Writer Twitter is always so interesting to me. Not because I like to stir up a debate (or sit back and watch), but I am honestly curious what people are passionate about in the writing and publishing community. Especially since most the opinions are coming from writers who are trying to read like readers but really read like writers. This one caught my eye just because it’s something I’ll be dealing with soon:
This author (whom I didn’t identify so she didn’t feel called out) could even have taken it one step further: Blurbs are written in third person present, which is actually even more messed up if you think about it. I guess the present tense of a third person blurb is supposed to incite an urgency in the plot that encourages readers to buy the book to satisfy their curiosity.
It took me a long time to come around to any kind of first person POV thinking, especially when it came to romance. I wrote about the shift way back in July of 2019, and as I had predicted that it wasn’t going anywhere, most steamy romance now is written in dual first person present. I rebelled, and then last year I finally came around. Does third person past romance sell? Well, my abysmal sales aren’t the main reason why I changed (anyone can tell you correlation does not equal causation), but I’m thinking writing third person past when first person present is popular didn’t help any. Writing and publishing is hard enough as it is during the best of times, there’s no reason to make it any harder on yourself.
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of first person billionaire romances for research (read: I’m not doing it right) and as a reader searching for her next book to read, I assume if the blurb is in third person, the book will be, too. Most first person billionaire romances have first person blurbs, and those are the ones I zero in on when searching for a new book to read.
I had a little back and forth with her as you can see, (and if you want to read the whole thread and others’ responses, you can click here) and I zeroed in on one word she used: traditionally. I think it’s safe to say that with indie publishing, a lot of what we used to know has gone out the window and publishing is changing. I used to gripe a lot about it, in a “Get off my lawn” kind of way, but while you can focus on the negatives that indie publishing created (lack of quality in books, poor covers, authors publishing novellas and short stories rather than full-length novels) there are a lot of positives too (no gatekeepers, flexibility to write and publish what you want). Traditional publishing will always lag behind whatever indies do, if they even choose to adopt whatever practice indies have picked up. One day traditional publishers might start using first person blurbs for first person books.
Like anything, a first person blurb has to be well-written. I’ve read lots of icky third person blurbs, and lots of icky first person blurbs–especially first person teasers on Facebook ads. (Ooof! If you don’t get your ad teaser right, you’ll never sell any books.) You have to write a good blurb, period, or you lose a potential reader no matter what POV you’ve written your book in.
To me, it makes sense to match your blurb’s POV to your book. It’s a smart marketing tactic since a lot of readers still prefer one over the other and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time.
Want more opinions?
As you can see, I’ve stopped posting my graphic with all my books on it that linked to my Amazon page author page. I don’t blog for readers, I don’t even blog about romance all that much, and I mainly posted my graphic as social proof that yes, I am part of the writing and publishing community because look I have written and published. But as I have veered off from my Vania Rheault author name and will focus on VM Rheault in the coming months (maybe years) I’ve stopped posting my books’ graphic. What will go here instead? I’m not sure. I’m exploring logos right now, futzing around in Canva looking to make my own that will identify my brand as a billionaire romance author. I don’t particularly want to hire out for this, and I’ve been looking up examples online and experimenting with what I like and what I want my brand to be going forward. I have come to realize, too, that if I want to use a website as a newsletter sign up vehicle, I’ll have to create a new website for my pen name, even if it is just a home page with a pop up box.
I may end up just writing out my name and begin to “sign” my blog posts as with this blog, I have nothing to sell. I can keep my Vania’s Books page up and I can keep it updated, though I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever write another 3rd person book. I did have a lovely idea for a 3rd person book I was going to write before the plot of my 6-book first person series plopped into my head last year and I wrote like a mad woman to get it all onto the page. The ideas are there–it’s the time and my general lack of direction right now that will hold me up. In the meantime, I’ll leave the end of my blog posts blank, and if you have an idea what I can put here, or if you want to see my books’ graphic come back, let me know.