Many, many months ago, I shared my cover blurb (aka the 150-word pitch) of my Victorian Romance series kickoff novella and got some great feedback. Since then, I’ve worked on the cover blurb for novel 1 of the series.
This time, I spent even more time on Amazon reading blurb after blurb on historical romance books. I took note of which rhythms and devices appealed to me. At its heart, the cover copy is sales copy; its job is to sell the story, so I gauged my own response to determine which blurbs had me itching to hit the buy button. Then came the hard part: applying those lessons learned to my own book.
As expected, a few hours into the agonizing process, I was pretty sure I’d written the first book in the history of publishing that absolutely would not, could not be captured in a cover blurb. But deep down, I was also pretty sure that every author who’d ever worked on cover copy’d had that same thought. And so I persisted, and came up with this early draft of the cover copy. I’ll work on it with my editor – who has helped write cover copy for decades – after she has edited the story. But for now, I’d love to get your feedback!
Just a reminder, I’m aiming for a 150-200-word blurb description that tells just enough of the story to pique interest but doesn’t give TMI and cross over into spoiler territory. So, the early draft of cover copy for novel 1, titled One Kiss from Ruin.
A man marked by a scandal
Lord Daniel Hallsworth, Marquess of Edensbridge, was driven out of England by claims of his illegitimacy. Now he’s back to restore his family name and exact revenge on those who betrayed him, beginning with the woman he loved and still desires. When he realizes she didn’t betray him after all, he sees his chance to have her and the respectability marrying her could bring him. If only the lady would graciously accept his proposal.
A woman haunted by her past
After losing her first love and then her sister, Lady Emmeline Radcliffe traded respectability for comfort in the wrong man’s arms. As penance, she has devoted herself to spinsterhood and good works. Now the right man has returned, but she can’t marry him without risking the reputation he’s just barely restored. If only the Marquess would kindly stop tempting her to fall in love with him again.
The Marquess needs the lady’s assistance to find a suitable wife, and she needs his help to thwart her father’s matchmaking. But each moment together brings them to the brink of passion, and every stolen kiss brings them one step closer to ruin.
Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments, and I’ll try to check back and do some updates throughout the week based on your input.
I’m confused. How can he want to marry her to achieve respectability if she’s been ruined?
Ah, good to know that’s a point of confusion as written. It’s her secret and she’s afraid it will get out. By the time he learns the truth, he’s already in love with her. I am ill cogitate in how to clarify without making the blurb longer or more complex. Thanks!