23 Aug

How to Write a Great Blurb (Warning: Giganormous Post)

Banner - TypewriterI’ve written several hundred blurbs, for myself, for other authors, and for non-authors, mainly academics.

That’s right, there are blurbs in academia. They’re called abstracts, posters, or one-slide presentations, but if it works like a blurb, and functions like a blurb, it is a blurb.

That’s my view. Don’t tell it to any academics. Also, when I say “blurb,” I mean “back cover copy.” That’s the correct term. Nobody I know uses it (OK, some pundits in the self-publishing sphere do, but most of us just say “blurb”.) I’m going to say blurb. So there.

Anyhow, blurbing (which is five characters shorter than “blurb writing” and I’m a lazy bastard) is not a writing skill. It’s marketing, and while you use your keyboard for both, they’re essentially different skill sets. And no, one of them won’t leave a trail of slime on your pristine, artistic soul.

Let me explain why, and how you go about writing an effective* blurb.

(* Please note the “effective.” The key point of a blurb isn’t style, information capacity, or ego, it’s effect – unless you’re writing to stoke your own ego, in which case feel free to skip the rest of this post…)

Oh, and this is a bit longer than my usual posts. As in “about 1500% longer.” Yeah, it needs a table of contents: Read More

13 Aug

Friday Links: Do Better Guns Improve Fighting Effectiveness?

Banner: Movie clickSo you’re marching along, together with all your Redcoat mates, and then, BOOM! you launch a huge volley against your Frenchie opponents. Which gets you on the order of 500 to 3 000 musket balls spent for every enemy killed.

But in comparison, using the same metrics, the war in Afghanistan had Coallition troops expending some 250 000 rounds for every enemy killed…

If you’re a military nerd, like me, you’ll love what Lloyd comes up with here. Read More