Happy New Year, SE friends! I hope your holidays were perfect in all ways. Since we’re at the beginning of the year, with hopes and dreams running high, I’ve decided to focus on the promises we make to our readers.
In the business world, new beginnings are formalized by contracts. Writers have contracts with publishers, illustrators, promoters, and others. But the most important contract is an assumed one and it’s not legally binding. That contract is with our readers.
Through our book title and cover, as well as the listed genre and blurb, we make a promise to our readers. If we’re faithful to this promise, they know what to expect with just a glimpse.
I’ve a quick example. Here’s an assortment of books from the Story Empire library. Just looking at the covers and reading the titles, don’t we have a sense of the content of the books?
If you’re like me, when a book cover catches my attention, I check on the genre and read the blurb because I want to know more. Let’s see if you can match the clips below with the above books.
None of us like to write blurbs. To take a 100,000-word document and reduce it to a few sentences is frustrating at best. But those few sentences are golden. Through just thirty or so words, we offer the reader an impression of what lies ahead. And though it is difficult categorizing our book into genres (because our masterpiece defies such labeling), our readers deserve to know the journey we’re asking them to take.
So, did you match the blurbs with the books? I suspect you did. In the ideal writing world, there’s a coherent relationship of cover, title, genre, and blurb. And these books are great examples of just that.
Readers enjoy the unexpected ending, but they do not like to be misled. With millions of books published every year, writers make a pact with readers when they promise a thriller or a mystery, a romance or a fantasy, a Western or erotica. Whatever the genre, we help our readers find the perfect read when we categorize appropriately through our title, cover, genre, and blurb.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever been misled by the blurb or listed genre? Let’s share experiences.
Until next month, stay warm and be well!