Finnes, the main character in Bulwark, but instead a minor player from that book. While I look forward to meeting Clay in another story in this series, I thoroughly enjoyed learning JB and Ellie's backstory. There's just enough supernatural "something" going on to keep the reader wondering, as well as asking themselves, "do I have a soul mate?" Here's hoping that there will be a lot more books in this anthology series! 
Quill says: A very satisfying start to the "Bulwark Anthology" series. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
For more information on The Knowing: A Bulwark Anthology, please visit the author's website: 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Kids Book Giveaway!

*Kid's Book Giveaway!* Congratulations to Dr. Krissy Bonning-Gould, on the upcoming release of her new book, The Outdoor Toddler Activity Book. To celebrate, I'm giving away an advance copy of her book along with my book, Mindfulness for Kids, to play and teach your child.
To enter, comment below with a GIF or emoji of how you would feel if you won. I'll pick a winner on Friday, March 22nd. Giveaway open to U.S. residents.

My Review:

In today's age, people have forgotten the simple joy of playing outside. Video games have taken over as a favorite past time, and children don't even think of the many different activities available at their fingertips. The Outdoor Toddler Activity Book is chock-filled with both indoor and outdoor fun-filled things to do. Chrissy Bonning-Gould uses everyday products that can be found in any home and changes them into useful tools to occupy a child for hours. All the activities center around discovery, as well as learning, but either way, they provide ways to engage children in communicating with both a parent and each other. Lovely gift to give to a new parent or a great gift in a child's goodie bag.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Oh Susannah Series Unpacks Stressful Situations - BookTrib

Oh Susannah Series Unpacks Stressful Situations

Published on February 20, 2019  in Children's Books  by Rebecca Proulx
Carole P. Roman, author of many beloved children’s books, unpacks the stress of school and bustle of a busy home in her Oh Susannah series. The instantly lovable third-grader Susannah illustrates how easy it is to feel frightened or overwhelmed by a mountain of responsibilities just going about your everyday activities, and most importantly how students and parents can work together to reduce anxiety.

In the Oh Susannah installment It’s in the Bag, Susannah goes through a trying day at school. Susannah starts the day with unfinished homework. It’s not that she didn’t try. She just couldn’t figure out most of the questions and had trouble focusing. She’d ask her parents for help but they’re always so busy.

Scrambling to gather her supplies along with her unfinished work, she aggravates her mother running late. To her further dismay, her mother insists that Susannah bring a banana to school. Susannah hates bananas. So along with her incomplete assignments, the undesired fruit gets tossed in the bag. Many more unfortunate items join the antagonistic company of anxieties in Susannah’s bag as the day drags on.

A failed pop quiz based on Susannah’s incomplete homework, a form on having correct footwear for gym class and two books she can’t decide between for a report also weigh her down, physically and emotionally.

At the end of the day, noticing their daughter looks stressed and miserable, her parents talk to her about managing work. Susannah feels defeated by all the little tasks that bother her in such a big way, but her parents point out that seemingly small things like a quiz can weigh people down easily emotionally, for both kids and adults. Little troubles can add up quick to a bad day, so it’s important to take steps to relax and manage obstacles.

When Susannah is overwhelmed, her parents suggest deep breathing and organizing her tasks in order of importance. Then Susannah can deal with one item at a time, and seek the help of her parents when she needs it. Her parents also learned an important lesson with Susannah. It’s easy to become occupied with their own crazy schedules, but it’s important to check in on their girl to make sure she’s not feeling anxious and offer assistance when she could use a hand.

Following Susannah through her day, you couldn’t help but sympathize with her ups and downs. A friend and comfort to your own young one, Susannah learns many important lessons and overcomes hurtles such as managing work and trying new things in a way that will appeal to many in a similar position to her.

In her next book in the Oh Susannah series, Things That Go Bump, our stalwart hero moves on from the challenges of school to a sleepover at a house rumored to be haunted. Susannah is excited to spend a night with her friend Lola, but is apprehensive because her home was built over 100 years ago and Lola’s brother claims to have seen ghosts there.

Overcoming her inclination to stay at her own home, Susannah braves the slumber party for Lola’s sake, but must now face her fears of all the spooky things that might go bump in the night while she’s there.

