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A Bit More on Research: the Book Blurb

As I mentioned last week, research is an important, if not the most important aspect of your story. People say, “Write what you know”, which is the worst advice a new writer can get. I would like to think I know a lot, but in the vast world of knowledge, I know very little and if I wrote about what I knew without research, my great novel would end up a haiku.

One of the greatest compliments I received from a reader of Eliza Jane was, “did you live in that era in a past life?” I was so humbled when I heard that. It just showed that my years of research paid off. While it never made the New York Times Bestseller List, I still get royalties today. Usually bought through Amazon, where I have a 3 out of a 5 star rating, most likely by readers who want to read something ‘new’. And why did they choose my book? Could be from the book blurb on the back cover. As a new author, this is so important to catch a reader's eye. How many times have you just read the back to see if it was something you’d want to read? Even the book blurb, which is a short synopsis of your story, contains research. What are the key aspects of the plot? Who is your main character and why is that person interesting? What journey can a reader expect to go on? What is the ‘hook’ that gets the reader excited about your story? The answers stem from you researching what you just wrote. Is there a quote you really like? Where in the story does it become a page turner? Are the first two paragraphs gripping? You may have to read your story a few times to find the key elements to put on your back cover. There is not a lot of space, so you have to choose your words carefully.

Once you're an established author, you probably have a fan base that buys whatever you put out, but don’t let that stop you from doing the necessary research for each and every piece you write! Remember, you’ve set the bar with your first book and your readers are expecting that level every time. Letting your readers down can be devastatingly disastrous to your writing career.

Until next time. Keep writing!

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