Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Would you read this? Vol.1 #OurAuthorGang


This is one of two new series I’ll be sharing over the next few months.

I’ve written a lot of short stories in the last few years. Some have been published in a collection while others are simply awaiting their time to shine. As I considered how to organize my collections, I began to wonder if the stories themselves are worth reading on their own. As a collection, these short stories have the benefit of being part of something greater, but I want to know “would you read these stories?” if they were presented on their own. That’s also when I begin to consider that I write blurbs for the books I release, but I don’t write blurbs for individual stories in a collection, a tagline usually does the job.

Well, that’s about to change. In this series, I’ll be sharing unpublished blurbs to stories that may or may not yet be released. These blurbs are not meant to be used to pitch or sell these stories. This is just a practice on the concept of writing a blurb? I just want to know if the blurbs are any good. I may also offer some ideas of what cover designs for these stories may look like. I hope you enjoy this adventure.

Since this is the first post in this series, I thought I’d start with the blurb for my most popular short story, Legend of the Boy. I first published Legend of the Boy as a standalone and later included it with a collection of other stories. The publication is entitled: Legend of the Boy, In the Window, and Other Short Stories. Yeah, I know. This book may need a retitle at some point. In any case, the blurb for that publication offers a glimpse into each story featured, but right now, I want to focus on just Legend of the Boy. Read below and tell me, would you read this? Also, have a look at my old book cover and the current one. Try to imagine them without the window to get a feel for this story. Which do you prefer?

All young boys dream of having super powers and being able to do great and wondrous things…except this boy. He’s not from this world, but he must save it, though he doesn’t know how.

Legend of the Boy is a science fiction tale that combines the notions of power, might, right, and destiny in a complex pattern woven from threads of logic, philosophy, and faith. This is the tale of a boy, a stranger to this world, who not only has to save the world, but must also destroy it, in order to move the human race forward.

Pain, tragedy, shock, and awe await you in the pages of Legend of the Boy.

Forms response chart. Question title: Which do you prefer?. Number of responses: 9 responses.
Results as of 10/4/18
Don’t be shy. Your feedback is welcomed, but please be nice. đŸ˜Œ

Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.

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COMMENTS


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Tricia Drammeh via Google+

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
Toi Thomas tempts us with a teaser for her short story, Legend of the Boy. #OurAuthorGang
 
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Tricia Drammeh

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
This blurb definitely makes me want to read the story!
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Thank you.

Ruth de Jauregui via Google+

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
Toi Thomas shares the cover and blurb to her collection of short stories, led by Legend of the Boy, on #OurAuthorGang. Blurbs are so hard to write -- what do you think?
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Ruth de Jauregui

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
I like the blurb. It does feel more like a blurb for a novel, but it pulled me in, especially the first paragraph, Maybe the second paragraph could be shorter. Great job on the post, cover and blurb, Toi!.
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Thank you. Page numbers and word counts aren't what they used to be. I once thought that anything 9,999 words or less was a short story and anything 10k-30k was a novelette or novella, but now I'm not sure anymore. This story is 15k, not a novel but maybe not a short story either. IDK.

Joe Bonadonna via Google+

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
Today on #OurAuthorGang, author Toinette Thomas asks the question, "Would you read this?" as she tries out various blurbs for short stories.
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Joe Bonadonna

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
This is so cool, Toi! What a great idea for a series -- and I, for one, have a lot to learn about writing story blurbs. This is going to be a great series.
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+Joe Bonadonna That's a good idea. Thanks for the tip.
 
+Toi Thomas -- you're welcome!

Eva Pasco

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
I'm in agreement about the blurb needing to be very short.  There seems to be a trend for short blurbs even for novels.  As for the covers, I'm going with the one on the right as it seems to pop.
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+Toi Thomas - I'd recently read an article advising authors to be mindful of getting most of our enticement up front before the "see more" split at Amazon. I do believe the current consensus is "shorter blurbs". Still not any easier for us.
 
+Eva Pasco That's a good point too. I wonder how many words or character fit into that space before the "read more" split?

