Of Blurbs and Social Media

So, where did January go? It feels like I blinked, and then suddenly it’s February. Add in the fact that the Swedish weather lately has been behaving more like April, I’m left feeling slightly perplexed as to what time of year it actually is.

Lots of things on the proverbial burners, some of which I already discussed in my last blog post, but also new things. Like me actually enjoying spending time on social media. Which, if you know me, is pretty much a revelation, kind of like me no longer dreading marketing.

A few things have led to this revelation, perhaps the biggest of which was an article by Kirsten Oliphant–Engaging Audiences through Twitter in 15 Minutes a Day. That encouraged me to try out scheduling apps, which is something I’ve avoided for a long time because… reasons (as in I don’t really have any). So, I tried Hootsuite, but found it kind of overwhelming and clunky. Then I tried Buffer, and loved it. It became almost game-like. Staying ahead of the schedule I set for myself, accepting the challenge of finding interesting things on social media.

And, with a serious overhaul of my Twitter lists, it turns out there’s all kinds of interesting things to be found there. Who knew? Like the fact that there’s a memoir written from the point of view of a stomach. Thank you, Twitter, for teaching me that. Of course, it now looks like Twitter is taking a nose-dive in the social media world. But I’ll remain cautiously optimistic. Don’t die Twitter!

Anyway, it’s all had a bit of a knock-down effect. Finding interesting things on Twitter means I’m actually able to share interesting things on Facebook, instead of just posting links to my blog updates and then ignoring it (Google+ is now taking up that role, unfortunately). And with the help of Buffer, I spend a couple hours with it once or twice a week, rather than every day. Biggest plot twist of all is that it led me to giving Pinterest a try. And, much to my surprise, I’m having fun with that, too.

Visit Sara C. Snider’s profile on Pinterest.

It’s like the Twilight Zone around here…

 

Some things are fun, others… less fun

One thing that isn’t surprising, though, is the frustration of Blurb writing. There has been much metaphorical teeth-gnashing, hair-pulling, and not-so-metaphorical worrying if I’m ever actually going to get this one done. Trying to write the blurb for A Shadowed Spirit has been the most difficult one I’ve attempted so far. I’ve been working on it, off and on, for months. It’s nuts.

Last week, however, I think I finally got it. I think. But I’m kind of afraid to think it’s there because, you know, it’s probably not.

Virtual cookies are arguably the best cookies: They're calorie free and taste as awesome as you can imagine.

Virtual cookies: Imaginary deliciousness.

So… what better way to find out than post it on the blog and let others flog it? I got some good feedback when I did it for The Forgotten Web, so I figured I’d try it again. Feel free to tell me all the things you dislike about it. I promise my feelings will not be hurt. As bribery, I offer you virtual cookies and coffee (or tea, if you’re so inclined, which I am).

Warning: As this is a sequel novel, there might be some spoiler-y bits to The Thirteenth Tower in the blurb. Honestly, I think it’s pretty low on the spoiler scale. But just in case you don’t want to go there, then run away. Far away!

Anyway…

 

The Blurb:

She used to be called Emelyn. She used to be nobody. Now she is Siyan—a creature of magic known as an And’estar. But Siyan doesn’t understand what that means, just as she can’t control the power that has woken within her.

Addigan worked her entire life to master the Art of magic and become a respected Magister, only to fail her final test. Scarred and desperate to prove her worth, Addigan pursues rumors of trees of power and a mysterious people called And’estar.

In this chase of hunter against hunted through wild and dense forests, a single act of kindness causes Addigan to question everything she’s been striving for. And Siyan must let go of everything she knows—and everything she loves—if she is to gain control over her power. Even if it kills her.

In a journey that follows the intertwined lives of two women, A Shadowed Spirit is a mystical tale that explores the boundaries between life and death, dreams and reality, and what one is willing to sacrifice to achieve the happiness she seeks.

 

Update! (Feb. 19) Here’s the current version:

She used to be called Emelyn. She used to be nobody. Now she is Siyan—a creature of magic known as an And’estar. But Siyan doesn’t understand what that means, just as she can’t control the power that has woken within her.

Addigan worked her entire life to master the Art of magic and become a respected Magister, only to fail her final test. Scarred and desperate to prove her worth, Addigan pursues rumors of trees of power and a mysterious people called And’estar.

When Siyan heads into the dense and dangerous forest searching for answers, she doesn’t realize Addigan is coming for her. In this twisting chase of hunter against hunted, Addigan must choose how far she is willing to go to prove herself. And Siyan must let go of everything she knows—and everything she loves—if she is to gain control over her power. Even if it kills her.

In a journey that follows the intertwined lives of two women, A Shadowed Spirit is a mystical tale that redefines the boundaries between life and death, dreams and reality, and what one is willing to sacrifice to achieve the happiness she seeks.

 


 

Does it pique your curiosity? Does it make you want to read the story? If not, please let me know why. Or what about social media? Do you dig it, or do you merely tolerate its dreaded existence? I can relate to both!

