Okay, I need some feedback on this one. I have written three different blurbs for the back cover of my book, Acceptance. Each one is completely accurate, yet they convey very different feelings.
The Romantic Angle
This is from my query letter. Again, it’s accurate, but I think it makes the book sound like a teen romance (a la Twilight) when it’s not. I’ve had adult women and a man read the book, and they’ve all liked it; it’s not sickeningly cheesy.
Kalyn Reid is a different kind of debutante. On her sixteenth birthday she is publicly presented to her family, friends and neighbors as an adult and is given a pearl necklace to mark the occasion. Then she is bitten by a vampire.
Thus Kalyn enters adulthood as a Yaechahre—a group of humans who have served vampires for over 2,500 years.
In the days following her Acceptance, Kalyn thinks her only problem in life is how to maintain her dignity around her vampire mentor, Anselm. She has a desperate crush on him, which often leaves her bumbling like a fool. He sweetly smoothes over the awkward moments, but makes it clear that things are “just business” between them.
But in the blink of an eye, Kalyn’s entire world is engulfed in flames as her father, mother, and group leader die in rapid succession—murdered by a strange new breed of vampire. She, Anselm, and his brother, Micah, suddenly become involved in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as they try to find the murderer before he finds them.
Thrown together in a desperate struggle for survival, Anselm’s resolve to keep business separate from pleasure begins to crumble, and Kalyn finds herself closer than ever to realizing her dreams. But as she watches him execute their enemies with medieval ruthlessness, she finds herself wondering, “Do I really want him?”
The Coming-of-Age Angle
Coming-of-age is also a part of the plot, but I think this sounds like a teen book and won’t attract adult readers.
Kalyn Reid is a different kind of debutante. On her sixteenth birthday, she is formally presented to her family, friends, and neighbors as an adult, and she’s given a pearl necklace to mark the occasion. Then she is bitten by a vampire.
Thus Kalyn enters adulthood as a Yaechahre—a group of humans who have served vampires for countless generations.
But what should have been a gentle transition into adulthood unexpectedly turns into a crash course in survival as a strange new breed of vampire begins murdering people in Kalyn’s group. Suddenly Kalyn finds herself orphaned and on the run—caught up in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as the group’s survivors try to find the murderer before he finds them.
And as she watches her vampire mentor execute their enemies with medieval ruthlessness, her first test of character isn’t how she faces death, but how she accepts the people who will kill to keep her alive.
The Good vs. Evil Angle
This description makes no mention of romance or Kalyn’s age, which I think would make it more attractive to adults. I also deemphasize Kalyn’s role, which I think makes it more attractive to men. This is closer to the main plot of the book, and puts a bit more emphasis on the other characters. While Kalyn is the main character, Anselm and Micah figure very prominently–to the point that I think of them as secondary main characters. They’re just too prominent and we know too much about them for them to be true secondary characters.
The one drawback is that this blurb seems a little too general. And it’s not as strong a piece of writing as the two previous ones (although I did create it in a bit of a hurry; I could spend more time with it and perhaps improve it).
Kalyn Reid comes from a long line of humans—ninety-six generations, to be exact—who have spent their lives serving vampires. And for the past two thousand years, it’s been a peaceful occupation. But a strange new type of vampire has appeared, and the report from a defector is that the Others are preparing for something… but what?
The answer is delivered suddenly, as the humans and vampires in Kalyn’s group are murdered or kidnapped in rapid succession. But when the survivors turn to their own for sanctuary, they find their brethren every bit as dangerous as the killer hunting them.
Betrayed and outnumbered, the group’s survival requires a level of loyalty and self-sacrifice that hasn’t been seen for more than a generation.
So, which blurb makes you want to read the book the most, and if it’s the third one, what changes might you make to it to make it sound better?