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Book description - feedback

AMObst

Dreamer
Hi folks

I'm planning to self publish my debut novel early in 2021 (initially exclusively on Amazon as an ebook). I'd love to get some feedback on the following book description - do you think it's compelling enough to make readers want to read the book and find out what happens? Does it make sense?

Thanks!
Andrew


When you discover your heroes failed, who can you rely on?

Betharad’s sorcerer parents died decades ago saving their town from a deadly enemy. She and her siblings struggle in their own ways to live up to that legacy.

Now elected leader of the town, Betharad has plans to bring greater prosperity to its people. Her restless younger sister Jessa needs a focus for her energy and fierce loyalty, while their brother Sarnd wishes he had the courage to follow his dreams and become an artist.

Their lives begin to unravel when they discover their parents’ enemy wasn’t defeated after all—he’s back, and intent on picking up where he left off.

Born with no magical abilities, Betharad and her siblings are overwhelmed as more and more secrets are exposed, making them question everything they thought they knew. Meanwhile, the dangers surrounding them multiply, including some they believed were only dark legends. Their whole world might be at risk, but they have no idea how to save it.

A group of strangers arrives offering help. But will the price be too high?​
 

Lynea

Sage
It sounds like an interesting book with a solid plot. I have some suggestions to spice it up a bit. Villain! Of course, you don't want to give away spoilers, but give your readers a more vivid taste of your opposing side. Does the villain have a name? Go ahead and put it in the description, don't keep it vague. Make us hate him, make us want to pick up your book and root for the heroes as they clash with him. Don't keep your villains behind a veil.
 

AMObst

Dreamer
It sounds like an interesting book with a solid plot. I have some suggestions to spice it up a bit. Villain! Of course, you don't want to give away spoilers, but give your readers a more vivid taste of your opposing side. Does the villain have a name? Go ahead and put it in the description, don't keep it vague. Make us hate him, make us want to pick up your book and root for the heroes as they clash with him. Don't keep your villains behind a veil.

Ooh great idea! I wanted to keep it short by focussing only on the three POV characters, but I think I can drop a few hints about the villain in there too. Thanks for the feedback!
 
“deadly enemy” is a good spot to add something about the enemy... after all, a nondeadly enemy isn’t much fun. No names necessary, but something.

These sort of things can take a lot of passes to get right, and I can only suggest so much without knowing the story, so I’ll hit areas I’d makechanges in with this current iteration. I treat this a little bit like a query letter, it’s a sales pitch. Take or discount my thoughts at will.

Hi folks

I'm planning to self publish my debut novel early in 2021 (initially exclusively on Amazon as an ebook). I'd love to get some feedback on the following book description - do you think it's compelling enough to make readers want to read the book and find out what happens? Does it make sense?

Thanks!
Andrew


When you discover your heroes failed, who can you rely on?

Betharad’s sorcerer parents died decades ago saving their town from a deadly enemy. She and her siblings struggle in their own ways to live up to that legacy.

Now elected leader of the town, Betharad has plans <— has plans static, plans is active. And if the plan is vital to the plot, you might add a little something instead of “greater prosperity” where the adjective is iffy. to bring greater prosperity to its people. Her restless younger sister Jessa needs a focus for her energy and fierce loyalty, while their brother Sarnd wishes he had <— how about “for”? the courage to follow his dreams and become an artist. <— Wordy, you could slap artistic in front of dreams and leave space for a tidbit more.

Their lives begin to <— A dead horse I like to wale on: Don’t have things begin unless there’s a good reason for it. “Their lives unravel” not only doesn’t waste space and the reader’s time, it’s more effective. unravel when they discover their parents’ enemy wasn’t defeated after all <— Wasn’t defeated? Do you mean not killed? Not banished from the world? because it seems the enemy was defeated. And, “after all” is just space waster. You’ve got a short time to present some drama, punch it up—he’s back, and intent on picking up where he left off. <— Again, minimal drama... pick what up? Stakes, stakes, stakes.

Born with no magical abilities, <— I have no idea what this line has to do with the rest of this sentence, does magic help one deal with exposed secrets? Maybe. But it’s awkward without a basis to deal with it. Betharad and her siblings are overwhelmed <— passive... they aren’t overwhelmed, something overwhelms them. An example of a secret that overwhelms, maybe? as more and more secrets are exposed, making them question everything they thought they knew. Meanwhile, the dangers surrounding them multiply, including some they believed were only dark legends. <—Still reading passive, dark legends do something? something presents a danger? Their whole world might be at risk,<—Might be? Be decisive. Might diminishes the stakes, and a hint of how their world is at risk wouldn’t hurt, whether here or elsewhere but they have no idea how to save it.

A group of strangers arrives offering help. But will the price be too high?<— This first sentence is so vague as to not interest me, which makes the second vague sentence a plea to be interesting. What’s at stake is one of the key elements in a query letter, and I’d consider it key here. Strangers needs a little oomph, IMO.
 

TWErvin2

Auror
Just one additional suggestion or two.

Minor, but being elected 'leader' is vague. Is there a title for the position? Major, chief magistrate, chief or pinnacle citizen, president of council?

Also, if the town's name could be worked in. 'Town' is mentioned twice. Such specifics add some depth to the description. Names and titles can give a reader an idea, or a feel for the story.
 

Ned Marcus

Inkling
I'd cut the first two paragraphs (because these are plot details a reader can learn later) and adapt the third paragraph. Maybe starting with something like this:

"Betharad and her siblings are hunted by the man who murdered their parents...

Some detail about the strangers who come into town might be interesting.
 

AMObst

Dreamer
I've only just found some of these responses - thank you everyone who took the time to provide feedback. Lots to think about and unpack here!
 

AMObst

Dreamer
Just one additional suggestion or two.

Minor, but being elected 'leader' is vague. Is there a title for the position? Major, chief magistrate, chief or pinnacle citizen, president of council?

The title is steward - I didn't use it because I thought it would confuse people without more information.
 

AMObst

Dreamer
“deadly enemy” is a good spot to add something about the enemy... after all, a nondeadly enemy isn’t much fun. No names necessary, but something.

These sort of things can take a lot of passes to get right, and I can only suggest so much without knowing the story, so I’ll hit areas I’d makechanges in with this current iteration. I treat this a little bit like a query letter, it’s a sales pitch. Take or discount my thoughts at will.

Thanks for all of that!
 

Cargoplayer

Dreamer
Ned has an excellent thought there. If this is going to be your Amazon blurb, remember that only the first couple of lines are visible when people see the grid of books that match their search. So, you need to start out with a real solid hook that makes people go, "wow."
 
Hi,

I would start by trimming the first line to something like - "When your heroes fail, who can you trust?" And then, the first time you mention "their town" replace that with the town's name as TWErvin2 suggests.

Cheers, Greg.
 
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