The Art Of Understanding Book Blurbs

Just recently I had a brief Twitter exchange regarding blurb information.

The question went something along the lines of: Is it okay for an author to withhold possible important plot elements from a blurb? A simple question. Simple, but not easy to answer.

And in that short moment, I thought to myself “Book blurbs- What a great topic to dive deeper into.” And what a great topic to have an opinion on.

This question isn´t anything new. Blurb discussions have been combed through before, but thankfully, not as often as any other book topic has. So let´s get to it!

 



I think it´s safe to say we all know what a blurb is. Or do we? Do we all know what a blurb is for? Are blurbs important? Is there a word limit for blurbs? How much story information is too much information? Are spoilers allowed? And most important: Is it okay for an author to withhold plot elements from a blurb? These questions deserve answers.

Any reader who´s looked up a book has been confronted with a blurb. But unfortunately, not many know the difference between a blurb and a synopsis. It´s not a crime to not know one from the other as an everyday reader. An average reader will simply think of a blurb as a story description or, as my friend always says, “That bit on the back.”. It´s not even a sin if book bloggers and authors confuse one for the other. But it would be helpful if people in the book world knew the difference between a blurb and a synopsis.

 

Let´s Introduce The Blurbnopsis

 

An easily made mistake in the self-publishing niché is when authors write blurbs for their books and end up creating something in between a blurb and a synopsis without realizing it. This isn´t, by any means, career-ending, but it happens. It may be because an author doesn´t know how to write a blurb or has difficulty writing one. Maybe they asked for advice and were misinformed. Also, some writers don´t know the difference between a blurb and a synopsis. A blurb is supposed to sum up the main aspects of the story without giving too much away. It´s a sales pitch because an author is trying to get a reader interested in their story. A synopsis is a whole story ( including spoilers ) in a nutshell. A story crammed into anything between 500 words to max. 2 pages. A synopsis is written to send to publishers, agents, or ( if self-publishing ) to book cover designers and marketing gurus. Pretty easy, right? It´s pretty easy to unintentionally mash the two together if you don´t know the difference or if an author isn´t sure about what to include in a blurb or not. But not every author who writes their own blurbs are clueless. 

 

 

To include or not to include…

A blurb can come in many different lengths. I´ve seen mysterious ( and often cryptic ) one-liners. I´ve seen blurbs that come pretty close to short stories ( with a story beginning and end ). Then there are the blurbs that give just enough info to tease a reader without spoiling the whole story. Which one is considered to be the perfect blurb?

Well, a blurb is generally 150 – 200 words short. So, technically, something in between the one-liner and the short story would be great.

A writer has the chance to give a 200-word sales pitch- Words that will lure a reader in to buy their book. But does this really work for every author/ for every book? In some cases, authors feel that 150 – 200 words aren´t enough to make a story sound appealing. 

This is a tricky aspect of a blurb: How much of a story to include or not. Because a blurb can make or break book sales. When writing blurbs– What should be included or not? What parts of a story should be mentioned? 

Well, from what I know, the information in a blurb should consist of these points:

  • The stage setting
  • Character introduction
  • Situation reveal
  • Problem/Threat reveal
  • Adding what´s at stake

The idea of a blurb is to reveal enough to catch a reader’s attention without revealing any essential plot points. There has to be a hook.  Without a hook, a reader can´t get hooked. (I´m feeling my poetic side tonight ) It´s hard to believe that many authors think that readers need more information in order to grab a reader´s interest. Yet, it happens. Quite a few authors and readers feel that 200 words aren´t enough. 

 

 

Additional plot elements in a blurb can be considered spoilers…

And this is the point where the blurb trickery continues- A spoiler is when essential plot elements are revealed in a blurb. But since it´s 2020 and most people have created their own definitions of many words it´s hard to determine what a true spoiler is and not. Hell, it´s hard to know what people understand when they hear/read the word essential. We shouldn´t be asking questions like ” What is a spoiler?” anymore. Instead, we should start asking this version: “What do you think is a spoiler?” 

If we step back and look at this whole blurb issue from a distance then we´ll see that a blurb is, in fact, sort of a spoiler. It´s a spoiler that teases. A sort of bullet point guide to inform a reader. Without the blurb, none of us would know jack aside from the little information a title and cover image gives.

So, are additional plot elements in a blurb spoilers? I´d say yes. If it´s not necessary then it shouldn´t be included. Yet, for some reason, many readers aren´t satisfied with many book blurbs because there´s a lack of what some readers deem `crucial` information. This so-called crucial information could be anything from up or down the scale. Thanks to our ability to misinterpret words and our wonderful ability to give feedback ( which is often based on our emotions ) we´ve made it hard for some authors to know where to draw the line between spoilers and adding essential plot elements. An author may know the difference but since many cater to their readers’ needs they tend to give in to not disappoint. Authors don´t want to make mistakes. 

