Hello, my readers, I’m back with another update on my manuscript, Blade of Dragons! It’s been a stressful month (for all of us I would imagine), but my manuscript is approaching the end of the beta stage—at least I hope.
Anyway, I have some items to share that involve general manuscript preparation. Most any author follows this formula.
There are several tools an author uses to promote or describe a book. These include: blurbs, taglines, loglines, cover descriptions, and synopses.
A blurb is a brief statement designed to promote the book. The blurb may be by the author, a reviewer, an editor, a publishing company, or anyone else. A blurb is designed to perk interest and add a silver-lining to the book’s appearance. A blurb may appear on the front or back cover.
A logline is a book compressed into a brief paragraph. It should be concise while packing a punch. The main character, antagonist, conflict, and any other relevant detail is included, giving the reader an idea of what the story is about.
Short and witty, a tagline is a statement that doesn’t tell anything about the book. It’s more of a catchphrase or trademark to the author’s story.
Book descriptions are like an expanded logline, often around 150 to 200 words. Besides the tagline and blurb, a description is meant to lure the reader into opening the book. First sentences are crucial in descriptions, as this will convince the reader to read the story.
Designed more for the eyes of an agent, a synopsis is a larger description, varying anywhere from 500 to 2000 words. Short and long synopses are both viable, but modern agents err more on the shorter side. A synopsis should mention the protagonist’s arc, showing the agent that you’ve built a complete, alluring story.
I’ll give examples of the manuscript tools I mentioned above using ones from my book. Mind, these aren’t official, nor are they polished. Still, they should give you an idea of each category.
Exciting, hard-hitting, and exotic. Blade of Dragons is an action-packed story filled with vivid storytelling and likable characters that will hold you spellbound from start to finish.
This blurb reads promotional, coming from a reader who enjoys the story.
Pepper, a cursed farmer’s daughter, inherits her father’s sword, ancient technology that can save her planet from a dark goddess. But her draconic blood seeks to undo all she holds dear.
I kept the logline short. In a more compressed form, it almost gives a stronger punch, I noticed.
The legend of a farmer’s daughter, cursed with the blood of dragons.
Perhaps not the shortest or wittiest tagline. Still, this one stuck with me, and it’s consistent with the other items mentioned above. It also invokes a good degree of intrigue.
Whimsical Magic. Arcane Technology. Romance.
Can Pepper Slyhart use her father’s sword, a weapon with unfathomable power, to save her planet? With her childhood friend, Tarie, Pepper embarks on a dire quest. She enters a war against a dark goddess that has scoured grasslands, scorched forests, and devoured great cities.
Pepper unravels the terrible price of her sentient blade, a connection to the Ethereal Seals Gate, which powers technology and sustains her planet.
But her half-dragon heritage seeks to betray Pepper, and Tarie may be the only one who can save her.
Are they able to fight a war on both fronts, or will the Shadow claim their souls?
Notice that I include certain keywords in the blurb. The reader will know that there are: swords, a dire quest, a dark goddess, a heroine, technology, and a dragon-like race. This suggests a science fantasy genre, the type of message I hope to convey. The beginning ‘trio-word’ technique I used is a popular strategy to create rhythm and intrigue.
Uhh, no, I won’t post that here—it’s way too long. Regardless, I do have a short (two page) and long (seven page) synopsis written if I need it. My synopses break down the story piecemeal, proving I have a solid and complete book. Any agent or publisher who reads it would get a good idea of what the story is about: the characters, conflict, the driving force of the story, and so forth.
Additional Items to Consider
My cover art (my own work) you can view at the top of the page. It’s still unofficial, and I may reach out to a professional to spruce it up. I included a map and glossary with my manuscript to provide additional reference material for readers.
When you design your own world, including a glossary or world map can help add depth to the story. I highly recommend it, especially for epic fantasy worlds.
I am unsure if I will go traditional or epub, but I am leaning more towards the latter. I may still find an agent to help me represent my book, as I am underread when it comes to marketing.
With that said, I hope you found this post to be informative and enjoyable. Good luck with whatever creative projects you might be working on.
Thank you for reading and stay safe out there.
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