On the 17th day of my 20Days/20Books Reader Appreciation Celebration, I thought we’d take a look at the subject of blurbs. You know, the couple of paragraphs on the back cover of books that are designed to entice the reader to buy or at least explore a book further. What you may not know is that often the author did not write the blurb. It’s often a product of the marketing department.

So today, I thought I’d let the blurbs speak for themselves.

Plaid to the BoneA Bride Comes to Bonniebroch

But Cait Grant is hardly dreaming of wedded bliss. As a duty to her father, she must marry Adam Cameron, laird of Bonniebroch. And then, because of a blood oath to her clan, she must murder him. . .

If only her new husband weren’t so devilishly handsome. If only she didn’t have to play the loving wife for one long, languorous month. If only she didn’t surrender to his softly sensual touch, she would be able to fulfill her oath. If only she didn’t fall in love. . .

Would you like to read an excerpt?
The author always wrote that!
Find Plaid to the Bone at: Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo
And for my international friends: AmazonUK | AmazonCA | AmazonDE

 Amanda McIntyre

Growing up the daughter of a father who was a distributor for a New York Magazine Publishing firm, Amanda usually had her nose stuck in the latest issue of Vampirella or a Hitchcock Mystery book. Calling herself a renaissance woman, she has worked in the corporate world, written a weekly newspaper column supporting Fine Arts in our schools, loves to travel, do research and perhaps her greatest achievement–raised four kids. A member of RWA, and a multi-genre hybrid author, her work is published internationally, in audio, in e-book and in print. She currently writes sizzling contemporary and erotic historical romance.

She’s also graciously offering an ebook of Rugged Hearts to a random commenter. Open Internationally.

Rugged HeartsRugged, quiet, hardworking, Wyatt takes his position as head of the Kinnison family seriously. But the scars of betrayal by the women to whom he once trusted his heart now prompt his stark, simple game plan, and no one in hell is going to convince him any differently. What matters most, besides the welfare of his brothers, is to manage the ranch left to him and never risk his heart again to something as foolish as love—but after meeting Aimee, Wyatt begins to realize that a man should never say never to a determined second grade teacher.

When vivacious, resilient Aimee Worth loses her twin sister in a tragic accident, she makes the choice to live out her sister’s dream of teaching in the small mountain community called End of the Line, Montana, never suspecting she’d meet her Mr. Right in the middle of nowhere—he just doesn’t know it yet. Used to challenges, her spirit shatters the perceptions that have kept him isolated from living life beyond the ranch, proving to him that when it comes to love, the greatest risk is not taking one.


Stroke of Genius

Stroke of GeniusCrispin Hawke, a brilliant sculptor, is revered by the ton. His works are celebrated in every fashionable parlor, and tales of his fiery bed skills whispered behind every fashionable fan.

Grace Makepeace is determined to wed a titled lord, but her Bostonian bluntness leaves much to be desired among the well-heeled London crowd. So to gain their acceptance, she commissions the incomparable Crispin Hawke to sculpt her hands—and asks for love lessons on the side.

Can an artistic genius turn an awkward heiress into the most sought-after Original without falling for her himself?

Try an excerpt here!

The Prize

Leave a comment for a chance to win a Plaid to the Bone courtesy of Kensington Publishing, a Rugged Hearts from my buddy Amanda, or Stroke of Genius from me! You’ll also be entered in the drawing for the Grand Prize: a Kindle Paperwhite!

Here’s our question: Pull a book from your keeper shelf and write a one sentence blurb for it–something that presents the main question that’s answered by the book. For an example, take a look at the end of the Stroke of Genius blurb. Have fun!

Or you can ask me or Amanda a question of your own.

48 thoughts on “Blurbs

  1. Aretha says:

    Mia and Amanda blurb is one essential part of the story . But, can you guys make a blurb into a game of question ?

  2. Nicole Laverdure says:

    I follow the authors that I love,then I get attracted by their beautiful book covers! I’m never disappointed! well almost!!

  3. Mary Anne, I’m not sure there is a specific formula for blurbs–more specifically for romance, though my experience is that they are to be tight, create an overview of the characters, and the obstacles they face–enticing the potential buyer to what to know more;)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      You nailed it, Amanda. A good blurb has all that packed into a few dynamite sentences.