 

 

Fit For A Blurb Or The Content Warning Box?

Another issue would be- To know what crucial information is vital for a book blurb and what can be shoved in the content warning section. There´s a high demand for content warnings in the fiction world. Withholding any type of `significant` information of a story could possibly aggravate an existing fan base and/or new readers. Many readers think certain blurb information is more suitable for the content warning box.  It´s for an author to know and decide which goes where. But then again… This is a war that can´t be won, so the point is rather arguable. 

So, how do authors solve this blurb problem? After having done so much homework on the topic I´d say authors have two choices:

  • Write a blurbnopsis ( blurb + synopsis ) in order to please the existing fan base and potential new readers
  • Write a blurb and move on

Because a blurb is what grabs a reader’s attention in the first place. It´s as simple as that. There is no recipe to follow. There are only guidelines that can be followed or ignored. 


I can´t say for sure if the blurbnopsis or blurb approach is the best because I´m not trying to sell a book. I can only share with you what I prefer when checking books out. I´m more of a less blurb is more type of person. I prefer the element of surprise, even if the story ends up being a total miss for me. I´ll take that chance over the “safer option” any day. Because, at the end of the day, there´s no guarantee for anything.

When I´m hunting for books and I happen to stumble upon a blurb that includes way too much information then I feel my curiosity level sink and I will move on to a different book. But that´s just me and my weird self.

How about we find some real answers to all the questions I presented above?

I can easily answer with: A book blurb is necessary. But the size and length depend on the story and the author ( or publisher ). It also depends on the genre and readers. Yes, I included readers because it´s 2020. One might not think readers are capable of shifting an author but.. they do have that power over some authors. Feedback, for as lovely and necessary as it is, is a double-edged sword ( more about that in my Should Authors Be Crowd Pleasers? )

Are book blurbs with spoilers okay? In my book, yes and no. If the word count in a blurb is around what´s considered to be normal then I have nothing against a spoiler. If the blurb turns out to be a synopsis then I´ll be like “Thanks for saving me time, money, and effort to buy your book.” 

Do I think it´s okay for an author to withhold plot elements from a blurb? Yes. If I were an author I´d strive to want to surprise my readers. I´d like for my readers to be excited instead of dreading the unknown. Thankfully, I´m not an author, so…  I don´t have to make decisions on whether or not to adjust the book blurb guidelines for whatever reason.

As for including too much information– I think many authors are far too generous when it comes to their blurbs. By offering more information they´re basically shooting themselves in the foot.

But as I said above- This is just me and my weird views. There are plenty of readers who prefer a blurbnopsis. There are countless fiction readers who´d rather know exactly what a book is about than experience a story with having a rough outline of the story. 


What do you think? Have you noticed a difference when it comes to blurbs? Which type of blurb do you enjoy seeing- A short one or a blurbnopsis? I´d love to know your thoughts on the subject. ❤ 

If you enjoyed this blog post then I highly encourage you to leave a like and a comment. 

Hope you have a wonderful book-loaded day.

Much love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Book Blog Changes

So it begins…

 

I´ve had a good few weeks to prepare for this moment. Many hours of brainstorming were invested into this pimp-my-book-blog project. Now, I think I´m happy with the end results.

Thanks to the harsh critique I received from close friends regarding my blog ( which can be read in my It´s Time For A Book Blog Change blog post ) I was able to see why I was not feeling my online baby. Even if I didn´t like most of the critique that was thrown at me I still understood each point and decided to sit down and think about my blog´s future.

As much as I appreciated the feedback… not everything I was advised to change truly needed a makeover. Which made this somehow a more difficult project than it would´ve been if I were to start from scratch.

Here´s a quick rundown on what the professionals thought needed improvement:

  • everything ( including my blog name ) except my blog content

What a way to kill a book blogger´s mood. So, I began thinking about my blog structure. Since I won´t be changing my blog name I figured I could rethink my setup. The features I currently have are:

Monday:  Mug Monday

Tuesday:  Book Reviews

Wednesday: Discussion Topics

Thursday: Simply Book Covers

Friday: Random

This isn´t a popular book blog schedule as many of the most used themes done by other book bloggers aren´t included ( and probably never will be, but more on that in a future post )

I think uploading five times a week is a lot so I´ve decided to remove a few days. This not only gives me more room for spontaneous posts but also allows more time for research ( should I need to do my homework on certain topics ). Without further ado, my new upload dates will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The goal here is not to become overwhelmed by my hobby and to not spam the hell out of everyone.

Good to know is that whatever I deem worthy of uploading on my blog- There will always be a book involved just to keep the connection with the book blog. This means there won´t ever be a post that doesn´t show or at least mention a book.

