As a soon to be published author, I’ve really started to think a lot more about the publishing process. Specifically, I need to finalize my book cover, write a book description and decide a price for my ebook. Later I’ll also look to create a print book, but that will take a bit more effort for me to design the book cover. So for now, I’m just going with an ebook, as the cover is mostly complete.
Yesterday I started writing some book descriptions and this is where you come in, if you’re willing to play. I need help deciding what description would best make someone want to read my novel. I’m having a hard time because most book descriptions are either a few sentences or one to two short paragraphs. I have what I feel is a decent description of my novel on this blog, however it’s too long.
For someone who is rather verbose (I have several good email correspondences going and I can easily write a novel in email format), I’m having a hard time describing my novel in just a few sentences and those sentences have to be very well crafted so that it will grab someone, pull them in, make them want to read my story.
I have two options for writing this blurb. One is to directly speak to the reader in my character’s voice. This would mean using “I this, I that,” which is how my book is written. However most of the descriptions I’ve seen, use she/he and not I. But it intrigues me to write from the “I” perspective in a description because I think that is unusual and interesting.
My second option is of course to talk about my main character as She. I think this is less interesting and isn’t a good representation of my book. If I use I, however, the trick will be to be as interesting as I can and my preference would be to portray my character’s distinctive voice in the description but I feel that it might be asking too much since the description is so short and I’m having a hard time saying everything I want to say.
I’ve got a few examples that I’ve been playing with and I wondered if you might let me know which you find the most interesting and which would make you want to read my novel. (Truth, these all seem too long to me! Eek! Although, personally I like a long description when I’m buying a book because you get a better feel for an author by how they write their description and it gives you more info about whether you’ll like the book or not)
1. (From the “She” POV)
Freshman party girl Victoria has a secret. She’s totally crazy and alcohol is the only way to banish her mind blowing obsessive anxiety. And she’s so desperate that she’ll do just about anything to make sure no one finds out her secret.
But binge drinking at college frat parties leads to bad choices and soon she’s so full of anxiety that she can’t leave the house and death begins to look kind.
And after a year of stress and mistakes, she presses a loaded handgun against her forehead in a cold kiss, wanting to end it all. And then he calls. After they hang up, she makes a choice.
2. (1st person POV)
Perhaps I can convince you that not only do I have a massive secret drinking problem, but I’m bulimic too. Awesome! All the things I’m not, simply to hide the one thing I am.
And that one thing I’m hiding?
I. Am. Crazy.
And all I want to do is get wasted at college frat parties, to banish my fear beneath 17 shots because the girl that emerges from my purely medicinal alcohol is a sexy confident stranger. Problem is that girl drinks too much, loses her virginity in a one night stand, contracts an STD, is rejected by her biggest crush and soon she’s got blue lights flashing in her rear view. She’s got skills.
And my crazy fear, my clenched stomach, throbbing heart and mind-blowing obsessive anxiety and depression are still there in my sober life and getting worse, until I’m lying on the cold cement floor of my parents basement, a loaded handgun kissing my hot forehead.
And as I lay there about to pull the trigger, he calls. After we hang up, I make a choice.
3. (1st Person POV)
I can tell you two truths about me. One is well-known, one is a secret.
I’m a party girl and I’m totally crazy.
I love getting wasted at college frat parties because alcohol is the only way to banish my craziness, my mind blowing obsessive anxiety. It’s also the key to my breakdown, to my slide toward the cold loaded handgun I’ll press against my hot forehead at the end of my freshman year.
I’ve lost almost everything, my virginity, my self-respect, my ability to leave the house, and finally my will to live. I’ve gained a few things too, like antibiotics for my wicked awesome STD.
And as I lay there on the basement floor, sobbing, he calls. After we hang up, I make a choice.
4. (1st person POV)
I’ve got a secret.
I’m as crazy, irrational and terrified as they come. And alcohol is the only way to banish my mind blowing obsessive anxiety and I’ll do just about anything to make sure no one finds out my secret.
But college parties and binge drinking lead to drinking to attend class, losing my virginity in a one night stand, contracting an STD and blue lights flashing in my rear view. Soon I’m so full of anxiety that I can’t leave the house. Death starts to sound like freedom.
And as the loaded handgun presses against my forehead in a cold kiss, he calls. After we hang up, sobbing, I make a choice.
So this is what I have so far. It’s not the end all be all and I might end up doing something totally different, but for now I do like these, however I wonder if they are too long and I wonder if they are enough to get someone’s attention. I think for me, I’d be intrigued by the description of the story, but that’s me. My novel won’t be for every reader out there.
My second decision is how much to charge for my ebook. I think there’s a fine line between charging too little and thereby announcing to the world that you are an indie author or someone who isn’t confident in their writing (not that you can’t be confident and be indie, don’t get me wrong…) and charging so much that no one will take a chance on my book because let’s face it, I am a new author. My current thought is either $2.99 or $3.99. I feel like it’s low enough that someone might take a chance and I know I would and when I’ve bought an ebook for a price like that it is a gamble. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised and other times I’m turned off immediately by the writing or the fact that my believability of the story is non-existent.
I have had beta readers, sort of, for my novel, so I know that it is readable and I have heard positive comments about it. One of my readers was a panic attack and anxiety sufferer and I think for her it had the biggest impact because she felt like I really described her thinking patterns and I think it gave her the feeling that she wasn’t alone. I also recently had a new blogger friend, Emily, read my first chapter and before she did so, she said she’s a really hard critic and she did have some critiquing comments about my chapter, but she also said she thought it might have a larger audience than initially anticipated and that she thought it was “surprisingly good,” so this gives me hope that readers will be pleased if they pay $2.99 or $3.99 for my book.
I feel like the distinction between the two,while it seems small, also seems important to me and I’m having a hard time choosing. What do you think? How much will you pay for an ebook by a totally unknown author? Do you often read a part of their book if the website has the feature for you to “look inside?” Will you purchase an unknown author based on their description? What is your price range? How much do you rely on reviews from other readers?
Ok, thanks for your help! I hope to hear your opinions. It’s nice to have an entire community of people who are writing! I love it. Wish I had started blogging sooner.
Peace out my fellow writers, Victoria