Pragmatic – definition: concerned with practical rather than intellectual, abstract or artistic matters.
When we write we are most certainly not pragmatic but artistic and that is our main focus at the time. Creating is the fun part of our art but if we are to follow our dream of being published we have to ‘go to the other side’…practical issues range from editing to beta readers to submissions to that all important publishing date followed by the inevitable promotional efforts we must pursue.
Getting a book published is no mean feat – there are many ‘layers’ to it and we have to invest time and effort in a good deal of research and the learning of new skills to accomplish it. You are bound to have had the same conversations I have with people, who are totally oblivious to the mechanics of having a book on a bookstore shelf or online site. It is not as easy as walking into the store and asking them to put it on display or ‘dump’ a manuscript onto a website. Once you begin explaining you either get the ‘Oh my gosh I had no idea’ or an uninterested eye roll. Whichever response you get, they start to understand it is not as easy as it seems and that most writers/authors are ‘unknown’ to the public at large. Not everyone is a Stephen King or J.K. Rowling! (although we all secretly wish we were).
Perception is the key here. I couldn’t resist putting this graph here. It reminded me of a’ sales in the office’ course I took many moons ago. The exact same graph was used then and clearly shows that we have to be extremely precise in how we explain our vision. We endeavor to produce a blurb that will explain our story but also entice our readers. Having spent months with our characters it is easy to forget that others do not yet have that connection and can write descriptions that fall short. There is something to say for leaving a manuscript/story alone for some time, having disconnected ourselves for a month or so will hopefully allow us to ‘see’ our creation from another perspective. That distance makes all the difference in most cases. It is also true when we describe our imaginary worlds, our ‘view’ may not be that of our reader, the trick is to get it as close as we can by using our words carefully.
Do you have a tip for writing a great blurb?