Help me decide the blurb for Forever Blue

brothers quote

I’ve always struggled with writing blurbs. As I’ve said before, I’d rather write an entire book than the short blurb which ends up on the back.

So I need your help. I’m going to list four blurbs below. They all give slightly different information, or are told in a different way. Please help me by casting a vote for the blurb which would most compel you to read the book.

Whether or not any of these end up making the back cover of my book is yet to been seen, (I’m still playing around, wording choice etc could easily change,) but will give me a indication of which direction to head.

Thank you to anyone who votes on the poll. I really appreciate it!

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Blurb 1

 

Brothers, Ruben and Judah Mitchell, used to be close, but that was before they met Cara Armistead. Once she moved in next door, the brothers grew further and further apart until the tension between them led to an event which left one dead and the other branded by the aftermath.

One year later, after the death of her baby brother destroyed her family, Lennon Donnelly has moved back to her home town of Puruwai. While visiting the cemetery, she finds a boy sitting on a gravestone, a boy with secrets in his past, but someone who finally sees her. Accused by the town as a killer, he reaches out to Lennon, but as their relationship deepens, the events of the year before present themselves in a way no one could have imagined.

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Blurb 2

 

I broke the surface and gulped in air, running my hands over my face to push the water away.
A raindrop splattered on my cheek. He did not rise.
Seven more raindrops in quick succession splattered against my skin.
And still, he did not rise.
The heavens opened and rain fell like a sheet, blanketing me,
cutting me off from the rest of the world.
I thought it was the end of everything.
But I was wrong.

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Blurb 3

 

Lennon Donnelly feels invisible.
But when she meets a boy at the grave site of his dead brother, she feels as though someone finally sees her. As she unlocks the secrets of his past,
the truth comes to light in a way that will change her life forever.

*

Ruben Mitchell is popular and talented and loved.
He and his brother used to be close, but when he starts a relationship with the girl his brother loves, it ignites a series of events which will leave one dead
and the other branded with the aftermath.

*
Judah Mitchell is nothing like his brother.
He prefers to spend his time gaming or tinkering on his beloved car.
When the girl he loves returns home, he is afraid he will be hidden by the shadow of his brother.
And while returning home from a party, Judah makes a decision
which the effects of will ripple through the small town of Puruwai.

*

Cara Armistead never wanted to come home.
But when her mother falls sick, she must return to help with her care.
She never meant to cause tension between the brothers,
but after an incident leads to the destruction of her family,
she’s not sure if she will ever be able to forgive the person responsible.

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Blurb 4

 

Lennon.

Someone saw me. He saw me.
I never thought it would end like this.
But I was wrong.

 Ruben.

Everyone assumed that we had a secret connection,
that I had the ability to look into the mind of my brother and know
what he was thinking because we looked alike.
But his mind was just as much a mystery to me as it was to everyone else.

  Judah.

My brother was perfect.
You would think that would mean I was too,
considering we were twins,
but nothing could be further from the truth.
Ruben was popular. Ruben was talented. Ruben was loved.
And I was branded his killer.

*******

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Forever Blue Cover Reveal

I’m at the stage of writing which I like the least. I say ‘like the least’ rather than ‘dislike’, as there aren’t too many aspects of writing which I dislike, but this stage would have to be my least favourite. I guess I’m a little impatient.

Forever Blue is written. I’ve completed the first of the major edits and now I’m at the stage of those smaller edits and typos, the ones which my mind often corrects so I have to use various different ways to spot them. This can be fun for one or two chapters, but after an entire book the fun aspect definitely wanes. I’m also stuck writing the blurb. I would rather write an entire book than a blurb. Once I figure it out I’ll be able to let you know more about the actual story line. Hopefully.

This part of the process also includes sending it out to beta readers, something which is exciting but also nerve-wracking, especially since I have given out zero details regarding the book. My writers’ group may have got the odd snippet here and there, but not many. The reason for this is I wanted the feedback to be as unbiased as possible. The only details I’ve given are that it’s aimed at the YA audience and a romance. Sort of. Even though I’ve only sent it to a few people, the feedback so far has been good. (It still counts if it’s your mum, right?)

But the thing that frustrates me the most is I just want to get it out there. I want to click the publish button and see if people enjoy it as much as I did writing it. But I promised myself I wouldn’t do that. I would stick to my plan.

But there is one thing I can share with you . . . the cover!

Personally, I think it is rather beautiful. What do you think?

Cover

 

I’ve also been playing with an animated gif and I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.

Cover Gif

Anyway, that’s it for now. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break.

Abby Wilder lettering

Behind the Glass | Publishing | Cover Design & Blurb

cover design

Even though the cover was part of the formatting process, I feel it needs its own blog. Book covers sell books. They are not the only thing that sell books, they are not even the most important thing that sell books, but a good cover is worth investing in.

I have a few graphic design skills and attempted a few cover layouts myself (see here for previous blog post) but I knew I did not have the skills I needed to get the cover I wanted.

I decided to use an online sourcing site called 99 Designs. Mainly because I could determine the price, I would be given the choice of a number of designs, and I did not know them. I found this an important part, as sometimes I find it difficult to tell someone I know that I’m not happy with what they’ve done. As I discovered, I also felt uncomfortable telling strangers that too.

I uploaded a brief that went something like this:
————————————————————————–
Possible Themes:
Inside vs Outside.
Freedom vs Security
Reflection/Glass – things not as they appear.
City vs Nature

Possible Images:
Shattered Glass
Domed City – Black panels, white framework from outside. Inside: Stark. Futuristic. Colours: White, Grey, Black with splashes of red.
Nature – Lush Forest and/or desolate earth.
Main Character: Female. 16. Auburn hair. Barcode tattoo on wrist. Also wears futuristic communication device on wrist.

I tend to gravitate towards covers that have a single point of focus rather than detailed backgrounds, but I am willing to consider anything.
————————————————————————–

The response was slow at first, and I began to doubt the choice I had made. Admittedly, I hadn’t given the designers a lot to work with, but after browsing some of the covers already done, I was confident enough to hang in there. And the results were amazing. I wish I could show you what some of the designs that I didn’t end up choosing looked like, but most of the designers withdrew their concepts once the contest ended. The few that are left you can see here.
Choosing one design was difficult. I wanted to choose at least five. But a book with five different covers is probably not the best idea.

Having a few computer graphic skills and also the software needed, I made sure that the designer supplied all layers of the design so I could alter it for various promotional material. It is important to let the designer know at the start of the process that you require the layered files of your book cover.

Writing the blurb was harder than writing the entire novel. I read countless articles and advice, but none of it seemed to help. If I’m honest, I’m still not happy with my book blurbs, but they are what they are. My advice to anyone out there would be to get another author you trust to read your book and write the blurb for you. Condensing your story into a few short lines without giving away too much information, and at the same time saying enough to spike the reader’s interest, is a skill I’m not sure I have.

The next post will be published on 15th October and is the final in this series.

Behind the Glass | Publishing | Marketing

*If you haven’t read Girl Behind Glass yet, it is currently free in the Kindle store – http://goo.gl/KUGZrA