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How do you blurb a cross-genre story?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Feo Takahari, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    I'm trying to blurb a story in which a superhero, a werewolf, and a magical girl* fight a Lovecraftian abomination. My first approach was directly based off that . . .

    Everywhere I tried to go from there sounded funny and silly, and this isn't really a funny story, so I scratched that and started over.

    The superhero, Blood Price**, is the main character, so I tried to build a blurb around her.

    Every time I try to introduce the urban fantasy elements from there, they sound ridiculous placed into a blurb that seems to be leading up to fighting nonmagical criminals.

    Not working.

    I've tried two other approaches, one starting with the villain, and one starting with the murder of Penny's parents, but they turned out even worse. The fundamental problem seems to be the clash of genres--either I start with a serious blurb for one genre, and then bring in clashing elements from another, or I start with a cross-genre blurb that sounds funny and lighthearted, and then try to sell it as dark and serious. I know the story itself works (it impressed an author who seriously impressed me), but how do I harmonize its elements when shrunk down to bite-size form?

    * Side problem #1: Do American publishers know what a magical girl is? I never use the term in the story itself, so I've been blurbing her as a "witch."

    ** Side problem #2: Price's parents were drug-addled rock stars, so her name is Penitence Theophania Price. She follows the "alliterative name" and "meaningful name" superhero tropes, so the name she goes by normally is Penny Price. The name she calls herself as a superhero is Blood Price, because she's a teenager and she thinks that sounds cool. All of those make sense in context, and all of those sound stupid when you say them without context. I hate to rename her when the whole story's complete, but what can I call her in the blurb?
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    For marketing purposes, I would say just pick a genre - urban fantasy, I would guess. Start with the character, speak in the abstract, and introduce those elements slowly. And just maybe hint at the other genre towards the end.
    Feo Takahari likes this.

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