  4. Question for you all:

    what grabs you first when considering a book:
    review quote on front cover
    blurb on back

    1. Aly P says:

      Hmmm… If it’s an auto-buy author it really doesn’t matter.

      From a new to me author I go first for the cover, then for the blurb, the review quotes… well, I never notice them.

    2. Thank you for your question, Amanda. The title and cover first catch my eye. However, it’s the back-cover blurb that sells the book to me, or fails to.

      I choose my leisure reading based on theme, on what the book is about. Who wrote it doesn’t matter.

      Nor do any review quotes on the covers. I mean, of course they’re going to claim the book is terrific. Why else would they be there?

      Hope this helps!

  5. Thank you, Nicole! Book II nearing completion! ;)

    1. Nicole Laverdure says:

      I am looking forward to read it!

  6. One thing I’ve noticed publishers going to is the “one liner tyle blurbs as opposed to the lengthier one paragraph for the hero and one for the heroine style that used to be. What the reasoning there is, I suppose is debatable. I defer to Mia on this forher thoughts;)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      You’re right, Amanda. I think they may be tailoring blurbs to fit in the etailer fields, which would account for shorter ones.

  7. Wow! so many wonderful comments! Sorry fo arriving a bit late,life has been crazy and I think I might have lost a week LOL

    to address the “blurb” question. My experiencewith my publishers has pretty much been that I start the ball rolling with the blurb, on the forms given to me for marketing, cover art descriptions and marketing…sometimes they keep them, other times tweak them. I can say personally that I’ve only had to request one change to an editor on a blurb–otherwise I’ve been pretty happy with them.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Thanks so much for dropping by, Amanda and for your generous giveaway!

      My website was down for a couple hours yesterday so no worries about being late. The party never really ends here (unless of course, the server crashes again! Oy!)

  8. Christine A. says:

    Do either of you have a favorite blurb from one of your books? If so, what is it and why do you like it? What is one word or saying that drives you crazy when you read it in a blurb?

    Thanks and TGIF ladies.

  9. Danny says:

    Interesting to hear that you don’t have to write your blurbs, because many of my author friends really hate writing blurbs. Do you prefer that the marketing dept is doing it?

  10. Mary Preston says:

    After the cover, the blurb is the next thing I take note of. How important do you think blurbs are?

  11. Ada says:

    Hi ladies! Which blurb from your own books is your favorite blurb and most captures the essence of what you were trying to convey?

  12. Alexisa N. says:

    I love reading and if left to my own devices I can usually about a book in a day. But it drives me crazy when I have to read a line several times to get what the author is saying when there are proofreading/ editing issues. Which means I lose the flow/ momentum. And I know I’m not the only one. So I would just like to know how does someone get to be a copy editor/ proofreader?

  13. Anita H. says:

    What is a favorite blurb that you’ve read from another author that you wish you had written yourself? :-)

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Do either of you have a favorite or funny book blurb (from any book)? The blurb could also be unintentionally funny. :P

  15. ki pha says:

    Hi Mia! Hi Amanda!

    These blurbs were amazing! I always thought they were written by the author because of how enticing they are but I guess the marketers are also very good at what they do.

    Have you ladies ever tried your hands at writing a blurb? How did it go if you ladies did?

  16. Shirene_DFT says:

    Do you write your blurbs before the book is written or after? I’ve noticed recently that there seems to be a big divide between the blurb and the story that ends up between the book covers.

  17. Marcy Shuler says:

    I’m not very good at this, but this is for YOURS UNTIL DAWN by Teresa Medeiros:

    Can prim nurse Samantha Wickersham help blinded war hero Gabriel Fairchild regain his independence and hope for the future…or will she lose her heart to a man who cannot see the real her.

  18. Jakki L. says:

    Mia and Amanda, have either of you read a blurb for one f your books and don’t like or suggest changes to it?
    jakk36 at yahoo dot com

  19. Cindy P. says:

    “Just Down the Road” by Jodi Thomas –
    Can a vulnerable little boy heal two damaged hearts creating a family for a lifetime?

  20. catslady says:

    When you buy a book, do you decide by the blurb? It usually does for me but I agree I don’t like it if they tell too much lol.

  21. Aly P says:

    Q: I was wondering if you outlined the plot and they made a blurb or the people composing it were actually reading the book?

