Friday, January 27, 2012

Writing Catchy Blurbs

I'm preparing to publish my latest novel. A SF. I shared my draft description with a peer, and wham, she came back with that evil response, "You have to have a hook."
"Didn't I escape that when I got away from the query letter?" I scream.
Evidently not.
I went to Amazon for inspiration and spent two hours reading blurbs for SFs and then over to the top 100-selling list to read the blurbs for all of the listed speculative fiction. Even "my buddy's" 11/22/63 was a snoozer (for hooks).
The rule for SF seemed straight forward enough. Jump directly into introducing the story setting, plot, or character. "Weese don't need no stinking hook."
There was a single exception, and it was a doozy. So good I even have to share it:
This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.
Now that is a hook! Hocking/Hollowland
How do you feel about this for a hook? A dwarf pasting a man nearly twice her height, four times her weight, is worth paying to see.
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle


  1. By "hooks" do you mean tag-lines? Or are these hooks going directly into your book description?

    I'm TERRIBLE at thinking up tag-lines and I'm desperate for someone to write them for me.

    I've changed my book description 3 times, because I'm also not very good at creating blurbs.

    That tag-line by Hocking is awesome. Another hook I love is on the front cover of Skulduggery Pleasant 6: Death Bringer by Derek Landy. It goes like this...

    "Kicking evil very hard in the face."

    Man, that blurb rocks my world.

  2. A tagline can indeed be your hook, but it is a more general term.

    Per Wikipedia: create[s] a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of a brand or product...

    The hook is your invitation to snag the bait, keep reading, "Buy me, buy me."

  3. Yep, that hook totally got me. I bought the book for that hook. Anyone that can take TS Elliot and make it new is worth reading. (Of course, I love TS Elliot, so there is that.)

    Good luck with writing your hook!!