If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our May author interviews: Marla Cooper-5/3, Rhys Bowen-5/10, Cindy Brown-5/17, Martha Reed-5/24, Sherry Harris--5/31.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in May--Paty Jager-5/6 and Maren Anderson-5/13. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 5/20--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 5/27--Kait Carson. E. B. Davis blogs this month on 5/30.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Grabbing a Reader’s Attention

In a newspaper, the headline is responsible for attracting the reader’s attention. The font is often different from the text; it’s larger and it’s bold. In radio the job falls to the five-second blurb, “Next up: Wooly mammoth returns to New Jersey potato field.” Often the volume increases, which television takes to an entirely different level when a commercial airs. Advertisers know that (other than for Super Bowl commercials that will only appear a few times and have some built-in anticipation) you aren’t going to be interested in their commercial. They need to pound their message into your head, even as you are walking away to the bathroom. But, I digress.

Movies provide trailers – often with the most exciting or touching or scary parts, and again with the volume cranked to the max.

For readers of novels and non-fiction books, such as I, the book cover jacket bears the responsibility of grabbing a potential reader’s attention. The marketing department’s choice of color, cover art, title, font size for the title, font size for the author’s name, whether the author has a full name or only initials – are all designed to get you to pick up the book.

You succumb and are now holding the book in your hand. Next you open the book and scan the inside flap with the blurb. A successful blurb answers, or better, suggests answers to the five “W-questions”: Who, What, Where, When and Why.

Who is the protagonist? What’s happening that we should want to spend several hours reading about? Where and When is the story taking place? Why should you read this book rather than another? The Why portion often consists of short quotes from other authors about how great the book is.

At least that’s what I understand a successful blurb should do. I read them only when I am psyching myself up for writing a query letter or a synopsis for one of my novels – a task I do not enjoy in the least.

I admit to falling prey to a good title or interesting cover art on a book while browsing a bookstore, but then I flip to the first page, first paragraph, and I start to read. An author who is new to me has a page, maybe two, to convince me I want to spend several hours with their work. They need to answer the same five W questions, but they must do it with their actual writing, not a blurb.

But that’s me, how do you choose which book to read next?

~ Jim

2 comments:

Krista said...

I have definitely bought books because I liked the covers. A great title is powerful, too. If a title makes no sense to me, I'm likely to pass on a book.

Like you, I read the first paragraph. It's rare that the first paragraph is the reason I pass on a book, but a really good first paragraph can overcome an uninspired cover.

~ Krista Davis
Domestic Diva Mysteries
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Kaye George said...

If I know and like the author, I buy it. Sometimes I buy on the recommendations of friends. But, when I browsing, yeah, the covers make me look. Then the back cover. My daughter turns to the middle and reads a page. I've heard some people routinely read something like, page 87. But I usually skim the beginning.