So without any delay… The new uploading days ( with their touched up features/themes ) will be:

Monday – Mug Feature with either a book-related topic and/or hot beverage & book talk, and/or mentionable stand-out line from a book.

Wednesday – Book reviews. This day will be dedicated to standalone reviews, collective reviews and DNF´d reads. Also, I´ll include a review in a foreign language once a month.

Friday – Book Discussions & Book Findings.

I know. This doesn´t seem like anything ground-breaking. But as I said… This is a touch-up. A rearrangement that fits my schedule a little better. I can preschedule posts better and spread these out more. This, in turn, also gives me more time.

Of course, there will be uploading exceptions every now and again in the future. I´m planning on doing some more Bookstagram recreations and even including book blogger interviews before each major holiday.

Another critique point was the Bitmoji images I´ve been including, with the addition of my self-made graphics. * takes deep breaths * I was told they´re shit. As in shittier than shit. If you want to see me curl up in the fetus position and watch me cry my eyes out just tell me the hours I spent creating banners have been for nothing. Okay. Critique noted. This is why I contacted a photographer friend of mine to help me out a little.

Let´s all bid the Bitmoji´s and self-made banners a farewell and welcome creative book photography ( not the Instagram kind ). I´ll admit that this is the weirdest change for me because these new images that are supposed to represent my book blog will have my face on them. Not every picture but a few for sure. I figured that not many book bloggers like to expose themselves this way so I might as well stand out. If my book blog is going to be judged for its appearance then I might as well expose the face behind it all and have that judged, too.

Now for the blog appearance. I was told that white is the way to go. Simple layouts that offer easy readability. Nothing too flashy. Nothing too dark. Personally, I don´t think I can get things to be simpler than they already are on my blog. So, my layout will remain. The white will stay. The only thing I´ll do is rearrange the menu and clean up the sidebar.

My greatest goal for my “new” book blog is to be as transparent as possible. Aside from spilling a little bookish Tea, I´d love for my book blog posts to help others.

With all this having been said- I think I´m good to go for now. I´m liking the changes I´ve made so far ( they all look fab on paper ). I´m excited to see how they´ll be received. Should all go downhill for whatever reason I can still go back to the same old, right?

Here´s to changes!

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you enjoyed. Get in touch!

Warm book blogger hugs,

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mug Monday & My Next Reads

Hello and welcome to another Mug Monday.

For this week´s feature, I thought I´d share my newest Mug addition: Cat mug.

 

20191012_181054416766291077815980.jpg

 

Also known as my recent favorite piece of ceramic. It´s also the most wanted mug in the house at the moment. Why? It´s pink and a cat´s head is on it. I have two girls. You may do the math and imagine the mug war that´s been going on in my house.

 

 

Over a single mug. MY mug. * sigh *

Anyway- Let´s talk about books.

I´m not sure what´s been put in the water lately because romance authors have been releasing books left and right. Everywhere I look I see an author announcing their new releases or throwing publication dates out into the world. Tons of cover reveals are happening as well. Right now, all I´m feeling is a sense of hopelessness because I certainly don´t have the money to buy all the books that are coming out… at the same time. How cruel is that?! For almost a year I´ve been complaining about how quiet it´s become in the romance world and NOW everyone decides to release together.

 

 

In this case, I have no other choice than to read all the unread books I already have on my shelves ( I swear, book bloggers have such a hard life. lol ). In the mug feature you can see ( well no. You probably can´t since my camera refused to cooperate ) a few paperbacks that are just waiting for my attention. Actually- the whole shelf above my mug is filled with unread treasures from my TBR pile. I should be occupied for a while.

 

With all the bookish goodness happening lately, I can probably get to these and ignore every other new release. I just have to stay strong for a hot minute and keep away from the internet.

Fingers crossed I´ll be able to read half of what I aimed for. 11 romances and 1 fantasy novel.

 

That´s it for this week. I hope this Mug Monday wasn´t too snooze-worthy.


 

Tell me: What are your November reads? Have you read any of the books in my November batch? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful start of the week.

Feel hugged,

Morgana

 

150 Days Until RARE ´19 London

Only 150 days left! Hard to imagine the book signing event is practically around the corner.

To celebrate the event I´ve teamed up with my book babe, Sabrina @Brina and the Books ( who´ll also be my partner in crime at the signing ) for a little milestone countdown. On day 150, 100, 50 and day 0 we´ll be giving you insight on our RARE expectations, our unicorn authors and of course a sneak peek in the life of preparing for a book signing event happening in a different country. To sum it all up – Sabrina and I decided to reveal juicy details on day 0.

 

 

Today we´re here to celebrate the 150 days left until RARE ´19 London, Romance Author event. Why not start with our expectations? Our hopes and wishes for the event?

