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How to Read Like a Professional Blurb Writer

A competent reader is able to manipulate the interpretation, emphasize whatever s/he wants, and deliberately ignore other elements. For a blurb writer, this is an essential skill.

There’s no mystery. A perfect blurb should be concise, catchy, and compelling. A promise of a great emotional or intellectual adventure. Everybody knows that. At the moment, there are approximately  596,000 results on Google answering the question “How to write a book blurb”.

There’s plenty of great advice out there. Follow the guidance and everything would become easy. You only have to write a few convincing sentences, and it shouldn’t be a problem – they are simple (there is a huge no-no for wordiness in blurbing), and you are a writer. What a relief!

Until you sit down and try to write.

Even if you manage to follow the advice literally, you’ll get stuck. Because something essential is missing.

Crafting these perfect sentences is not that hard, but it is already the phase two in blurb copywriting. If you have jumped over the phase one, you’re in a problem.

I’ll tell you more about the phase one.

Continue reading How to Read Like a Professional Blurb Writer

Featured Post

How to Write a No-Nonsense Book Review

There are plenty of book reviews out there, most of them of questionable quality. It is not hard to understand why. Many books don’t deserve a well-written review. The other reason is – all kind of people writes those reviews. But we can’t just tell that it all sucks – the books, their authors, readers, reviewers and, accordingly, the reviews. That wouldn’t be right.

There are exceptional but underappreciated books and authors all over the world. There are also talented people who could write carefully crafted reviews if only they wouldn’t follow the lousy paradigm of the majority.

On the other hand, most people can’t just reflect the style of top reviewers. It often results in nonsense. If not properly educated, an intended book critic must be careful to avoid the common traps.
Continue reading How to Write a No-Nonsense Book Review

4 Reasons Why You Should Not Hire Me to Write a Blurb for Your Book

Looking for someone to read your novel or story collection and write a fabulous blurb from scratch? Preferably a skilled copywriter with a degree in literature? Someone who can offer you a serious service for not so serious price?

Here I am, and here is the service I can offer, but be careful. I am quite an atypical writing professional and you might not wish to have any business with me.

I don’t want to waste your time. I’ll tell you right away why you should not hire me to write that blurb and what is the alternative. Continue reading 4 Reasons Why You Should Not Hire Me to Write a Blurb for Your Book

Literary Fiction Review: ARCHIPELAGO – A PROBLEM by G H Neale

If I had to describe this novel in a few words, I would say:

Archipelago is a work of an extraordinary erudite exploring an ancient myth – the rape of Philomel (see Ovid’s Metamorphoses) and putting it in a contemporary context, where it fits seamlessly.

Or:

This deeply ironical piece of written word follows the Wittgensteinian idea of language and deals with the problem of true communication between people, who are seen as islands, or volcanoes in search for ventilation.

Continue reading Literary Fiction Review: ARCHIPELAGO – A PROBLEM by G H Neale

Democracy, Tyranny and Plato’s REPUBLIC

What makes the war, poverty and hunger possible in the 21st century? Hasn’t the humanity learned which are the consequences of wrong decisions? Why we still don’t have a just society? Reading the Plato’s classic work could give us a few interesting answers to these questions.

We could easily dismiss Plato’s vision of an ideal state as impossible, utopian (some aspects of it even took part in later dystopian settings) and unnatural: especially the idea that all spouses and children should be held in common. And yet, there are a couple of lines of thoughts which always were – and always will be – compelling to every thoughtful reader. Continue reading Democracy, Tyranny and Plato’s REPUBLIC

The Genre Menace

Using the terms like literary fiction or, even worse, high literature, is often connected with the elitism of traditional publishing. A writer who claims to write literary fiction is often labeled as book snob. (…) But it is a terrible thing – not for the literature: the literature will survive, as always; trash is always flushed at the end. It is terrible for less known contemporary masters of literary fiction.

Classification of literature is nothing new. Aristotle gave us the first systematized typology, and we all follow his concept. Descriptions of different genres and subgenres changed from time to time, as there were always a few extraordinary works of literature that moved the boundaries. Moving, movements and innovative individuals dominated in the literary history. There were lots of trash too, ever since the age of Gutenberg, but trash doesn’t last. It comes and goes, leaving no marks at all. Continue reading The Genre Menace

Literary Fiction Review: The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

There was a man, an artist, afraid for his life, the lives of beloved ones, his own moral integrity and, most of all, afraid for his music. They had already killed – and buried – his opera. Now they were after his soul. Nothing paranormal there. It was Stalin’s era of Soviet Russia. And it was wartime. The ordinary young men were … blown to bits by guns, then roughly sliced by surgeons.

And what about the extraordinary men? Artists did have some choice. They had the freedom to kill their self, to escape – or to be obedient and change the purpose or their art. An ordinary man became half a man. An artist should become half an artist: an optimistic, Power-guided engineer of human soul who honestly believes that Art belongs to people. Continue reading Literary Fiction Review: The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Weirdness Is Not Enough. On Murakami

Should an extraordinary author publish ordinary novels?

