Monday, October 12, 2020

Blurbs, Newsletters, Tropes, and Other Questionable/Questioning Writer Activities: Preparing to Launch the #liftoffnovella

 My book launch for Liftoff: Rayatana Series, Book 1 is less than a month away at this point.

I have checklists. 

I have awesome help and encouragers! 

Although I am happy to have more help and more ARC readers - please let me know if you are interested!

And, because I struggle to decide anything, I always have questions.

Please feel free to chime in on any of these questions or questionable activities in the comment section.

PRIORITY 1: Blurb Writing and Blurb Question

I think writing a book blurb is far harder than writing a book. I think I've written the blurb for Liftoff at least a dozen times. I've had help. I've changed things. I changed things again. I know it's down to the wire, and I have the pre-order option up, my final cover is being finished for my paperback, and I really should have this finalized, but...

Out of these two blurbs, which would you pick up?

Transplanted from sunshine to rain in the aftermath of family loss and her parents’ divorce, Amaya has struggled to find a sense of home and self. The old movie theater in town welcomed her in with popcorn, licorice, and a chance to escape from grief. 

But during a matinee, the movie theater rumbles, lurches, and throws Amaya off her feet. When Sol, the cute guy who can make even the dorky movie uniform look good, shows up to help, she questions the rips on his uniform. Because of her hesitation, she becomes involved in an ancient alien war.

On the run from alien enemies in a battle she doesn’t understand, Amaya must make choices for her own safety and the safety of Earth. What happens if she makes a mistake based on a cultural misunderstanding? How can she survive a war between enemies who have fought for a thousand years, who have a deep distrust of one another, especially when she finds out she might be an enemy to both sides? Or, even worse, they may expect her to save the galaxy?


An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles.

 A spaceship in disguise,

An Earth girl searching for a sense of home,

And a Thousand Years’ War between alien races of The Great Galaxy

All collide on a summer afternoon.

When the spaceship rumbles to life, it traps Amaya in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies.

What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war?

I feel like the first is too wordy, and the second is too glib. Argh. I leaned toward the second for my cover reveal, and then within a day, I leaned back. Oy. Must make a final decision.

Question 2: Newsletter Content

If you could choose, would you like or not like:
1. News about the research the author has done for writing, updates on projects, and news about new releases, and possibly book excerpts.
2. Quizzes, updates on projects, news about new releases, and possibly book excerpts.

Question 3: Tropes and Blog Tour Content

I have some wonderful bloggers helping with my blog book tour, and will be focusing on sci-fi tropes for many of my blog stops. If you had a choice, which of the following tropes would interest you most:
1. Aliens Among Us 
2. Interstellar Travel: lightspeed, warp, gates, and cryosleep
3. Simple Solutions to Language Barriers: Babel Fish, Translators, Downloaded Language Lessons, and Trade Languages
4. We all breathe oxygen: Aliens Just Like Us
5. Ancient Alien Artifacts Are the Key to Life, Peace, and Understanding the Universe
6. War of the Worlds and Alien Take-overs
7. The Chosen One, Again
8. Four Alien Typecasts: Just Like Us, Q, Tribbles, Monsters
9. Spaceship Captain Bad-boys: Kirk, Mal, Han, and More?

Other Questionable/Questioning Writer Activities

So, originally, I thought about just shooting from the hip for all of my trope posts, but then I went down a rabbit-hole of searching through lists of tropes, lists of movies who used various types of interstellar travel, deciding if I wanted to include in-solar-system travel (The Martian), and other stuff. I even thought maybe I should re-watch a bunch of trope-filled movies (it's for "research", really). I think I read about fifteen different articles on various subjects, then decided I might be over-thinking it. 

What do you think? Is it easy or tempting to go down a rabbit hole of research in the last month before a book launch? How factual do you expect blog tour posts to be? 


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like all of the blog tour content.

I'd lean more towards the second blurb. However, the lines in bold seem more like the leading logline or a separate tagline.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Diane! You're expertise is meaningful.

Chrys Fey said...

I like the second blurb. It's easier to read and can really draw readers in. (Editor in me has to mention the two uses of "rumbles.")

Diane mentioned the bold lines, those could be at the start, to lead into the blurb.

For newsletters, you can do a mix. You don't have to settle for all the same content all the time. :)

I like all the blog tour topics. The more the better, because then you have a lot of content for bloggers.

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

The first one is too wordy, but the second one is a bit disjointed. If you can smooth it out, I think it would work well.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I like the second blurb best. It's much catchier.

I like all the newsletter ideas. I say mix it up...maybe pick a few things that are standard and sprinkle in the rest.

I like the aliens among us.

Also, if you'd like me to post a shout out, send me the information and I'll post it

Natalie Aguirre said...

I like the second blurb better because it tells us more about the sci-fi aspect of your story. I like #1 for the newsletter. I like the Aliens among us.

Don't stress about research for the blog tour. If you do anything, think about a blog tour that is not associated with your friends through IWSG so that you reach other readers to do in a few months.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Chrys - thanks for finding those. I seem to like repeating words. Sigh.

Patricia - Thanks for the feedback.

Elizabeth - Thanks for all of the feedback and encouragement!

Natalie - thank you, and thanks for the great idea about the book blog tour!