 

Fortunately for me, this isn´t my first RARE book signing event. I´ve had the pleasure of visiting a few in the past. I wouldn´t necessarily call myself a RARE expert but I do think I have a pretty good idea what to expect.

 

Authors and books. 

 

That´s what any book signing event is about, right? To go and see authors and have books signed. In a nutshell, yes. But these RARE signings function a little different. This isn´t just a get in – get out affair. RARE signings go a little deeper than that.

 

It´s all about having a good time.

 

If there´s one thing I´ve always experienced during my RARE visits, then it was definitely fun. Having a fun time with authors and having a great time mingling with like-minded people. RARE has never been a simple meet & move on. The promise of 150 authors for this year´s event sounds like a sure guarantee that the signing will be explosive! A bomb of a dream for a romance book blogger.RARE I´m going to unicorns

So, what exactly are my hopes for RARE ´19? I don´t have any for the event itself. Aside from meeting my favorite authors and discovering new authors I´m pretty sure there won´t be much new for me to expect ( unless the orga – team offers a Magic Mike show and a triple chocolate welcoming cake. One can always dream ). My hopes are aimed towards having a fantastic time with my friend, Sabrina.

A useless fun fact: Sabrina and I both live in Germany ( and not too far from each other, either ) and we´ll be meeting for the first time in person in London. How sad is that, huh? I can´t seem to get my booty in the car and visit her but here I am booking flights to meet my friend… in a differently country ( the shame is real, y´all ).

Also, while spending time with my favorite fellow book blogger and friend I´ll also be enjoying the event with my bestie Lindsey.

 

 

What I also expect is to be financially ruined for a few weeks afterwards. Books aren´t cheap, guys. I see a very dark and penniless future ahead. Not sure how I should feel about that.

 

My face while thinking about how poor I´ll be

 

Of course, I expect to walk out of the event with a shit load of books and more swag than I can handle. It´ll be a blast! Spending time with my loved ones and lusting over books will be awesome. Because that´s what respectable adult bookworms do.

 

 

That´s it for the 150 day mark, my lovely bookish Padawans. I hope you enjoyed.

Be sure to check out what my book babe, Sabrina @Brina and the Books Rare ´19 London expectations are. ♥ This will be Sabrina´s first RARE event and she´s definitely got some exciting things to say. 

Before I go I would like to know:

 

♥ Have you visited a RARE signing? Would you like to visit RARE? Have you been to other book signings? What was your experience? Let´s chat. ♥

 

Wishing you all the best.

Much book love,

Banner name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram Features From Morgana´s Book Box

With the new year I found some new energy to work Instagram again. Ha! Who would have thought, right? Between the unforgivable algorithm and my lazy self I figured I´d forget all the junk I was fed up about and just start to enjoy Instagram for myself. Partly because everything else would piss me off. * insert huge smile *insta icon free

With that being said…. I´ve been having fun on the pic platform with doing whatever the flipping foo foo I want. To hell with Instagram goals. It´s time for some awkwardness in form of book love.

Ready to see the features? Sure you are * wink *


 

insta icon freeI´ve Rekindled With My Kindle

I normally dislike my kindle. Not because it´s shit. No. I hate it because it´s dead most of the time. I belong to the lazy chicks who don´t charge their kindles.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BosF0K5irPa/

 

 

insta icon freeMy #1 Book Cover Of The Year

Don´t ask me why but I just love this cover. Would be awesome to have this image printed in poster size.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpkzIs8HtaS/

 

 

insta icon freeThe First Useful Christmas Gift From My Brother

Usual gifts I received from my younger brother:

Laced table cloths ( don´t ask ), colored pictures of dragons ( the pictures turned into wolves as he got older ), a selfie of himself in a picture frame ( because he once felt left out ), A CD with the music he likes ( because apparently, I have no taste in music )… It took the boy 20+ years to come up with the perfect Christmas gift. ❤

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsWMyD3HlaS/

 

 

insta icon freeMy Lack Of Creativity Knows No Bounds

Just slap the book on the Lazy Susan, add some confetti, throw 10 filters over your pic and POOF!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpVAoc_iN-t/

 

 

insta icon freeDecent Results Also Show By Spending Even Less Energy

Ditch the Lazy Susan but add new filters. * face palm * I´m surprised I found the energy to get up from the sofa the day I took this shot. 2019 is supposed to be a lazy year.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsbbK2FnM2a/

 

So that´s it. A little bit of 2018 and a little bit of 2019 and you can already tell where my bright Insta future is headed. Be prepared for sofa pics very soon!

Also, not to forget- If you´re on Instagram be sure to hit me up and give me a nudge to follow you back.

 

Much love,

Banner name