Celebrity, it would appear, breeds conformity.

— Tim Parks

I remember the first glance into 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, and then reading it the way I used to read as a child: absorbed, hypnotized, amazed. Not even my scholarly habit of paying attention to everything could spoil the joy. The book has fed all the levels of hunger I have as a reader. I was driven into the world of two moons, excited, and yet intellectually amused. It was the same kind of experience I had when I first watched the Matrix. Continue reading Weirdness Is Not Enough. On Murakami

To Keep Writing Is a Good Advice – Unless It Is Not

Do you sometimes feel incapable of doing what seems to be so natural to your fellow authors – to simply write? Well, maybe it is not you who has a problem. People are usually satisfied with their averageness. If you are not, you are on the right path. Writer’s block is not a reason for a headache; it is a signal that you should do something else about your writing.

Different writers have different priorities and ambitions. A few are willing to do the hard work that would help them grow; the others are not. Most people just want to get their book published. If your only goal is to have a title of an author and a picture on some covers, you won’t like an article about benefits of reading. But, oh, no narcissist “genius” will ever read this blog. So let us move on. Continue reading To Keep Writing Is a Good Advice – Unless It Is Not

According to Ancient Masterminds: How to Write Timeless Content

Select, all ye who write, a subject fit,
A subject, not too mighty for your wit!

– Horace

It is hard but possible to write a content that people would eagerly read for ages. Some guys, long time ago, knew exactly how it had to be done. We’ve been reading them for more than 2500 years. It surely is the long-time success in writing. There are a few simple tips we can learn from them. Continue reading According to Ancient Masterminds: How to Write Timeless Content

If You Are Not a Native English Writer

I am dealing with it and know exactly how frustrating it can be. At one moment, you are a well-educated, highly experienced writer and, at the other, you are just a beginner, making intolerable mistakes. Everything is upside down, and all of those mediocre writers are better than you. You are on foreign territory. It is not your language. Right now, you are about to quit. It is up to you, but please read this post before you do so.

First of all, make sure you are not a mediocre yourself. You absolutely can’t successfully do what most of the people do with their mother tongues – that is, what we Serbian say, pouring the empty into the hollow. You must give something big through your writing, something that makes your possible mistakes less relevant. If you are serious about it, I have a couple of tips for overcoming the fear of writing in a foreign language. Continue reading If You Are Not a Native English Writer

Gatekeepers of the World and Why I Love Kafka

One can hardly find any delight while reading Kafka’s work. All we can find is profound discomfort. And we are coming back for more. Why? Isn’t it because Kafka gives us keys to understanding the deepest secrets of the world? He provides us an intuitive view of mechanisms that instrumentalise a human being – in a way no one ever did it before, or after him.

Judgement in the attic: The Trial

Imagine the Final Judgement here, on earth, at the present moment, operating as a parallel institution. And it is after you. You do not know if it’s real. You have no idea whether you are guilty or not and what you can or can’t do. You might even ignore it at some point, or you can actively participate in the whole process of the trial. Joseph K. remains somewhere in the middle, but accepts the verdict, and finally takes part in his own murder.

But what kind of court is it? What was he guilty for? Was there a way for him to influence the verdict? What is the law? Who knows the law? Continue reading Gatekeepers of the World and Why I Love Kafka

Do You Believe in Inspiration?

What do you need to start writing? Do you wait for inspiration to come? Does it work? Are you misinterpreting the word?

Inspiration is an old, ancient word, which means that there are some supernatural forces, gods or God alike, who whisper in your ear, giving you the spirit, and the words – and you are just a medium. Some eternal superstar writers and oral performers, such as Homer or Moses, claimed that they had been inspired.

So, are you a medium? Or you prefer thinking of yourself as a creator? Is the source of your literary strength placed in or outside of you? Continue reading Do You Believe in Inspiration?

It’s a spoiler. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

The Amsterdam by Ian McEwan certainly isn’t the first novel in the history of literature that deals with moral hypocrisy in a corrupted society, nor is the last. But the way McEwan deals with it, the approach, the focuses – it is all so fresh (even now, in 2015) and remarkable. The narrative instance doesn’t criticize and doesn’t even laugh at those characters. Instead, we, the readers, are encouraged to take the protagonists seriously. There is no bare sarcasm, only the finest irony, essential to characterization and plot. McEwan is a master of the free indirect style. We are in the characters’ heads, thinking their thoughts, afraid of their fears. We are worried that Clive will end up just like Molly. And there is Vernon with his feeling of non-existence, which is a postmodernist moment, for he certainly does not exist until someone reads the novel. Continue reading It’s a spoiler. Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

5 Writing Tips for Moms

Finding an amount of time for writing is quite a difficult task if you have kids to watch over all day long. There are several issues. You can’t write at the very moment you think up something. You always have to wait for a more suitable time. And no, I am not talking about the writer’s block. Writing mommies can’t afford a time to wait for inspiration to come. All we are asking for is to be left alone for an hour or two in a day. Those moments are so rare and precious. We have to use them as careful as possible. Continue reading 5 Writing Tips for Moms