With the help of her friends and peers though, Susannah learns that everyone is scared of something. Having the courage to face your fears is part of learning to overcome them. Sharing the positive messages of finding support when you need it and confronting obstacles with determination and courage, Carole P. Roman has penned a series that will prove a favorite for your own child, ready to take on the world.

Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag and Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump are now available for purchase.

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Prolific children’s author, Carole P. Roman has published over fifty-two award-winning books. Whether it’s pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children. She hosts three blog radio programs and is one of the founders of the magazine, Indie Author’s Monthly. Roman’s been interviewed twice by Forbes Magazine. She’s published a self-help book with media-maven, Julie A. Gerber, called Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. Roman writes adult fiction under the pen name, Brit Lunden. She lives on Long Island near her family.


Mateya Arkova is a children’s illustrator based in Bulgaria. Her illustrations take the readers into a funny cartoonish world with bright pastel colors and curvy lines leading to great adventures. Her favorite sources of inspiration are traveling the world and drawing its vivid colors.

Monday, February 25, 2019

I read this and wanted to share it...

From the surgical nurse and certified CPR teacher: Please pause for 2 minutes and read this: 1. Let’s say it’s 7.25pm and you’re going home (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job. 2. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated. 3 Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five km from the hospital nearest your home. 4. Unfortunately, you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far. 5. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy who taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself. 6. HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE? Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. 7. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. 8. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital. 9. Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!! 10. A cardiologist says If everyone who gets this mail kindly sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we’ll save at least one life. 11. Rather than sending jokes, please... contribute by forwarding this mail which can save a person’s life. 12. If this message comes around you... more than once… please don’t get irritated... You should instead, be happy that you have many friends who care about you & keeps reminding you how to deal with a Heart attack. Hold your finger down on the message and hit forward.

Friday, February 1, 2019

2019 Update by KayleighMacLeod | Jan 31, 2019

As we’re saying goodbye to January, I thought it was about time I gave you guys a proper update of what I have going on this year. I’ve put a lot of effort into learning how to write faster and smarter over the last few months, so there is a lot to look forward to!
I’ve already finished a 15K short called The Missing Branch that will be part of an anthology coming out later in the year. These stories are linked to Brit Lunden‘s paranormal thriller, Bulwark. Make sure you grab a copy to get up to speed with the setting. It’s my first foray into the paranormal genre and there may be some romance in there too…
Next up, I’ll be releasing the side project I’ve been hinting at for a couple of months. I should have my first draft of The Carnelian Fox, a YA gamelit novel, done by the end of next week. It’s set in a monster catching world, so if you like any of the franchises ending in ‘mon’ then keep an eye out for that! 😉
Of course, I haven’t forgotten about The Constellation Saga! I’m about 30% into book three and so excited to be aiming for a late summer release. Kitty, Asher, and the rest of gang will be back with the next instalment then, and the final book in the series will be my first order of business in 2020.
If you haven’t already got your copies of Heirs of Power and The Mage-Lord’s Legacy make sure to pick those up!
For the second half of 2019 I’ll be focusing on the World of Orthaya series. I have a little sneak preview with the short story ‘Sweetest Dreams’ here on the website. If you want to check out this epic fantasy setting, with fairies, minotaurs, and half-elves, click here –
Untitled Design
I think that’s about it for now. Thank you guys for being such awesome readers, I really hope you love these new stories and continue to follow the characters you already know!
Much love to you all!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

BOOKTRIB: A Fun Introduction For Kids to Future Career Paths


A Fun Introduction For Kids to Future Career Paths

  in Children's Books  by

Author Carole P. Roman and illustrator Mateya Arkova have teamed up to create a whimsical and educational approach to exploring career options in their children’s book “Can A Princess Be a Firefighter?” Children love to ponder all the different jobs that exist in the world, but little as they are, do not have the exposure to the many career paths that exist.

Roman and Arkova seek to broaden the career field children consider, while also emphasizing that they do not have to give up their youth or fun by learning about them. As the IndieReader says “Can A Princess Be a Firefighter? is bright, warm exploration of the possibilities open to a little girl in the modern world–without having to lose her fairy wings.”

The journey through career exploration starts simply enough, when one of two little girls playing asks a parent whether a princess can be a firefighter. The parent explains that there are all sorts of careers available to them, and that they could even do more than one if they wanted.