  22. Armenia says:

    One of my keepers is Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Can a down and out, quirky, witty artist find love and stability with a famous, drop-dead gorgeous football player.

  23. Thank you, Mia and Amanda. Blurbs are the most important factor in whether or not I buy a book. Shucks, usually they’re the only factor.

    Here’s a question for either or both of you—for anyone, really. It seems to me that often blurbs sound pretty much the same. Do the marketing departments have a formula they must follow, regardless of the actual contents of the book?

    Though I can’t read every romance and I’m not into every subgenre, I’m pretty sure there’s more variety among romances than there is among romance blurbs.

    Your thoughts?

  24. Kelly Tinder says:

    One of my favorite books is the Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever by Julia Quinn~
    Can Miranda rescue Nigel, Viscount Turner from his bitter, lonely self, as he rescued her so many years before?

  25. bn100 says:

    Do you have a lot of people look at your blurbs before it goes on the book?

  26. Sheryl N says:

    Do you feel like the blurb will sometimes hurt the book? I have bought some books that I ended up liking based on some reviews, but did not get pulled in by the blurb. If I had based it on the blurb, I would never have read it. That just happened with me with the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I took a chance based on reviews and not the description and loved it!

  27. Nicole Laverdure says:

    A one sentence blurb for Rugged Heats could be: “It’s a charming romantic country romance of forgiveness worth reading!”
    I feel that sometimes, the blurbs gives too many details or the wrong ones! Have you ever been disappointed by a blurb that did not meant your story at all?

  28. Quilt Lady says:

    Are Luke and Ali on the brink of something big or a sizzling fling in a little town called Lucky Harbor? From Jill Shalvis’s book It had to Be You

    I wasn’t sure where the blurbs came from but am sure glad authors have a say in them, because blurbs help sell the book. Covers are very important also. Do you have a say in those?

  29. Glittergirl says:

    Have you ever been totally frustrated at the blurb is just wrong? What did you do about it? Can you send them back to marketing with “corrections”?. For me, the blurbs make or break if I purchase a book from a new to me author when I’m purchasing from a store. If I’m on the internet “shopping” it will draw me to investigate the book further on Goodreads. Otherwise the blurb helps me to get the setting and who the principal characters are in the book I’m about to read.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      If I had concerns, I could have them addressed.

  30. Theresa Fischer says:

    Do you wish you could write your own blurbs or are you glad the marketing department does it?

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I appreciate the marketing department, but I do like to have input.

  31. Laurie W G says:

    Sculptor -What kind of research did you do to know about this artistic occupation? I’m interested in how the sculptor’s lessons will change her to be accepted by the Ton? I’d love to read Grace and Chrispin’s story to find out!

    Silent Night Man -Diana Palmer
    Special Government Agent Tony Danzetta’s Christmas job of protecting an old aquaintance, Millie, from a hired hitman forces Tony to reevaluate his Christmas list.

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      Because Crispin Hawke is deemed “fashionable” anyone he sculpts is touched by the same cachet.

  32. may says:

    Do writers get a chance to veto the blurbs? Or do they get no say in it?

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I get a chance to make suggestions.

  33. Amy Hart says:

    Question: Would either of you prefer to have your excerpt on the back of a book or are you happier using blurbs?

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      I’m not sure. The marketing department has a reason for doing what they do and I’m not a marketing expert. I just want readers to be aware that a blurb is not a sample of the author’s writing.

  34. Glenda says:

    The blurb is usually a potential reader’s second impression of a book (with the cover being the first). If there are no reviews or “Look Inside” options, the blurbcan make or break a purchase. That said, have either of you ever felt the need to argue a point about a blurb wth the marketing department? If so, have you been successful in improving the blurb? Do you know other authors who have? :-)

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      If I had a problem with a blurb, I took the issue to my agent who dealt with it for me. I want my interactions with my publisher to be only positive. That said, I have had very little to complain about with Sourcebooks and Kensington.

  35. Sarah Meral says:

    Mia and Amanda has anyone of you had a blurb you would like to rephrase yourself? And if yes, why?

    1. Mia Marlowe says:

      One of my Dorchester titles actually had something on the back of the book that never happened within the pages of the story. That’s one I would have redone if I could.

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