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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Does the Internet Give People a False Sense of Reality?

I've often thought about this question so today I've decided to blog about it.

The internet has been around for a while now providing some fantastic opportunities. People can do almost anything at the click of a button, from booking flights to the other side of the world to arranging to meet complete strangers.

People can make a fortune via this amazing technology and it is through the internet that I hope to make a worthwhile career for myself by producing high quality ebooks.

But even though the internet is responsible for many wonderful things, it also has a much darker side. I am not going to go into the evils of terrorism acts or child pornography, but I happened to stumble upon a message in my inbox yesterday which made me feel uneasy.

I am an author of two published books and I've just finished my third. I hope to sell these books and I realise I have to do a fair bit of networking to achieve this. Therefore I accept I have to utilise the internet and social media to connect with people. But I would now like to state that any networking I do is only for professional reasons. I am a member of numerous writing and travel groups all over the internet and it's here that I've made some fabulous friends who admire my work.

But I've also had the unfortunate of experience of being targeted by certain people who send me messages thinking that they know me and my entire life story just because they've happened to see one single photo of me. This particular person reckons they know my personality inside out just because of the way I look in this photo and they've requested some very personal information about me.

Not only am I shocked and horrified to read this message, I'm also outraged that this person felt like they had the right to send me this email.

Now maybe I could understand it more if I was a member of an online dating agency, and I had numerous profiles stating that I'd like to be contacted by different men who are looking for a relationship but there is nothing at all in any profile of me stating this to be the case.

I average at about one message per year of this sort of content and I was only chatting to a good friend of mine in one of my writer's groups the other day about this topic. (Hi, Ian, this is not you I am referring to here ;) ) He kindly suggested that I should maybe change my photo so more of my face is visible. And after this other message, I think I just might!

So in this case I think the internet can be blamed for giving people a false sense of reality. Either that or it provides people with a certain mindset the perfect opportunity to contact other unsuspecting people.

Now it's time for you to share your opinions with me on this matter. What do you think and have you had any personal experience of this matter yourself?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

How to Write a Brilliant Blurb

Last week I blogged about that dreaded second draft of my manuscript I have to do and this week I can happily say I'm really stuck into it. Once I made a list of the components I would like to alter it was easy to go through my book and make the necessary changes. I have already read through the manuscript twice to make amends to obvious errors, so I already have a list of the more subtle parts to change.

Now I'm nearing the end of my second draft I realise I have the blurb to address. Almost every writer will say the blurb is in the top three points of whether or not your book will be successful, along with the book cover and how the book is actually written. So I know I can't mess this vital part up and I vow to write the blurb with military precision.

I also know I have to let the manuscript rest once I am certain I am finished with it. Then after a suitable time has passed I will read it several times again just to make sure I am happy with it and then I'll start to write the blurb.

So, how am I going to do this?

Blurbs are known for being short and snappy so I think the best thing to do is write a whole page detailing every description in my book.

Sound ludicrous?

Yes, it is a bit but let me explain.

Once I have written everything there is to know about my book I can go back to the description and edit it like mad. I will condense like I have never condensed before. I might aim for about 1,000 words initially but then I will seek out the most compelling part of the description and focus on that - keeping in mind that I want to hook my reader in and not give the plot away.

Too many books, especially in the genre of chick lit, ask a question in the blurb and then proceed to answer it. Personally, I don't want to write a blurb like this because I know the reader inside of me will only want to read a book to find out what happens. So why would I read a book like this if I already know what's going to happen? That's the issue I have to keep in mind because I know a lot of other people who are like this and I don't want to make that mistake for my book. I want to give enough information about the book without giving too much away and that is the hardest job to do.

So tell me - how do you write blurbs?