From cowpoke to lawyer to construction worker, Roman takes the girls through a diverse range of jobs while the girls creatively make games and dress up as the occupations listed. The parent lovingly teaches the girls that their options are only limited by their own personal ambitions. As Roman writes, “you can be anything you want to be, anywhere, place or time.”

Lacing in practical advice like the importance of learning, choosing a job that is enjoyable and the reassurance that you can always decide to do something else, Roman lays the groundwork for children to make less stressful decisions later in life.

Confidence bolstering advice included in the story like “don’t let anybody limit your dreams” is especially important for children to hear at a young age to give them a sense of independence, especially if they end up choosing a profession others critique later in life.

After thinking about all of the different career opportunities available, a daughter asks, “will I have to stop princessing? Could I still wear my fairy crown?” The parent, accepting and supportive of whatever path his child pursues, answers “whatever you pick, whatever you choose to be, know that in my true heart, you will always be a princess to me.”

This comforting response fosters his daughter’s childish spirit and creativity while gently reminding her that she will always find support at home. Carrying the positive themes of feminism and open-minded parenting, this book will enchant children and adults alike.

Can A Princess Be a Firefighter? is now available to purchase.

Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways!


Prolific children’s author, Carole P. Roman has published over fifty-two award-winning books. Whether it’s pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children. She hosts three blog radio programs and is one of the founders of the magazine, Indie Author’s Monthly. Roman’s been interviewed twice by Forbes Magazine. She’s published a self-help book with media-maven, Julie A. Gerber, called Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. Roman writes adult fiction under the pen name, Brit Lunden. She lives on Long Island near her family.

Mateya Arkova is a children’s illustrator based in Bulgaria. Her illustrations take the readers into a funny cartoonish world with bright pastel colors and curvy lines leading to great adventures. Her favorite sources of inspiration are traveling the world and drawing its vivid colors.

Rebecca hails from Connecticut and returns to her home state to pursue her favorite subject of all time, books! She completed her undergraduate education at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island with dual degrees in English Literature and Global Communications. She is the Assistant Editor at BookTrib and looks forward to connecting people with great authors.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How To Write The Perfect Blurb (Examples, Formula, Opening Statements, etc.) January 14, 2019 by estherrabbit

How To Write The Perfect Blurb (Examples, Formula, Opening Statements, etc.) 

While it’s true that no one knows your novel better than you, writing a catchy blurb and directing it to your target audience takes a lot of practice, a lot of research and a lot of help from your literary friends.

In today’s article we’ll zoom in on the specifics: blurb formula, mistakes to avoid, and powerful opening statements. If you’re curious about The Journey From Writing To Publishing, you’re only one click away.

I also took the liberty to ask writers for advice, and they were not shy sharing their wisdom along with tips and tricks for the upcoming author.

What Is A Blurb?

The blurb is a promotional description, found on the back of the book. Here’s where things get tough: you have 100-200 words to impress and attract your target readers. It should introduce your main characters, give an insight on conflict, depict genre and arouse interest.

Keep in mind at all times the blurb is what sells the book, so concentrate that creativity to create the perfect sales pitch for your novel. If you ask me, it needs to sound like a movie teaser (without overdoing it).

Typical Mistakes When Writing A Blurb


  • Telling too much, selling too little

New authors want to make sure the readership understands the story, making the blurb sound more like a synopsis than anything. You’re not supposed to tell the story, you’re supposed to pitch it like the mother of revelations, focusing on the key aspects your target reader is looking for.

  • Using the wrong voice & style

If you’re dark in the novel, don’t be funny in the blurb! Try to keep the tone and style consistent so that the blurb maintains an accurate reflection of the literary content of your book.

  • Nobody can do it better than me

While that may be true for the writing process, you’d be amazed what fresh eyes can do. I was in awe when I asked for guidance from fellow authors on Goodreads!

Not only were they helpful, but some broke my blurb line by line explaining what didn’t sit well with them, what aspects were unclear and what was entirely missing from the definition of a good blurb.

Some angels like D.I. HillsCarole P. Roman and Keith Oxenrider gave my blurb a complete makeover by rewriting it to fit standards.

From all the wonderful people I asked for advice, I learned valuable lessons, and that’s where the power of the writing community stands.

What’s The Worst Thing That Can Happen If My Blurb Doesn’t Rock?

