Tag Archives: advice

#Bookblurbs Any tips? What are your favourites? #amwriting

Hi all:

As you know I write (and translate) and I’m currently going through the corrections of my next novel (Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies, is proving challenging, or rather the circumstances around it are. I might tell you the story some day). Although there’s still a while to go (I always publish both versions, Spanish and English, of my books at the same time, and that means multiplying by two everything, including the time it takes to get everything ready), I started thinking about blurbs. Despite having written quite a few, I always hesitate when I’m about to write another one, and check advice on it.

Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now... well, not quite
Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now… well, not quite

I decided to share some of the articles I found about the subject (the advice isn’t that different, but I thought you might find that the style of the writer of some of the articles connects better with you than others).

17 tips on how to write blurbs that sell:

http://authorsociety.com/17-tips-how-write-blurb-sells

The dos and don’ts of writing a blurb for your novel :

http://www.blurb.co.uk/blog/writing-blurbs-for-novels/

4 easy steps to an irresistible book blurb:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/4-easy-steps-to-an-irresistable-book-blurb/

How to write a book blurb:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/04/how-to-write-a-book-blurb/

Writing a short book blurb:

http://www.writing4success.com/Writing-a-Short-Book-Blurb.html

The 5 core elements of a book blurb (and why you should know them):

https://www.standoutbooks.com/five-elements-of-a-book-blurb/

And after all that advice, I wanted to ask you if you had any tips or any strategies (different to those ones or adapted from them) that you found particularly useful. And also, what are your favourite book blurbs? They can be your own or other writers’. Personally, although I agree certain elements are expected, I think what will entice readers depends on each individual. As one of the articles observes, some very successful books have not-so-good blurbs. But I’m curious and I guess the best way to learn is to analyse well-written blurbs. So, please, do share! And if we get a good response, I’m happy to collect the best and share them in a future post.

Books and more books

(Ah, and a word about blurbs. It seems that in some cases, although not so much now, in the US a blurb might mean only a list of recommendations or positive reviews of a book added to the back-cover. That indeed can be included in what we are talking about, but we refer more to the short description at the back of a book in paper that tells the reader a bit about it and tries to hook him into buying and reading it).

Thanks so much to all the writers of the articles, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, do like, share, click on the articles and COMMENT!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Talking about #bookreviews. A collection of great posts on how to get them and how to keep reviewers happy.

Hi all:

Recently I’ve read some great posts about reviews: how to get them, how to avoid things that annoy reviewers, and even posts recommending free books on the subject. You might have read them all, but just in case you haven’t, I thought I’d post them here.

How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)
How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)

The first one that came to my attention was a post by Nicholas Rossi, where he mentioned a free book  (this one ) that was still free when I wrote this post but do make sure that’s still the case, and also some updates on other interesting sounding books on similar topics. You can check Nicholas Rossi’s post here. Do follow his blog if you haven’t as he shares a wealth of knowledge and is a great writer.

That post resulted in a comment by Beetley Pete, a great blogger and a top reviewer in Amazon (do check his blog especially if you like dogs, photographs and pretty good writing too. See here, for instance ), where he provided a review on the said book. He made such great points that Nicholas created a post sharing that comment. Check here.

Book and mugsmall

This morning I read a post with the title Top 7 Book Reviewers Complaints in the blog Indies Unlimited. I’ll share the list but you can (and should) read the full post, and contribute to the discussion, here.

According to the post these are the seven top complaints by reviewers:

  1. “…he woke up and it was all a dream.” Done to death and back as a zombie too.
  2. “She could see the insanity creeping into his eyes.” Not the best way to justify a character doing out of character things. (I’m a psychiatrist and this is a particular bugbear of mine.)
  3. “He asked…” “…she answered.” I’m sure there are full volumes on dialogue tags but…
  4. Lack of Dialog (Can result in a lot of telling and not showing)
  5. Too Much Dialog (This is a bit of a personal taste, but it depends on the type of book. The writer of the post likes dialog and so do I)
  6. Too Much Description. Might depend on the genre but…
  7. Too Much Background. Like before

And Others

Don’t forget to check the full article and comment here.

If after all that, or perhaps after doing more reading on it, you still want to approach reviewers, I got a link to The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages here. Good luck! (I have no personal experience of that page but do let us know if you do).

PS: After publishing this post I just read a post by Rosie Amber about writing reviews, the reasons some people don’t and suggestions as to how to go about it, so I had to share it. Check here (and do follow her blog too for great reviews and also for a great way to get reviews if you’re an author).

