In recent months I’ve borrowed a few print science fiction romances from the library. Upon cracking said books open, I was reminded of the fact that publishers often list blurbs from authors and positive review quotes at the beginning. As I perused some of them, it struck me that some of the praise being heaped on these authors would apply just as easily to SFR books from digital-first authors. Simply switch a few key words around and voilà!
In my reading experience, digital-first sci-fi romances rarely feature blurbs/review quotes--and why is that, anyway? Is it because readers browse ebooks differently from the way they search for print books, and so the blurb/review quote is more difficult to see/find? Are ebooks deemed less worthy for this type of marketing because of the medium or content (after all, some still believe they’re not “real” books or “real” SFR)?
I wonder…is there a digital-first author of science fiction romance out there who was able to obtain a blurb from a well-known, print-first author of science fiction romance? Actually, that pool is so small that a digital-first author is probably better off seeking a blurb from a bestselling author with an ebook background on the level of, say, Lauren Dane (UNDERCOVER).
Regardless of the questions surrounding them, blurbs/quotes aren’t only endorsements, they’re also tags. Sometimes they're too generic to be useful (of Theresa Meyers' THE INVENTOR, Cherry Adair wrote, "Meyers puts the steam in steampunk"), but oftentimes they feature clues about what to expect from an author’s particular story and/or his/her style of writing. In that sense, the blurbs can be a helpful resource.
So I thought I’d have some fun by creating a few unsolicited blurbs for some of the stories I’ve read. Fun as in me imagining this scenario: what if the books had the benefit of praise from a well-known author or reviewer prominently displayed on the cover or in the first few pages? How might the quotes be phrased?
And away we go…
And away we go…
NIGHTS OF STEEL (Nico Rosso)
Two tough-as-gears bounty hunters compete for a lucrative reward while chasing the villain in a steampunk rich setting even as both burn with undeniable attraction. A rip-roaring adventure romance!
BREAK AND ENTER (Aleksandr Voinov and Rachel Haimowitz)
Break and Enter plunges readers into a gritty cyberpunk world ruled by power-hungry corporations. This story is custom-made for fans of edgy m/m romance and cool-as-crystal tech.
RAGNAR & JULIET (Lucy Woodhull)
A quirky, sexy, and totally whacked out space opera romp!
COLD FRONT (Ann Somerville)
Cold Front blazes an innovative sci-fi romance path with a story of two dedicated cop heroes—and lovers—who unite to solve the mystery behind a series of murders in a futuristic noir setting. CSI fans won’t want to miss this gripping, hard-bitten tale of intrigue, suspense, and dark romance.
THIEF (Anitra Lynn McLeod)
Fans of Firefly will rejoice upon discovering this space opera adventure filled with a kick-butt heroine, a good-guy starship captain hero, a ragtag crew, secrets, cooking, and a splash of political intrigue.
MAKO’S BOUNTY (Diane Dooley)
Readers will pray for more after reading this tale of a scorching one-night stand between a sexy bounty hunter and her target, a hot Alpha rebel with a secret.
THIS WINTER HEART (P.G. Forte)
Warm and sensual, chilling and bleak, This Winter Heart poignantly explores the rekindling of a romance when a couple is forced to confront both long-buried feelings as well as what it means to be human. A heartfelt read.
PHOENIX RISING (Corrina Lawson)
Corrina Lawson fires up superhero fare with an infusion of sizzling romance in this X-Men-style, near-future thriller!
UNACCEPTABLE RISK (Jeanette Grey)
On a mission to avenge her father’s murder in a dystopian world, the heroine is a cybernetically-enhanced hacker whose quest takes her to dangerous places and dark secrets. Her slow-burn romance with the deliciously nurturing hero is a real treat. Mesmerizing!
MECHMAN (L.J. Garland)
With a to-die-for android hero and a smart heroine determined to save humanity, MechMan is a delightful out-of-this-world adventure!
CAUGHT IN AMBER (Cathy Pegau)
The stalwart hero, vulnerable-yet-tough heroine, treacherous villain, and noir setting make this a must-read science fiction romance.
How about it? Come on down and create a mock blurb for an SFR you’ve read that's deserving of more attention! Or share your thoughts on the state of blurbs/review quotes when it comes to digital-first titles.