The Teaser

For weeks, months, maybe years you’ve been working on your novel. It’s anywhere from 50 thousand words to a 150 thousand.

And now?

In just a few words you need to convince an agent, editor, or reader to buy (or at least read) your book, and you’re not going to have a lot of time (words) to do so.

A teaser may be called a “blurb” (to be placed on the back cover of your book), or a “hook,” or an “elevator pitch.” Teasers vary in length (no one-size-fits-all), but their purpose doesn’t vary–to sell the book–and they’re darn hard to write.

This month I’m promoting some of my early romances that are available as eBooks. Lyon’s Pride is one of those books.

Silhouette used 114 words for the blurb on the original paperback edition of Lyon’s Pride. Although it summarized the story, I wasn’t wild about the last paragraph.

Cartoonist Greg Lyon—and his alter ego, Leo—made a healthy living at satire, with doctors among their favorite targets. But when Greg took a tumble in nowheresville, Indiana, he needed more than Leo’s mockery to mend his broken bones—he needed an M.D.

What he got was gentle Amy Fraser, a physician who knew what it meant to be shattered, a woman whose outer scars touched his inner wounds…and made him ache for her caress.

But Greg had to hide his identity to savor Amy’s round-the-clock care. Where was his pride? Amy’s unique beauty and tempting TLC might have soothed his angry Lyon—but he refused to let her steal Leo’s might roar!

For the eBook, I used 143 words for my teaser. I don’t know if it’s better.

Cartoonist Greg Lyon made a healthy living at satire, but when doctors become his prime target, he’s told to take a break. He decides to walk from New York to California, but a bad fall in a little Indiana town puts him in need of one of those M.D.s he’s so fond of mocking. What he gets is Amy Fraser, a doctor who knows what it means to be shattered physically and emotionally. Greg’s broken ankle forces him to become a guest in Amy’s home/clinic, but he doesn’t dare let her know he’s the cartoonist she hates. The problem is, the longer the two are together the harder it is for them to ignore the sparks. Amy fears Greg, like others in her life, will walk away once he’s able. Greg fears, once Amy discovers who he really is, she’ll send him away.

And next week I’m using a graphic that includes 45 words that I hope will entice readers to purchase a copy of the eBook.

Will either my eBook blurb or the graphic help sell copies of Lyon’s Pride? I don’t know. What I do know is it’s difficult to summarize a book in just a few words. Almost as difficult as writing the book.


By the way, I just saw another blog on this topic that I think is quite good. How to Write Book Blurbs

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6 Responses to The Teaser

  1. I also find blurbs difficult to write. We do want to entice readers, but it’s not easy. Yours read well. Wishing you much success with the ebook version.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Thanks, Jacqueline. Having to write my own blurbs for the ebooks has certainly made me appreciate the ones provided by the publisher…even those I didn’t totally love.

  2. Zara West says:

    Sounds like a great book, Maris. I actually like both blurbs. Each captures the gist of the story. But the second one is a bit more understandable. You are right it is really hard to write these. But your example shows, there are many different ways to say the same thing effectively.

    • Maris Soule says:

      Zara, that’s a good point about multiple ways to say the same thing effectively. As they say, there are only so many plots, it’s how we present them.

  3. Diane Burton says:

    Writing blurbs is never easy. Some people know exactly what to say. Not me. Thanks for the link to the article.