Help me with my book cover ‘blurb’ for ‘Empire under siege’

Adarna 1 - Empire under siege

I have been putting this off for a while, and now that the time has come I am bizarrely terrified of writing the book cover ‘blurb’ for my new novella ‘Empire under siege’. I have a cover that I am very happy with (see picture), but for some reason I have been delaying addressing the rather major issue of the blurb.

So, basically, this post is a cry for help. ‘Empire under siege’ is a fantasy set in the ‘Adarnan empire’. The empire itself has many similarities to the Roman empire. There are legions and an emperor and even a senate of sorts. But for every similarity there is a notable difference.

The book itself is an action/ political intrigue/ war story and it is the first in a series that will follow the world-changing events that kick off in this book with a barbarian nation invading the empire. The book itself has been written to appeal to fans of authors like David Gemmell, George R.R. Martin and Stephen Donaldson (if you haven’t read any of these authors, you really should check them out) and whilst I can’t pretend to have a tenth of the skill of any of them I should also make it clear that I have deliberately avoided referencing their style or stories. ‘Empire under siege’ and the ‘Adarna chronicles’ that it forms part of are not cheap imitations of other works (oh dear, that does sound a little pompous!), but are stand alone tales set in a completely new and different world.

Anyway, I am rambling as usual. Back to the point. Please see my attempt at some back cover ‘blurb’ below. Be mean, be harsh, criticise the heck out of it. Please do all of these things, because I want it to end up being as good as possible. Thanks in advance for your help, I really appreciate it 🙂

Back cover ‘blurb’ for ‘Empire under siege’

The Empire of Adarna has stood for a thousand years. A beacon of civilisation shining out to the world. Its glory is undimmed, but of late there are rumours…

A horde of savage warriors has invaded and overrun the south, destroying a legion with ease. Now, the very heartlands of the empire are under threat.

The emperor is young, new to his power and enamoured of it.

Republic… There are whispers in the bars and taverns of the capital and the name that is whispered is always the same… Martius.

General Felix Martius has been charged with ending the threat from the horde, but the emperor’s orders have come late and there has been little time to gather an army. The legions are outnumbered ten to one.

Conlan Danson, a young officer in the Third legion, will stand on the front line, unaware that his actions may influence the fate of humanity.

Empire under siege is the first book in the Adarna chronicles, set in a world of epic grandeur and political intrigue it follows the fate of the Empire through the eyes of the men who could ultimately save it, or doom it to destruction.

What do you think? (personally I think it is a bit cringe worthy!). The lesson I learned today? It’s really difficult to write some ‘blurb’….

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Help me with my book cover ‘blurb’ for ‘Empire under siege’

  1. E. A. Haltom (@eahaltomauthor)

    I think this is a fine blurb. My only advice, and I am a self-published indie just starting out, so what do I know, would be to lose the two paragraphs between “Martius” and “Empire Under Siege….” They dig down a bit too much for a cover blurb, IMHO. I think I’m in your demo, as this sort of story is what I like to read (and write). Generally I only read the blurb to get the setting, make sure there’s nothing so flowery as to be off-putting, and some little tantalizing hint that the book is about strong characters. Looks good.

    Reply
  2. davidprosser

    I saw little wrong with your ‘blurb’. It was short but to the point without giving anything away. It would be enough to pique my interest.
    Best of luck with it.

    Reply
  3. Hannah Heath

    Okay, this was really good. The story line sounds super cool. I would totally read it.
    I did notice a few things. I put my comments in all caps so they would stand out, which I know is really annoying to read. Sorry. =)

    The Empire of Adarna has stood for a thousand years. A beacon of civilisation shining out to the world. Its glory is undimmed, but of late there are rumours…

    A horde of savage warriors has invaded and overrun the south, destroying a legion with ease (THIS WOULD FLOW BETTER IF IT WAS ‘DESTROYING LEGIONS WITH EASE.’). Now, the very heartlands of the empire are under threat.