 


14 Comments

  1. Lori Wing

    I like the blurb, mostly. It piques my curiosity, but a couple of adjectives would really get the juices flowing. For instance: “harrowing chase” or “haunting journey”. Also, “explores the boundaries” could be more impactful. What about “questions the boundaries” or “challenges our understanding of …” etc. Just a couple of thoughts …

    • Sara C. Snider

      Hmmm, how about “redefines the boundaries”. But yeah, you have good points. I’ll give it some thought and see what I can come up with. Thanks, Lori! 😀

      • Lori Wing

        I like “redefines”. Perfect! (I think, anyway. I haven’t read the book yet!)

        • Sara C. Snider

          Yeah, I like it too. And I think it really fits, so I’m pretty excited about that change. 😀

  2. Michelle Morrison

    I think the blurb is intriguing, it does make me want to find out more about Emelyn/Siyan. I am about halfway through The Thirteenth Tower and enjoying it tremendously. I am looking forward to the next book. 🙂

    • Sara C. Snider

      That’s awesome to hear, Michelle, thank you! Though, I hope this blurb didn’t spoil too much for you. 😛

      • Michelle Morrison

        I’m at the part where Emelyn is just beginning to learn about her magical power, so it hasn’t spoiled anything.

  3. Hey Sara, That’s what I’ve learnet too: social medias are fun if you don’t think you HAVE to sell your stuff. But you know, in a way, I think that having fun on social medias and sharing what you’re passionate about IS marketing. Well, at least this is how I go about it. Still have to see whether it works ;.)

    As for the blurb: mhm… I actually think it’s a bit vague. I don’t know anything about your story, and this is probably an advantage in this moment 😉
    I’ve noticed this: The presentations of the characters is nice, but they are both on the negative side. Siyan ‘doesn’t know’ and she ‘isn’t in control’. Addigan ‘failed’ her excam and now she’s ‘scarred and desperate’. This kind of makes me doubt these characters are actually up to any task they may go after. I’d like to see their strength as well as their weakness.
    And I’d like to see some actual plot. The para you devote to plot doesn’t really say anything to me. I don’t know what’s happening other than there is someone hunting someone else and I’m not sure why and what the goal is. What is at stake.
    Blurbs are hell to write, but in my experience, the more detailed you are, the clearer the idea you send out. Better focus on just one element (partial to the story as it may be )and present it clearly rather than try to depict a complex situation in one paragraph (which is impossible).

    I think you do have the structure there, but I’d try to be more specific.
    Hope this helps 🙂

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks so much for your feedback, Sarah, I really appreciate it. And, yeah, it can be really helpful to get a perspective from someone who isn’t at all familiar with what’s going on, so, score! 😉

      As for more plot, man, you don’t know this but this is something that I’ve been going back and forth on, like, a LOT. I have numerous versions, some of which go over the plot in more detail/clarity. I came up with a couple I was reasonably pleased with, but ultimately felt they were too long. Blurbs, in my opinion, really do need to be as short as possible. So this version is the one I literally call the “streamlined version.” Just the bare essentials, nothing else. Whether or not it will be effective remains to be seen. But you’re not the only one to point out weakness with that third paragraph, so I am going to try and beef it up a bit. Thank you!

      As for the social media, I think a big problem I’ve had with it is that I’m not, by nature, a very social person. So just trying to maintain a presence, without even approaching the topic of marketing, is something I’ve really struggled with. It took me a while, but I found a way to have fun with it and I agree, I think that is a form of marketing in its own way. 🙂

  4. Hi Sara – good luck with social media – … it seems to be finding the balance and working with what suits you; a few sites, and then not too long.

    I imagine working the blurb through is troubling .. I think about it in another respect and get totally bogged down with the thought: you’ve some great comments here …

    All the best with moving forward – cheers Hilary

    • Sara C. Snider

      Thanks, Hilary! Yeah, it’s definitely a matter of finding a balance with the social media now. And I think I’m getting closer with the blurb. Very grateful for the comments here. 🙂

  5. Scheduling is great, but nothing beats real time, live interaction on Twitter. You’ll get a better response and have more fun than if you simply send out Tweets and then ignore it. It can be a time suck, though!

    I like the blurb, but I’d lose the first paragraph. You don’t need it and it just bogs things down.

    If this is something you really struggle with, have you considered hiring someone to write your blurbs? I don’t imagine it would cost much, and it sounds like it would be more than worth it.

    I’ll look for you on Pinterest!

    • Sara C. Snider

      Yeah, I’ll interact on occasion on Twitter, but like you say, it’s a time sink.

      Thanks for your feedback about the blurb! I really appreciate it! Unfortunately, I can’t really toss the first paragraph, as that’ll pretty much eliminate the main character… 😉 Which was one of biggest challenges of this blurb–putting two characters in there rather than just one. I tried it both ways, but ultimately felt that Addigan needed to be in there because a good portion of the book is told from her point of view. I have made adjustments to this blurb though, and you’ve reminded me that I should post that to keep the blurb status current. 😉

      As for hiring someone, I’ve certainly considered it, but haven’t really found who to approach for stuff like that. Plus, as hard as it is, part of me feels like it’s also a good thing for me to learn, as writing snappy copy might be helpful for other marketing endeavors down the road.

      Yay, Pinterest! See you there! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *