As an author, you may think that the back cover blurb for your book is not really all that important, but it is the introduction to your book, one of the first things that give readers a taste of the pages within.
Upon this impression, a reader will either decide to purchase your book or not. It’s that simple. Regardless of how attractive your cover art may be, if the blurb does not capture the imagination, your book will remain upon the shelf.
No blurb at all is a huge mistake. Your book must have one; otherwise, how can anyone tell what your book is about?
An overly long blurb is another huge mistake. The idea is to entice the reader, not write the entire story on the back cover. Keep it short and sweet, and remember to think of it as bait. Give a short introduction to your main character and the conflict he/she faces, and try to end on an intriguing note. Try to make it catchy and memorable. Two hundred and fifty words should be enough. Continue reading
There’s no rule that says you have to have a certain amount of dialogue versus a certain amount of narrative. However, it’s good to have a balance. If a book contains mostly narrative, it’ll be harder to move the story along or to include any action, which may make it a boring read. This is largely dependent on the topic, though. For example, Bernard Beckett’s book, Genesis, is almost pure conversation. The book revolves around an examination the main character has to take, in which philosophy, ethics and artificial intelligence are debated. It’s written in an entertaining way, and the purpose is to make readers think, so this is a rare example of almost no narrative working best, as any action in Genesis would have been irrelevant and distracting.
Avoid narrative in (physical) fight scenes unless it adds value to the story, and be sure not to have too much narrative if you do use it in fight scenes, as it’s unnatural to have a conversation with someone when you’re throwing punches, swinging swords or shooting at each other. Narrative in these scenes might include taunts or one party trying to persuade the other to settle the matter amicably. Continue reading
Every author who has ever lovingly tapped away at a keyboard or typewriter, or who has even used the old fashioned pen and paper method, will agree that finding the time to write can be a challenge. Planning is the greatest weapon in your arsenal against the fight of daily demands like work schedules, meetings, family time, laundry, dish washing duty and life in general.
In the vague and distant past, I once heard an invaluable phrase:
If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.
It is one of those wow phrases that stuck in my mind, as though glued to the inside of my scull with peanut butter… graphic, but effective. Now it’s glued in yours too. Writing, for all its whimsical and romanticised portrayals in film and television, takes dedication and applied effort. Making time for it in our busy lives is a challenge in itself. Continue reading
Apologies for the long blog silence. As most of you are aware, there is a new baby in the picture and one less Fireblade partner, both of which are good things, as it turns out. That said, work this year has been going on pretty much the same as usual, with the exception of this blog. However, I’m pleased to say that the Fireblade blog will once again be updated regularly from now on.
Some of the helpful and interesting articles followers can expect this year include:
Balancing Narrative & Dialogue
Creative Tools for Writers
The Importance of Linking to your Book Online
Why it’s Vital to Read if You Want to Write
A Writing Plan That Works Continue reading
It’s been a productive, busy year that’s drawing to a close, giving most of us the opportunity to take some much-needed time out and recharge our batteries.
Fireblade will be closed for the holidays from 24 December 2013 to 1 January 2014. We’ll be back at our desks on 2 January.
Please feel free to email us your quote requests during the holidays, but bear in mind that you’re unlikely to receive a reply until we return to work.
For those who would like to help us start next year off in a super productive manner too, we’re offering the following New Year specials Continue reading
It’s been a challenging few weeks, with many more to come. I’m pleased to announce the birth of our daughter, Myka, on 6 November via emergency c-section. We’re thankful to have a healthy, calm baby, though recovery from the operation is taking its time.
In light of that and the fact that a Fireblade business partner quit without warning, this blog will only be updated again at the end of December, and then regularly at some stage in January or February 2014. Work, however, will continue as usual, so don’t hesitate to contact us for your publishing needs.
Writers should always keep in mind that it’s blatantly obvious to most readers if you do not read, particularly if you’ve never read a book since high school. We’ve listed just a few of the common errors made by writers who don’t read. These are perfect examples of why it’s vital to read if you want to write. Continue reading
Most writers have little free time on their hands between work, writing, family responsibilities and the general frenzy of day-to-day living. This means that writers have to allocate time wisely in order to gain the most benefit from anything they participate in. Continue reading
Commonly known as backlinks, inbound links or incoming links, amongst others, links to your book purchase pages and author website are more important than most authors realise.
Sure, the majority of us know that the more places potential readers can find our links, the more likely it is we’ll gain new fans. However, did you know that it can increase your author website and book purchase page ranking in Google and other search engines? Continue reading