Monday, January 16, 2012

How NOT to Write a Query 3: EVERNEATH edition

I have a major author crush on Brodi Ashton (Gasp! You didn't know that?) and her debut novel EVERNEATH, which comes out on January 24th. That's a week from tomorrow. If you live in the Salt Lake area, make your night and go to her launch party at the King's English. Get her to personalize your book - then have her sign another one you can sell on ebay later. Trust me on this: EVERNEATH is gonna be huge. (I'd feel nervous about making such a blatant prediction about unpredictable market trends if it wasn't such a duh-statement.)

Anyway, in honor of EVERNEATH's launch, I'm going to completely ruin its lovely blurb. What? You're going to break the spine! Don't judge!

First, as always, here's the real thing... only I'm blacking it out because I want you to read the bad one first. But I didn't want to PUT the bad one first in case you got confused and unfairly judged EVERNEATH by my bad EVERNEATH blurb. After you've scrolled down and read the bad blurb, write down what you think is wrong with it. THEN check the real one and see if you were right. Leave your crit in the comments and I'll break it down on Wednesday.

Now, on to the real blurb (select it to read it when you're done reading the bad one):

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

(It's okay if you need some time to drool over the cover. I can wait.)

Ready? Got your red pencils and scathing comments sharpened?

Here's the bad blurb. Yanno, like you might write if this were your book and you were new at this query-writing thang. I even made mine the same word count as the real one (172 words):

Six months ago, Nikki had a good life. Her best friend, Jack, became her boyfriend – and it actually looked like his player days were over. She had a BFF, her dad was the mayor, and her little brother idolized her. Then she met Cole, and Cole knew just what to do to ease the pain of her mother’s death. So Nikki became Cole’s forfeit in the Everneath, where she surrendered her emotions to keep him alive for another hundred years.
Now, Nikki has returned, but can’t tell anyone where she’s been for the last six months – or that, to her, the time has actually been a hundred years. Worse, she can’t tell anyone that, in six months, she’ll be forced to return forever to the tunnels of the Everneath.
Jack still loves her, but how can she renew his trust? Most importantly, Cole followed her to the surface to convince her to become his queen. It’s a good alternative to the tunnels, but can she find a way to stay with Jack? 

Okay, your turn. What did I do wrong? What does the real blurb have that this one is lacking?


  1. I loved this book! I need to read it again when I get time. I wonder if there'll be an audiobook . . .

  2. The main problem for me is that I felt with the second blurb everything was out of sequence, and the way the information was presented made it confusing and I wasn't sure exactly what the main conflict was or what was going on.

    The new blurb is MUCH better. Enticing and intriguing. I would totally buy this book. <3

  3. Donna: you're gonna go the the launch, aren't you?

    Jasmine: I totally agree... so long as, by "new" blurb, you actually mean "old-but-read-second" blurb. And you CAN totally buy this book. Next week. ;)

  4. I guess writing blurbs is still something I need practice on! When I read the second one I didn't think it was all that bad at first, just a little confusing. Then, reading the real blurb, you can see how it works. It's much more to the point, omits unnecessary information, and draws you right in.

  5. Kristin: I pride myself on my ability to confuse. ;)

  6. I refuse to play (yet!) I do my very best not to know ANYTHING about a book before I pick it up. It's not always possible but I try. But after I give it a read I'll come back and play.

  7. Shelly: I'm so sad for you that you haven't read EVERNEATH yet!

  8. Wow, this sounds amazing!!! Going on my TBR list for sure:) The bad blurb just gave too many details & the excitement of the story got lost on me. Sometimes less is more.