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Thursday, September 30, 2010


I've noticed something strange when reading YA and some MG lately.

Some of the blurbs on the back kind of......fib.

I mean, I pick up the book, read the back and think it's going to be a such and such kind of book (because that's what the blurb says) but it ends up being a very different kind of book.

And, not that there's anything wrong with the book it ends up being, but I feel disappointed that it is not the book I was expecting.

Hence, the flurb (fibbing blurb).

Usually, the flurb makes the book sound more exciting, intense, etc, than the book actually is. I wonder if agents see this in queries sometimes, too. A great hook, great description, but the book just doesn't live up.

I am struggling with a flurb a bit myself. I wrote a fake query about a book I was beginning a while ago....the blurb is the kind of book I want it to be.

The book itself has some other ideas.

And I don't want to be a flurber...especially to myself.


(Of course, the answer is always the same.....get back to work!)



Yat-Yee said...

I have noticed that as well. What it has taught me to do is to not pay too much attention to the (great word, BTW) flurb.
As for querying, I am in the position now to change the one that has been working so well because now the story has changed.

I will go back to

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Flurb - I love it!! And yes, I've experienced it too. :-)

Susan R. Mills said...

Yes, get back to work!

Corey Schwartz said...

Flurb. LOVE it! And I've noticed some movie previews flurb as well!

Janet Johnson said...

LOL! I've written a flurb before (to myself). You come up with the best words, by the way.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! I predict flurb will grow throughout the blogosphere. Great word.
As for your fake query, don't sweat it. Let the book go where it needs go. Your instincts are good.

Myrna Foster said...

I've experienced some "flurbs" this year too. I wonder if we're all thinking of the same books. ;)

Good luck figuring out what your book needs to be, Shelley!

BTW - I read Good Night, Good Knight to both of my pre-school classes this week, and of course they LOVED it! We're reading Take Care, Good Knight next week.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I know what you mean. Good word, it sounds like something on blogger's word verification. I've been tempted to make my query more exciting than it is. Now I'm writing it for the twentieth time, and I try to keep it a trurb.

Trurb. I know. I tried, unsuccessfully, to be as cool as you.

Laura Pauling said...

I'm sure it's an easy trap to fall into - making it sound more exciting than it is! And that happened to me too. My current wip was supposed to me light hearted and more humorous and ended up totally noir. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Flurb. What a great word!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great point...When I wrote my elevator pitches, I noticed that it was easy on some of them, but on others it was hard...some of the books that is was hard becasue I knew more about the story than what was in the was a flitch...)I tried an alternative combination of that word, but ummm it wasn't rated G.)

SWK said...

Voting for FLURB to go into the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary! Loved this post! May just write myself a little flurb for current ms and then...back to work :)

storyqueen said...

Yat-Yee-Good to hear from you again! Ugh, I don't envy you about having to rework a good query.

Shannon-I figured I probably wasn't alone.

Susan-Okay! Okay!

Corey-Yes! Movie trailers are sometimes worse. I hate when they show the only good parts in the trailer and when you see the movie, it's just blah. struggle continues

Tricia-Thanks for the kind words...but I am at the part in my process where I am a big fat doubter. Why should I trust me? What do I know???

Myrna-about the flurbs...I kind of bet some are the same books. I mean, we are probably picking up a lot of the same books that are out there now. And I am thrilled you read my books to kids!! Really, I am so honored.

Jessie-I kind of like trurb...reminds me of pertrubed...which I kind of am right now, so it all works.

Laura-What I don't get is that if they think people will read it if the people think it is exciting, then why don't they just make it exciting to begin with?

Susanne-Thank you!

Sharon-Flitch! hahahaha!

SWK-Flurb is already probably in the dictionary...I bet it means something like a floating burp....

Amy Tate said...

Well, you're not flurbing about this! I can't tell you how many times I've been let down because the flap copy sounds so much more exciting than the book. I think it's because we're focusing on writing query letters and pitches as much as we are writing manuscripts. Sometimes the two just don't go hand in hand, do they?

Stephanie Perkins said...

HA HA HA! I agree with everyone here. Flurb is a perfect word for this phenomena.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Omigosh, yes! I was thinking that today about a book I was reading last night! Stop reading my mind, Shelley! Although I didn't come up with anything nearly as brilliant as a flurb :)

Jackee said...

Flurb... I love that! I'm going through this a bit right now. I have a story in my head I want to be more madcap, but it refuses. It wants to be more deep than funny and I'm not sure how to make it follow the flurb... er... blurb better.:o)

And I hate when a jacketflap lies about the book too!

Have a great Monday, Shelley!