#ROW80 Checkin – Tunnelled Impairments, Blurbs and Such

The last few days I discovered some naivety – or basic impairment syndrome on my writing part. I discovered that I wasn’t following through, or thinking realistically about getting myself published. It all came about out of considering a book trailer.

This week I’ve not been up to much writing-wise. I was feeling down on myself already, due to my painful procrastination promises. You know the things – if I allow myself to sit around on my bed playing games on my laptop, then I can be ‘thinking’ about the geoplotting one course tutor was expecting of me. Thinking’s good, right? And it’s too hot to sit in the study literally sweating onto the laptop keys. And I’m supposed to be in creation mode…and…and…

Notice my thinking here? Firstly I have long been foolish in believing that writing – for me only – needs to be actually tapping onto a keyboard. I’ve never been a good notebooker, although have tried for years to embrace the pen. Jotting out thoughts, diagramming etc – I’m a huge crafter, but when it comes to the act of writing – I can’t seem to properly do it anyway else but electronically, with a device.

Thank goodness for tablets, is all I can say. Since the invention and arrival of my now quite old iPAD, I have at least been found ‘writing’ in the garden, on the couch, on the train, in coffee shops and steaming up inside my daughter’s aquacentre while she has a swimming lesson.

Secondly, I’ve been down on myself for allowing myself the time to think these things in my head. Normally plots, entire scenes etc, pop into my head fully exposed at the most mediocre moments – over the kitchen sink, out in the garden. But this time around, the novel is struggling to get out because it appears I don’t react well to being asked to provide a certain amount of scenes or plot points within a few days. I don’t create on demand, I’ve now discovered.

Which, the worry is, I need to do, given I intend to write the novel during NaNoWriMo. Thirteen more days to go to the start gates, right?

Then this week another thing happened. I had enrolled in another course that started off on Monday – one to show me how to make a book trailer. Now, I’ve always been a bit of a geek, and love mucking around with technology, so that’s the aspects I was looking forward to.

As far as book trailers themselves go, I’m pretty much in the ‘hate them’ paddock, solidly planted there. With grass sprouting on my head. I have very rarely gone out of my way to watch them, and never found one I’ve particularly enjoyed or has made me go out and purchase the book. I just don’t ‘get’ them, and the advice out there on using them as a marketing technique is pretty much split towards their ability to achieve results or not.

But I’m a geek. So I was hoping to just get an understanding and some links to some good software and free-to-use sites for music etc.

Just in case.

Except the first instruction came in asking us to provide our back cover book blurb type thing – the story that we are then to put into visuals for the trailer.



How could I have been so bloody blind to myself?

I’ve previously worked on taglines, loglines, pitches etc. Yes, alrighty, I was good to go.

But book blurbs?

Yeah, I know it was on my list somewhere…[shuffles non-existent papers].

But, well I was going digital. There’s no back cover there. I didn’t need to bother with that as yet.

In fact, that’s one of my pet peeves with digital books – in book shops I choose my reading via a good cover, then the back blurb. I’m not one of those people who reads the first chapter or first paragraph, although know I’m one of the minority there. The back blurb is incredibly important to me, and I often re-read it often through the sitting to remind myself of the story I’m heading along. Plus, I can do that once it’s on my own bookshelves too.

Yet most of my purchases now are digital, and all I have to go on is the relatively quick pitch or description Amazon allows for. I’m also forced to try to get more of a story concept from reading author interviews on blogs and websites across the world. Word of mouth and reviews play a large part in my reading selection also, digitally.

Yet, once on my e-reader device, that story description disappears. All I’ve got is the small thumbnail cover, a larger one inside, and an e-reader that drops me right in at Chapter One, normally. The whole blurb is gone.

This frustrates me hugely, and I promised myself that when I do publish, I’ll include a story blurb somewhere for the reader – frontmatter or backmatter, I haven’t decided yet.

But as yet, when I go back and look at my huge ebook fiction collection – many of which were picked up as freebies, and months ago, all I’ve got is the covershot to go on about what the story inside is about.

Despite having some taglines, and one-three sentence pitches – still needing work – I certainly hadn’t created a back cover blurb for my novel(s) that would work for hybrid publication, and will work for my book trailer course.

Ouch. Showstopper I guess.

The last three days I have found myself not only in a heat-induced sleepless-at-night funk, but hitting a writing wall in creating both some plot points and the actual whiz-bang emotional pulling back-cover blurb. I’ve even had to go and look up blurbs and what they should contain on the internet.

But only small shards make an appearance in my mind.

So, pushing back precedent, this morning I will dig out and dust off a somewhat unused moleskine notebook, find a working pen, and walk around with the whole retro-contraption to try to capture those elusive shards.

And I will darned well tell myself that this counts as writing, too. And therefore this all counts towards my goals.

Here are some hopefully less impaired writers and their goals in ROW80.

4 thoughts on “#ROW80 Checkin – Tunnelled Impairments, Blurbs and Such

  1. I hope your stab at going “old school” is successful for you. I have lost the ability to write with a pen (strokes tend to do that), but I could never read my own handwriting, anyway. Good luck!

    1. John, you made me laugh. After doing a rudimentary plot map today, I begin to question whether I have now lost the ability to read my own drawings, let alone writing.

  2. I would be so lost without my iPad. The number of times I have turned it on in the night and emailed myself about some fleeting idea, which I know I’d otherwise lose, are uncountable. Which is just as well. I am mathematically disinclined! 🙂

    Thinking and sorting through the cobwebs does count! Your subconscious needs to work through stuff. Sometimes that can come through taking a totally different approach or doing an unrelated, mundane task! I hope you work through the tricky parts.

    BTW Amazon Kindle allow back covers and all kinds of extras being placed on your page about the book. Wish they’d told me that sooner… I miss back covers too, it’s the first place I go.


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