Brown River Queen cover art

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blurb Blip Blues

It seems bookseller Barnes & Noble has some interesting ideas about what precisely comprises an effective online book description.

Personally, I like to see a short, entertaining blurb that simultaneously gives me a general idea what the book is about and just a taste of the book's style.  The right blurb gets you hooked right away, resulting in the subtle but happy click of the mouse on the BUY button, and the resultant unseemly cries of avarice assuaged from me.

The wrong blurb sends readers -- and worst of all their precious, precious money -- on to other titles.  This makes me weep, and the plaintive cries echo faintly up the slimy walls of my abandoned well and disturb passers-by.

So you can imagine my injured howls when I happened across this listing for my book Dead Man's Rain on the Barnes & Noble Nook book site.

Scroll down to the book description.

Now, if it mentions Markhat and Mama Hog and starts off with "Can a haunted man help the dead find peace?" you can stop reading now, because Barnes & Noble has fixed the mistake and all is well.

But right now, the description for Dead Man's Rain reads like this:

 "As a dark web of spells closes in, Magaith may be Sygtryg's only hope and she his only destiny. Magaith is resigned to fulfilling her father's command that she marry the King of Connacht, even though she harbors a secret love for her knight protector, Sygtryg,..."

Which isn't my book at all.  Frankly I think Magaith and the unfortunately-named Sygtryg could solve a lot of their problems by first eloping and then changing their names to Bess and Harold, but since I didn't write the book I don't get to make that call.

I wondered if perhaps the book that belonged to the blurb above had the description of Dead Man's Rain beneath its cover, so I employed the might of The Google. I found the book to which the blurb rightly belongs, but oddly enough it isn't available from Barnes & Noble at all.  I can only imagine that my fellow author would have been as eager to have my blurb removed from her book as vice versa -- nothing against her or her book, but finding the wrong blurb no matter how good it is attached to your book is somewhat akin to opening an envelope of pictures of your kid to discover the photo place has swapped heads with those of strangers.

And you didn't think I'd work a swapped heads reference into this one.  Ha.

No matter.  I emailed the always professional folks at Samhain Publishing, home of the Markhat series, and they're working with Barnes & Noble (i.e., poking B&N with pointy sticks) to get the blurb set right.

Hopefully,  this will result in a sudden skyrocketing sales ranking for Dead Man's Rain, and I can finally afford to get a mail-order ladder and emerge from this, my dank, cricket-covered lair.

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