Blurb me again! How ’bout one of these for The Water Castle? Better?

Yesterday I rolled out a first-draft blurb for this book.

aaa TWC BLUE 39 BEST v 1

Today, I’ve tweaked it. (Three blurbs follow)

Is one of the following blurbs better than the others? Which elements do you need in a blurb so you’ll feel compelled to check it out further? What puts you off?

BLURB 1:

On the tenth anniversary of her father’s death, fourteen-year-old Gina Martin finds herself inexplicably drawn to the run-down old park where he used to take her. There, while exploring an eerie abandoned water tower, Gina accidentally discovers a portal that takes her to the 1700’s where she meets and falls for a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Each day, Gina goes to school, then sneaks off to spend time in the old world with Prince Philip. Befriending a matronly handmaiden named Summer, who is skilled in the mystical nature of local plants, Gina learns to love the ways of the old world – to the ire of Philip’s counselor Cero, a practitioner of a darker mysticism who wants Gina gone.

But as she studies history in school, Gina notices her textbook changing to reflect the things she does in Old Florida – possibly sending the modern world onto a new path and rewriting the fate of the prince! As her relationship with Philip intensifies, a warring native tribe rises up to attack and demolish the Spanish settlement; at home, the crumbling portal tower is scheduled for demolition! Summer may have plans for Gina and the Prince, and Gina realizes she must soon choose between her life in the modern world or her new life in the past – but the mysterious Cero’s books contain secrets that change everything for all involved.

233 words

BLURB 2:

On the tenth anniversary of her father’s death, fourteen-year-old Gina Martin finds herself inexplicably drawn to the run-down old park where he used to take her. There, while exploring an eerie abandoned water tower, Gina accidentally discovers a portal that takes her to the 1700’s where she meets and falls for a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Each day, Gina goes to school, then sneaks off to spend time in the old world with Prince Philip. Befriending a matronly handmaiden who is skilled in the mystical nature of local plants, Gina learns to love the ways of the old world – to the ire of Philip’s counselor Cero, a practitioner of a darker mysticism who wants Gina gone.

But as she studies history in school, Gina notices her textbook changing to reflect the things she does in Old Florida – possibly sending the modern world onto a new path and rewriting the fate of the prince! As her relationship with Philip intensifies, a warring native tribe rises up to finally demolish the Spanish settlement, and at home, the crumbling portal tower is scheduled for demolition! Gina realizes she must choose between her life in the modern world or her new life in the past, but the mysterious Cero’s books contain secrets that change everything for all involved.

216 words

BLURB 3:

Fourteen-year-old Gina and lives in modern Tampa, but accidentally discovers a portal that takes her to the 1700’s where she meets and falls for a young Noble tasked with settling Spain’s La Florida territory. Each day she goes to school, then sneaks off (to the portal) to spend time in the old world with Prince Philip. But as she studies history in school, she sees her textbook change each day to reflect things she did in Old Florida – possibly sending the modern world onto a new path and rewriting history for (the fate of) the prince! As her fondness for Philip intensifies, native tribes are rising up to demolish the Spanish settlement – and Gina realizes she must choose between staying in the modern world or living in the past.

128 words

Is one of the blurbs better than the others? Which elements do you need to feel compelled to check it it further? What puts you off? What intrigues you?

Comment below!

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

35 thoughts on “Blurb me again! How ’bout one of these for The Water Castle? Better?

  1. I like Blurb 2 the best. Blurb 1 reads more like a synopsis than a book blurb, in my mind – number 2 feels all the more exciting for its brevity. The third one is good, but not as enticing as number 2 – that extra bit of info gives a better feel for the story. All beautifully done though, Daniel, bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I was honestly torn between 2 and 3, but 2 had that little bit more info that made the story come ‘alive’. Blurb 1 is very well done, it just strikes me as a bit full-on for the back of a book, is all. I tend to lean towards short, punchy blurbs, but they aren’t to everyone’s taste.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m trying to decide what’s most interesting, to hook the reader, and what additional stuff shows it’s not a run of the mill time travel romance.

          The history book changing is a good one…

          Debating about staying in the past seems like a good one…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm… reading them again, I think they all suck now.

      Since I know you won’t have time to read it before it comes out, maybe I should allow you and a few others to know what happens in each plot line so you can advise me further. It would have all the spoilers so you’d know which items should stay in the blurb.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. None of them suck, I assure you. I’m happy to help – if you email me all the important bits I’ll gladly take a look and make suggestions. Not sure they will be any better than what you have but I’m happy to help.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I actually think blurb 1. Whilst it is a bit long winded I agree, I did find it the most interesting to read. Some book synopsis’ take the whole of a back cover or dust jacket of a book so whilst length can be a problem I agree, sometimes the pitch has to be as interesting as the story itself. Sorry to state the obvious there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The truck is to give enough information to get s potential reader to explore further without ruining the suspense/ drama/ whatever. Blurb 1 shows there is a lot going on in the story BESIDES a possible young romance. But in doing so it may dampen the interests of other possible readers.

      Like

  3. Hi!

    All three successfully make me want to read the book 🙂

    I think I like Blurb 2 the best. I’ve heard that you should mention no more than 3 names in a blurb, so that one has 3 names. I also think demolish and demolition occur too close together.

    Maybe the final sentence about Cero’s book could be a little punchier.

    Good job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woo hoo!

      Also, For this exercise, I’m not so much interested on rules we’ve all heard about what a blurb is or isn’t supposed to do, but really just your initial reaction – which you gave me. I think readers are astute enough to handle four names in 200 words, and I don’t want to do something just because that’s what some old rule is, you know?

      But you should come back tomorrow because you could take a stab at rewriting this sucker yourself! I would love that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like # 2. The intrigue of Cero and the matronly handmaiden are important (for me anyway!) I want to know there is more to this story than a mere teenage romance. This hints at magic practitioners and other sorts of rivalry. Reading them through again, I see # 1 lets us know “Summer may have other plans”. I think it’s ok to leave that out. (We’ll figure it out later… and perhaps be surprised.) #3 for me is a bit too congested. I like knowing the mystery of the tower and that her deceased father took her there. Both 1 and 2 make me want to read it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a spoiler, summer is completely duplicitous. She was actually a kid from modern times just like Gina, who discovered the portal. She went there and she learned things and she adapted, but she doesn’t like Gina there – even though she pretends she does. She acts like Gina’s older friend and then we come to find out she’s a very very very bad, evil person. So when I say, “summer may have other plans“ the reader is thinking, oh. Summer wants Gina and the prince to get together. Well, maybe. But maybe a whole lot of other things, too. Bad things.

      Anyway, everything you were mentioning, I consider those huge plot points in the story. But there’s a delicate balance between giving away too much and just baiting the hook.

      Considering you mentioned you like to read this type of story, YA, your input is considered a little more valuable. Either way, I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, well that sounds even more intriguing! A twist, very good! So with either blurb you are not really giving anything away. Which is great.

        I very much like to read this kind of story — just the idea of the portal and the 18th century, Spanish exploration would probably hook me, honestly 🙂

        I heard that over 50 % of YA readers are now people over age 18. So, older folks like me probably like the story to have a bit of sophistication, which is why this intrigues me — and teenagers like the young characters they can relate to.

        By the way Dan is it too late to submit a story for the Relationships Anthology?

        Like

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