Chris Weigand

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
I've often wondered about blurbs and how to ensure that they draw readers in. Interesting article and intriguing blurb. I like the original cover. I think that the new cover is too distracting with all the color and the boy gets lost as well as the title.
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Yes, blurbs have always been a mistery to me. That's part of the reason I was inspired to start this series.

Chris Weigand via Google+

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
Toi talks blurbs and covers.
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Toi Thomas

3 months ago (edited)  -  Shared publicly
 
It's posts like this that are the perfect example of why writers need and love getting feedback from readers. This is why feeback is so valuable. I've reworded my intro a bit and think it better describes the concept of this series. What do you think?
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Cindy Smith

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
I  have no opinion about the covers, they are both basically the same design. As for the story, I might read it just to find out how something can be saved by destroying it.
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Thank you. It is a complex concept to consider. I'm glad you found it interesting.

Cindy Smith shared this via Google+

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
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Toi Thomas via Google+

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
Today, I ask, "Would you read this?" as I try out blurbs for short stories. #OurAuthorGang
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Lorraine Carey

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
I love the first blurb. It is straight to the point. I love the cover on the right as it is brighter.
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Thank you. It's hard to write a full blurb for a short story. Glad you liked it.
 
+Toi Thomas Yes, it is, but you are very talented. xx

Erika M Szabo

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
The blurb sounds fascinating and would be great for a novel or novelette. For a short story, it says too much, a well worded tagline would be better. A shorter title is always best, I would add "And Other Short Stories" as subtitle. As for the cover, the green one looks catchier but needs larger title font to be readable in thumbnail picture.
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Do you have any suggestions on how I can reword my intro so that readers understand that this is just a practice on the concept of writing a blurb? I just want to know if the blurbs are any good.
 
+Toi Thomas - I think you put it beautifully in the question I'm answering. It's clear as a bell to me.

Donna Hole

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
 
I chose the second (current) cover. It stands out more, easier to read.

As for blurbs for short stories: less is more. Think tag line, not blurb. You don't want to read a 300 word blurb for a 3000 word story. Shoot for around 25 words. For example, your proposed blurb for Legend of the Boy would be sufficient as: All young boys dream of having super powers and being able to do great and wondrous things…except this boy. That tag line tells me everything I need to know about the short story. That, and where it is published. If you are self publishing an anthology, let the book cover and back blurb describe the overall genre and themes of the collection. If you are submitting to an ezine or anthology, they will publish only the tag line, which will be the most important line of the query.

This is just me, as an avid short story reader, but I'm rarely impressed with the title of the book the same as one of the short story collection, even if I've read one or more of the stories independently. I think a book title - even an anthology - should reflect the overall theme or concept of the collection. My own personal bias, of course, and I have rarely bought a book solely based on the title or cover. Its just the first thing that catches my interest. I also don't read a long blurb about a story when reading an Anthology from a single author. The theme/concept blurb on the back of the book tells me if I want to purchase the collection; title and tag line on each story tells me about the story. I don't really need a tag line if I've bought the anthology though. Those are more for indexes on e-zines or magazine publications because I may or may not read every story in the issue.

Some people like a descriptive blurb on short story publications, whether stand alone or in a collection. As an Inde pubbed author, you just have to go with what feels right for you.
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Well, I don't think I've presented the concept of this series well at all, but I guess that's the point of feed back. I'm not trying to actually use these blurbs I'm creating to pitch or sell the stories. I just wanted to see if I could write a blurb that does a good job of inticing a reader to be interested in the story.

Do you have any suggestions on how I can reword my intro so that readers understand that this is just a practice on the concept of writing a blurb? I just want to know if the blurbs are any good.
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Yes, the blurb works :)

Eva Miranda via Google+

3 months ago  -  Shared publicly
Ruth de Jauregui originally shared this
 
Toi Thomas shares the cover and blurb to her collection of short stories, led by Legend of the Boy, on #OurAuthorGang. Blurbs are so hard to write -- what do you think?
 
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Reply