Nailing that trial and error hassle is meant to have a happy ending if you get it right. If you get it wrong, however, the result could be tragic.

  • A misleading blurb

Based on what I’ve learned, if you’ve written a Paranormal Romance novel and you’re pitching it for hardcore Sci-Fi readers, this will have a negative impact on your reviews, and as a consequence on your sales.

Readers expect accuracy, and you’ll get severely punished if you don’t stay true to genre. Now, imagine heaps of angry, disappointed readers flooding platforms with equally daunting reviews!

Just because you were barking at the wrong tree. Intimidating, eh?

  • A mediocre blurb

If it’s true to voice and style, pitched to the right readership, yet still not good enough, it’s certainly better than a misleading blurb. That doesn’t mean you have to sleep on it!

Your book sales are the main indicator if your recipe for success is not witty enough. Most authors I know play with multiple blurbs to see what works for their audience, what boosts sales and reviews, and so should you.

Your work as an author is not done once you publish, in fact, it’s coming up with endless strategies in a trial and error game that’s supposed to teach you to be better for your next novel.

Let’s Nail That Blurb!

Now that we know everything that can go wrong with an unfit blurb, let’s focus on key elements that will help give your blurb the ultimate makeover: opening statements, gripping adjectives and engaging twists.

I also have a list of good and bad blurbs, because there’s nothing better than learning from example, so let’s see how authors do it.


Opening Statements For Blurbs

  • The sentence trio for maximum impact

She’s a former thief. He’s an enslaved werewolf. Together, they will change everything.” – Necessary Magic, Val St. Crowe 
“Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist.” – Power of Five: Reverse Harem Fantasy, Alex Lidell
“An invisible girl. A missing mage. A world in need…” – The Mage and the Magpie: Magemother Book 1, Austin J. Bailey 

Before jumping into the blurb, a lot of authors count on the sentence trio to create impact and generate interest for their target readers. It’s a recipe for creating suspense while revealing the main characters or conflict.

It’s usually followed by a 2-4 paragraph blurb:

Epic Fantasy. Magic. Love.

The city is failing and no one else can see it. Its soldiers exploit the castle’s servants, confident that deadly wielders have been exterminated; wars are fought to encourage otherwise absent mortality; countless people suffer from the terrible pangs of nalka, the hunger for intimacy; and all the while its king concerns himself with choosing which of his disappointing concubines to execute next.

The duty falls upon the king’s son, Kahr Morghiad of House Sete’an, to restore the city’s strength and the army’s purpose. In his attempts to right these wrongs, he uncovers darker horrors and encounters a woman with forbidden powers – a woman who could be his greatest ally or his greatest threat.”

City of BlazeH.O. Charles

Based on this blurb I can see the story’s got action love, and magic. Even if the word “love” is present in the sentence trio, I understand the key focus is not on the romance itself considering the rest of the content.


Although it’s not set in stone, a new trend is arising: a lot of authors who have written their books in first person narrative, also maintain the same voice and style in the blurb, and I can’t see a good reason why not to. This is also great for giving a hint to readers, since so many of them have narrative preferences.


Strong opening statements are imperative in order to engage an audience and should sound like an advertisement for your book. Finding that balance is incredibly hard, but not impossible.


A lot of writers start out by writing a 500-700 word synopsis of their book and start trimming once they’re done. It’s a successful recipe for many authors.

The Winning Blurb Formula

Yes, in case you were wondering, burbs do have formulas as well, and every formula has the following elements in common:
  • Introduce your main characters

Important characters of the book should be introduced and some details such as age, profession, what drives them, key traits should be introduced to paint a better picture for the reader.

  • Introduce the pressing issue your characters have to face
  • Add the major obstacles standing in their way
  • What is at stake?

If it’s still confusing, let’s hear it from the established writers who were kind enough to extend a helping hand. I’m so grateful for your input.

Author Confessions

How long did it take you to write the blurb of your book? — How long is string? I never feel like mine are ever done. I just get bored re-editing them and finally go with it. (And since I have only done eBooks so far, I have edited my blurbs on Kindle and elsewhere several times … it’s never set in stone.)

What advice do you have for writers who are in the process of writing theirs? — A blurb is not a plot summary, it’s an advertisement. Don’t obsess over trying to fit in every character, every twist and turn, every world building eccentricity of the book. 

