With a little help from my friends…

Let me cheerfully destroy an illusion for you: I’m not a super guru of blurbs. I just write more of them than the average writer, so with slightly more practice, I have gotten slightly better skills. (for values of… I think I’ve written around 40? that are on books on sale, not counting practice blurbs on books that are already published, or blurbs that were written as examples and authors then used the example to craft something else for their own.)

But there are times I write real stinkers, too. And there are times like yesterday afternoon, when I am still completely exhausted from cleaning the house and Day Job, on top of the exhaustion from LibertyCon, on top of the exhaustion and pain of the months of dental medical adventures, when it’s time to give up and ask for help.

I sent what I’d tried to write for Margaret Ball’s 4th Applied Topology book (Yay more hilarious mathemagics and comedy of errors!) to her, with a note that I was fried, and this was not nearly as polished as I wanted to give her… but it was better than radio silence and sending her nothing while she got ready for cover and publication.

And then I took the third draft of what I’d been struggling back and forth with my husband for the third Cochrane’s Company (yes, the book goes on sale on the 9th. The well of creativity hasn’t just run dry, I’ve been digging the bottom of it looking for mud to squeeze for a while)…

And I went to a group of friends, many of whom aren’t authors, and went “I can’t even. Please, help.”

And they did! Between what they bashed together from my original draft, I was able to form a far, far better blurb to send to my husband. He changed it again when he uploaded the book this morning, so I look forward to seeing the final form when the book is up.

My friends are awesome.

And if after it’s up, I wince and want to immediately change it? If the creativity comes back? Well, then there’s Author Central. We’ve changed blurbs right after upload via it… heck, we had one launch where we realized that the cover that we thought looked fine really, really wasn’t – and we got a new cover uploaded. About 4 hours after it was up, sales recovered… though that launch had an odd sales track after that bobble. Nothing on your sales page is unchangeable.

Things for you to take away from this:

1.) It’s okay to reach out and ask for help, a second eye on something that isn’t working.

2.) You don’t have to use the exact suggestions for help, but if you ask yourself “Why doesn’t that work?”, you’ll come up with something that does.

3.) Friends are wonderful, wonderful people. Don’t be afraid to lean on ’em!

4.) Just because we look like we’re professional, doesn’t mean it’s not occasionally struggling like heck under the surface.

5.) You can ALWAYS fix your blurbs after uploading via Author central (or KDP, but Author Central tends to be faster.)

6.) I need more sleep.

There. Do I look like the slightly manic, slightly desperate techie running at full tilt with a necklace of gaffer’s tape, a bunch of sharpies, a radio, and a set list trying to make sure the show must go on, instead of a calm guru to you now? ‘Cause I am.


6 thoughts on “With a little help from my friends…

  1. With suggestions “Why doesn’t that work?” often is informative. When you explain the problem to someone else (which can itself be an educational experience for you), you do an imperfect job of communicating. Their suggestions are in response to your communication, not in response to everything in your head. So the stuff that doesn’t work can reveal assumptions or important details that you hadn’t consciously noticed. When you get help noticing them, you can use them for further inspiration.

  2. “A delightful coming-of-age story of a mixed-race girl on the verge of womanhood, finding her way in a strange and occasionally hostile universe…”

    (Podkayne of Mars)

  3. But, but… You’re so damn good at it! 🙂 and I’ve never been able to do my own blurbs, so all credit for mine go to you! 🙂 Now get some sleep!!!

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