The Navigators – Boil Down This Blurb

A lot goes into writing a book.

TheNavigatorsDanAlatorre.jpg

You write it, but that’s just the start.

You edit it, polish it…

Run it through a critique group (more on that HERE)…

Send it to beta readers for their input (more on that HERE and HERE)…

Work on a cover and let your fan base choose the right one like we did HERE and HERE – and most of that took place on Facebook, not the blog.  (Above is winner for The Navigators; the losers received fewer votes – including the one I liked best that got almost none.)

That… that was difficult. I can admit it now.

And then a BLURB is needed (more on that HERE). A blurb is a few words – 100 if possible but less than 200 for sure – that tell enough of the story to interest readers and get the to buy or at least read the sample.

Eventually, you get to market it, a whole other world of time consuming things. (Just get our free marketing book HERE for that part. Save yourself a lot of headaches.)

A key part of that marketing is the blurb. We did this exercise before for other books and it’s an important link in the chain. We – you, me, all of us here on the blog – are getting ready for this book to come out in the next 30 days.

I need your help.

Because blurbing is hard.

The Navigators

Barry’s hand-picked team of graduate archaeology students decide to challenge themselves to find something big during the quiet summer session. They embark on an excavation at a dangerous central Florida mine site, where a freak landslide uncovers a strange machine. Wary of corrupt school officials they suspect are selling off their discoveries, the students take the machine home and study it in secret, reaching only one realistic – and unbelievable – conclusion: It was designed to bridge the time-space continuum. It’s a time machine.

Each test delivers a more disastrous result than the prior one, sending one team member to the hospital and nearly killing another, while a third tells university faculty about the machine – leading to the ultimate power struggle. The university wants it for funding, Florida Power wants to keep the machine’s regenerating energy abilities under wraps, and competing students want to keep it for themselves. None of them care if the team comes out of it intact.

Fleeing for their lives, the team must fight against the school, the police, the army, time, and each other if they want to learn the truth about what they’ve discovered – a truth with more severe consequences than any of them can predict.

That’s 204 words and it’s probably close to 100 words too many, but I’ll go as high as 150. Now, the tough question:

what to cut?

A blurb is advertising copy AND a story summary, but it’s mainly a selling device in the same way a book cover is a billboard that’s supposed to catch your eye.

So, what to cut? And

what to keep?

Help me boil this sucker down to 100 or 150 words and let’s get ready for its long awaited release!

Post your suggestions below or rewrite the whole thing!

And get ready to see some sample chapters and other fun stuff later this week. Stay tuned!

28 thoughts on “The Navigators – Boil Down This Blurb

  1. Just a suggestion;

    “Barry’s select team of archaeology graduates set themselves a summer challenge; excavation at a dangerous Florida mine site. A freak landslide uncovers a strange machine. Not wanting the faculty officialdom to steal credit and profit, the students conduct their own studies reaching an incredible conclusion: It was designed to bridge the time-space continuum.
    But the test delivers disastrous result; one team member in hospital and another nearly killed. Shaken a third tells the university faculty about the machine. So commences a struggle. The university for the funding potential, Florida Power to stifle knowledge of the power regenerating capacity, competing students for ownership and government suspicions in the form of police and army. With the team seen as expendable annoyances.
    Fleeing for their lives, time literally running out. Will they be able to discover the truth– one with more severe consequences than they could predict. And can they trust each other?”

    According to Word that racks up as 150

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I rewrote the whole thing, and changed the premise. It comes out as 100 words.
    When four archeology students decide to excavate a mine site during summer break, they make an unexpected find–a time machine. Not trusting the university administration, they hide the machine to study and ultimately test it.
    The effects on their lives are both immediate and have the potential to change the future. One ends up seriously injured, another must face his own betrayal, and Melissa, the only girl in the group, must decide is she wants to change a life defining moment that would have vast implications for her future.
    That’s it but if you want it longer then the next paragraph could be a general statement about how thrilling the story is. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve taken your blurb and simply cut everything that was extraneous, that should be revealed in the story, or was repetitive, or I didn’t care (who’s Barry?). I don’t pretend this is what you should use but maybe it will help you in the retooling.

    A team of graduate archeology students decide to challenge themselves in an excavation at a dangerous central Florida mine site, where a freak landslide uncovers a strange machine. Wary of corrupt school officials, the students take the machine home and study it in secret. Their conclusion: It was designed to bridge the time-space continuum.

    After each test delivers a more disastrous result than the prior one, a team member tells university faculty about the machine – leading to the ultimate power struggle. Fleeing for their lives, the team must fight against the school, the police, the army, time, and each other if they want to learn the truth about what they’ve discovered.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My suggestion:

    “After a freak landslide, Barry’s team of graduate students embark on an excavation at a dangerous central Florida mine site and uncover a mysterious machine. Wary of corrupt school officials, the students take their discovery home. Soon, they reach an unbelievable conclusion: The contraption was designed to bridge the time-space continuum.
    It’s a time machine.
    Fleeing for their lives, the team must fight against the school, the police, the army, time, and each other if they want to learn the truth about what they’ve discovered – a truth with more severe consequences than any of them can predict.”

    This book sounds ah-maze-ing. I can’t wait to see what you do with the blurb!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hey, Dan,

    My suggestion would be to change your opening. Most readers looking for a new book aren’t going to read past the first two sentences if they aren’t hooked. Think about your target audience and what will grab their attention. In this case, I’d put the action/adventure part up front then go into the details about the plot that will really influence their decision to click “buy.”

    The key player in the story (IMO) is the time machine, and most of the events that occur in the book are the result of that—the discovery, the cover-up, the tension it causes between the group of friends, and the dangerous situations that ensue. Use some of that excitement (or even just a promise of that excitement) in the very first sentence to reel in the reader.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Barry’s quest to kill summer boredom, leads him and fellow archaleogy students to a dangerous Florida mine site, where they stumble upon a machine that gives the ability to travel trough time.

    Now on the run from corrupt school officials, the police and each other, they learn the consequences of their discovery can be more disastrous then anyone could have guessed.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Honestly, I read the first sentence and was a bit bored, so I tried to punch it up a bit.

    When Barry and his hand-picked team of grad students embark on an archaeological dig in central Florida, a freak landslide leads to a strange discovery. A mysterious machine.

    In an attempt to find out what this machine might unlock, Barry and his team work in secret with one setback after another until they are found out.

    Now, on the run from the police, the university and the U.S. Army, the team must learn to rely on each other if they are going to unlock the secret of the machine – a secret with more severe consequences than any of them can predict.

    Liked by 1 person

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