You have to be brutal about self-editing and economical with your words while still conveying enough information to be tantalizing and informative. I think your blurb should make clear who the main character is and what is their central struggle. The setting should also be clear, especially if you’re writing genre fiction. And you need a hook, something to make the reader want to find out more. 

Writing is hard. Editing is harder. Writing an effective blurb is herculean.

Did you ask for help? — Yes. I used forums like Goodreads, plus my beta readers and I’m still not happy with any of mine. (I have a difficult time following my own advice.)” Micah

 How long did it take you to write the blurb of your book?

About 15 minutes. I go with my gut on blurbs because most of what I want from a blurb are the big, fat emotions – the stuff that slaps the reader in the face. The other part is the right tone -funny, serious, suspenseful, etc.

What advice do you have for writers who are in the process of writing theirs?

— Hook question that involves the characters and the main conflict. (Can the uptight lawyer overcome his dislike of oregano enough to fall in love with the nurturing herb gardener?)

–Introduce the MC and their original conflict (not necessarily the big story conflict, but how the heck did they get involved in this mess.)

–Introduce the other MC (esp in romance) and their original conflict.

–Connect them both to the main plot conflict, and the struggle to grow from identity to essence.

–Oh noes! Will they make it through the Black Moment?!?

 Did you ask for help? 
I always run a blurb past my critique group before it’s finalized.”  Sela

“It takes me months to write a blurb. I start working on it even before the book is finished. I find it difficult to condense the story down to around 200 hundred words. You’d think that would be easy after writing a 80,000 word novel, but it isn’t. At least, not for me.

My advice for anyone writing a blurb is to read blurbs of bestselling authors who write your genre. From doing that, you’ll get an idea of how they put sentences together, how they divide the plot between the main characters, and how much information to include.

I always ask for help. I’ll draft a couple of choices and post them on a writing site I belong to, as well as running them by my local critique group. Once you get that many people offering advice, they’ll help you whip it into shape!”  Ann Everett 

“Unless one has personal experience in such undertakings, I suggest leaving blurbs and marketing up to the professionals.

It took me 14 months to produce what I considered to be a completed, polished manuscript, then submitted it to the acquisition department of five publishers and was accepted by one of them.

I spent the next 11 months working with and learning from the assigned copy editor, conceptual editor, layout design artist, and graphic design artist. Throughout this exercise my ego was severely tested as I began to realize that the completed, polished manuscript of which I had been so proud was not yet completed or polished.

The novel was released on Aug. 9, 2011 and was available until Dec. 31, 2016 when the publisher filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. Although not a commercial success by industry standards, it did sell more units than I had ever dreamed it would and garnered some positive ratings and reviews.”   Jim

“For me, writing a blurb about my latest book(s) takes me only minutes, but that is after mulling over and thinking about it for hours and even days at times. I find it much easier to write my blurb AFTER thinking about it at length, not while still deciding what to say. As for what to say in the blurb, I would list these points to the would-be authors who are asking questions on this subject: 

– Don’t use superlatives to describe your book or story: it will make you look pretentious and may repel quite a few readers.

– While not giving away the various punchlines of your story, try to mention why your story should be an interesting one while not writing spoilers. A touch of suspense always helps. 

– Avoid declarations that may be politically, socially or religiously sensitive, but don’t be hypocritical about your story’s content. If there is going to be provocative or sensitive elements, like nudity, descriptions of sexuality war or strong political opinions, then warn your readers about them in a gentle way. Selling away an inaccurate description of your book may result in a delayed but severe backlash by readers, who will then blacklist you on a permanent basis. 

In other words, be aware about the sensitivities of your readers but be truthful as well. I often have sensitive subjects included in my novels, but I always place warnings and disclaimers as needed at the start of my books and in my blurbs. As an example, in a blurb about an erotica novel I wrote, I stated that ‘this novel is meant strictly for adult readers’.

– I always compose my blurbs alone, as no one else knows my novel like I do.”  Mitchel

“I totally agree with what others have said about not using superlatives (“thrilling”, “compelling”, “exciting”, etc.) in your blurbs if you plan to write it yourself – it comes off as pretentious and arrogant to most readers. Indeed, if I see a self-published book with a blurb like that, I generally won’t touch it. 