    The emperor is young, new to his power and enamoured of it. (THIS IS WHERE THINGS GOT A BIT FUZZY FOR ME. THIS PARAGRAPH AND THE ONE BELOW SEEM UNNECESSARY AND COULD BE CONDENSED. THEY’RE AWESOME SENTENCES, THOUGH, SO LEAVING THEM WOULDN’T BE THAT BIG OF A DEAL. IT’S HARD SINCE I MIGHT BE MISUNDERSTANDING THE STORY, BUT HERE’S WHAT I SUGGEST. DELETE THIS SENTENCE AND THE PARAGRAPH BELOW AND MERGE IT WITH YOUR 5TH PARAGRAPH. KIND OF LIKE THIS:

    FELIX MARTIUS, THE PEOPLE’S MUCH BELOVED GENERAL, HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH ENDING THE THREAT FROM THE HORDE. BUT THE YOUNG EMPEROR, NEW TO POWER AND MUCH ENAMORED WITH IT, HAS GIVEN HIS ORDERS TOO LATE, LEAVING LITTLE TIME TO GATHER AN ARMY. THE LEGIONS ARE OUTNUMBERED TEN TO ONE.

    Conlan Danson, a young officer in the Third legion, will stand on the front line, unaware that his actions may influence the fate of humanity. (WHERE DOES HE FIT IN? WHY IS HE AT THE FRONT LINE? WHY MIGHT HIS ACTIONS INFLUENCE THE WORLD? YOU WILL WANT YOUR READERS TO SYMPATHIZE WITH HIM, SO A BIT MORE OF AN EXPLANATION MIGHT BE GOOD. UP TILL NOW FELIX SEEMS TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTER, SO HEARING ABOUT CONLAN IN THE LAST SENTENCE MIGHT CONFUSE PEOPLE.)

    Empire under siege is the first book in the Adarna chronicles, (YOU MIGHT WANT TO PUT A PERIOD HERE, AND START A NEW SENTENCE.) set in a world of epic grandeur and political intrigue (COMMA??) it follows the fate of the Empire through the eyes of the men who could ultimately save it, or doom it to destruction.

    I really hope this is helpful to you. I’m sorry if I didn’t understand the story and got my advice all wrong. I’ve been known to do that. =) But, as your blurb stands now, it is very good. The major change that I suggested for the 5th paragraph isn’t really necessary, but I just wanted to throw it out there. =)
    Sorry for the super long comment. I don’t mean to be obnoxious or anything.
    Good luck with your blurb! I love it, the names are extremely awesome, and I would definitely buy it. =) Let me know when it comes out!

    Reply
  4. gabrielswharf

    The Empire of Adarna has stood for one thousand years — until now. The Emperor has just received the devastating message: barbarians in the south have annihilated one of his best legions — unthinkable and terrifying to him – and with alarming ease. One man is chosen to stem the invasion and deliver the Emperor’s wrath, if he can – General Felix Martius. The general has trusted men to take with him into the wilderness, against suicidal odds, who would die for him, whereas the young Emperor cannot trust anyone at home. Enemies within and without, the Empire is Under Siege. Prepare for epic grandeur, political intrigue and the answer to the question: Will Adarna endure?

    Reply
  5. mobewan

    I’m not so good at blurbs myself, but I do like to play 🙂 Your original wasn’t bad, but there were a couple of things that confused me –

    Is a savage horde overrunning the south and threatening the heartland of the Empire just a rumour?

    The Republic comment…I assume Martius is initiating some kind of rebellion?? I liked that it but it wasn’t obvious.

    Anyway, I had a play. May have taken some liberties based on how I read the blurb, but like the others it may give you some ideas.

    Looking forward to reading it.

    —————-

    The Empire of Adarna has stood for a thousand years. A beacon of civilisation shining out to the world. Its glory is undimmed. It’s new Emperor is young, ambitious and enamoured with fulfilling his promise of greatness.

    Rising from the south, a horde of savage warriors that has unexpectedly destroyed a legion with ease. may provide the Emperor with such opportunity.

    General Felix Martius has been charged with ending the threat. For the Emperor, sending him on such a quest also serves to remove one of his most dangerous political enemies.

    But the emperor’s orders have come late and there has been little time to gather an army and when they arrive they find themselves outnumbered ten to one.

    Warriors to a man, the Legion will fight or die. Conlan Danson is one such man. A newly promoted officer in the Third legion, he will stand on the front line, unaware that his actions may influence the fate of an Empire that is not as stable as it may seem.

    Empire under siege is the first book in the Adarna chronicles, set in a world of epic grandeur and political intrigue it follows the fate of the Empire through the eyes of the men who could ultimately save it, or doom it to destruction.

    Reply

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