Thanks all for reading, don’t forget to visit the blogs and follow the bloggers and good luck finding reviewers. And readers remember that reviews are a great way to share your love of books and to support writers!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

 

Are your characters in need of a psychiatrist? You’re in luck!

Hi all:

I’d been having a chat with Ronovan about the possibility of writing something regular for the blog, apart from the reviews that I do as often as I can, and we’d discussed some ideas. As I’m a psychiatrist and had until recently been working in forensic psychiatry, I thought about the possibility of offering a service to authors who are considering either writing about mental disorders in their books, or would like a psychiatrist’s point of view or opinion on some conundrum they find themselves in (well, they find their writing in).

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The idea at the moment, if you think that could be of use, would be to create a form where you might have a bit more space than in the comments, to describe the issue (you could also share a short sample of the writing…) and then I would discuss it by way of a post. You can be as specific or as vague as you like, although I might ask for more details if I think it could help.

When discussing what to do to present the idea for the future posts we briefly had a discussion about character profiles. As a psychiatrist, I’m a medical doctor who went on to study psychiatry. Although we do study psychology as part of the degree, that’s not our specialty. I’ve attended courses on Personality Disorders and how to diagnose them (and they are a mine of information, believe me) but it was never part of my job to produce anything like a profile for the police. Although we had to give an opinion as to the mental state of the person, we did not get involved in the trial, other than recommending if they needed to be in hospital to treat their illness or condition.

Thinking about what to write about brought to mind some curiosities, not all psychiatric in origin, but that tend to come to the attention of psychiatrists. I found two superb slideshow that I leave you the links for, illustrating some of these syndromes that seem straight out from a fiction novel. Only, they do happen. Yes, I have met some people suffering some of them, although thanks to the DSM V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) there are some new ones, like the Paris Syndrome, that I’d never heard about.

The culture-bound syndromes, that tend to affect people from certain areas exclusively, I have never experienced, but I have noticed in my practice that different cultures deal with mental health difficulties, and manifest mental illnesses in different ways.

Have a look at the links, although I leave you descriptions of some of the classic ones:

-Capgras delusion. The idea that somebody close to the sufferer has been replaced by a double. (Yes, I know you’ve watched the movie…but hey, it happens!). I’ve known patients that presented with this. (It can happen in a variety of conditions although the ones I’ve known were suffering from schizophrenia).

-Fregoli delusion. Here the patient believes that a single individual is disguising himself or herself as a variety of people (Fregoli was an Italian actor who could change clothing and take on many identities in his stage show very quickly, therefore the name). It is rarer than the previous one.

-De Clérambault’s Syndrome. A person (more common in females but not exclusive) believes they are loved by somebody very important, and this can cause all kind of problems (following that person, harassment, scenes…). If you’ve read Ian McEwan’s ‘Enduring Love’, I think it’s a pretty good example. Of course, who’s very important is a bit relative, but important in relation to the subject’s social standing or position.

-Othello Syndrome (‘morbid jealousy’). Here the classifiers borrow from literature. I think you can guess. This is not as uncommon as some of the others and sometimes is seen more in people with a history of alcoholism. It is irrelevant to the diagnosis if the partner might or not have been unfaithful; it is the way the patient reaches such conclusions and their reaction to it that causes the description.

-Ekbom’s Syndrome (delusion of infestation). Pretty self-explanatory too. This can occur in people with a history of substance misuse (cocaine is a big culprit), but also a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions.

-Cotard’s Syndrome (delire de negation). The person believes that their body has disappeared or they have no entrails, etc.

-Induced delusional disorders. There are different types, but you’ll all have heard about folie à deux. Several people (or two in that case) seem to suffer a contagion of the delusions of somebody else, in many cases people with no diagnosis of mental health difficulties. Not very common unless in special circumstances (people who live in close proximity and very isolated). Yes, I remember a very peculiar case…

As a matter of clarification, these syndromes are descriptions of symptoms, not a diagnosis. The underlying diagnoses can be varied. (The same symptoms might correspond to very different illnesses).

I won’t go on, but do have a look at the links. And remember to let us know if you’d be interested in an ‘ask the psychiatrist’ weekly (or thereabouts) post.

Link to rare psychiatric syndromes slideshow:

http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/rare-psych

Other 20 psychiatric syndromes you’ll find hard to believe:

http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/culture-synd

Thanks so much for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, remember to like, share, comment and CLICK (and fill up the form if you have any queries)!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7 (https://twitter.com/OlgaNM7)

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com