-Keep it short enough to fit on the back of a physical book. Even if you only plan to release your work electronically, such a limitation will help keep you from giving too much of your story away. 

-Save any content warnings for inside the book itself; they’ll be at the beginning (in the “teaser” part would-be readers will see if they click on ‘Look Inside’) and that’s enough of a warning. 

-Make sure your blurb accurately reflects your story’s content and themes! A big problem I’ve seen (numerous reviewers have complained about this on GR) is books which have blurbs that make them sound like one genre (like mystery/thriller) but end up being more representative of another (romance…usually romance). Readers hatebeing ‘snookered’ like this, and will usually not go back to the author’s work again. 

-Don’t let your blurb give your whole story away. This is particularly crucial in genres like mystery and thriller, where so much of the excitement is rooted in how the plot resolves.

-Avoid ‘cheap tricks’ in general. An example of a cheap trick is a romance blurb that has some variant on “will they or won’t they?” If its genre romance, of course they will – an ‘HEA’ is a requirement for the genre, and a blurb which implies they might not will probably cause experienced romance readers to side-eye that book. 

“Did you ask for help?”

Yes I did, and I get my help from two sources; one is a beta reader who has finished the text, and another is a fan of the genre I’m writing in. For the first I ask “is this an accurate summation of my story’s plot/theme?” The second, I ask “would this blurb make you curious about my book enough to buy it?” If either answer is no, I ask them why and possibly make tweaks accordingly. 

Remember, a blurb is a sales pitch. It needs to appeal to people (strangers in particular) who don’t know you and haven’t read your book, so IMO its important to seek outside advice on such matters before publishing. 

However, I always compose my blurbs with no one looking over my shoulder.”  Eric

“I may not be the best person to advise on blurbs because either give me more trouble that I care for. I tend to write complex stories with many strands, and when the time for a blurb comes, the problem is what to include? You do not want to mislead the reader, because that pleases nobody but you can’t include everything. 

What I do is ensure that what I put in the blurb is sufficiently prominent in the story that nobody will say the blurb mislead. To do that I have to find the most significant problem for the most significant character and try to write it in a way that hints of suspense, and try to show what sort of story it will be. I agree with Michel – whatever else, do not be pretentious, and do not try to give the story.”  Ian

“Having gone through this horrible experience with my upcoming book, Acre’s Orphans, I hope this is at least a little bit helpful…

1) It took me about a week to get it right. Not that I just sat at my keyboard, but I’d try to type something, hate it, go for a walk, note lines on my notepad, try again, lather rinse repeat for over a week.

2) The best advice is go to your bookshelf and start pulling down your favorite books and look at the blurbs on the back. There are patterns there, and if you pull out the unique points of their book and play madlibs with yours, it’s amazing how you can come up with a serviceable, not-completely-awful first draft.

3) Once I had something halfway usable, I sent it to a couple of Facebook groups (book connectors is a godsend) as well as my writer’s group for feedback. I still changed it three times after that including two hours before submitting the cover to the printer.”  Wayne

 “How long did it take you to write the blurb of your book?

Usually about a week but that is working on it for around an hour to get the main things down. I let it sit for a few days to a couple of weeks, then go back to it to distill it down. 

What advice do you have for writers who are in the process of writing theirs?

You need your main character/protagonist and something intriguing about them. Include your villain/antagonist and what they want. Then you want something about the story. It should all be done in 100-150 words maximum. The shorter, the better. To get an idea of what you need to do, go to a book store and pick out well-known authors and ready their blurbs to get an idea of what it should include.

Did you ask for help? 

I did on my first one as I had no idea of what I was doing. I’ve been practicing on the books I have completed (rough drafts) and find the more I do, the better I get.”   B.A.

“What works best for me is to write a partial blurb at each major milestone during the drafting stage. Never copy and paste, always write it fresh in a new document (or just put it in the first draft). That way you’ll focus on new ideas, not worrying about where the commas go. 

Write a blurb during:

First 10%
Act I, Act II, and Act III Break
After cover creation, 
After second draft

The benefit of having an early blurb is you can answer the dreaded “so, what’s your book about” question during the first draft. Then, you can finalize the blurb after the second draft, and put the book up for pre-sale.”  E.C. Stever, Author of ‘Dragon Removal Service’