A few novelette publications later, a friend refused to read and write a review for Bit Storm because he thought the Amazon marketing blurb was lame. Nothing freaks out a writer more than telling him despite hours of obsessing in front of a computer screen, the highest level of achievement is “meah.” So I tossed aside the 300 piece puzzle I was doing with my daughter—Daddy time is over sweetheart—and checked what was on Amazon. What I saw looked good:
As a highly paid, top-notch, software professional, Diff has it made. He wears black t-shirts and jeans to work, his co-worker is an AI (Artificial Intelligent machine), and he has time to play online games. All this and a girlfriend who games too.
But Diff’s easy life becomes complicated: the AI wants a pet cat, and a political antagonist named SickDevil has decided Diff is his new best friend. Neither problem is a show-stopper until SickDevil tries to prove his social Darwinism theories making Diff’s Halloween party not only a fight to the death, but a fight to the nano. [...]
I went back to twitter and promptly lambasted my critical friend for being lazy and if he didn’t want to read fiction about nanotechnology, AI machines, and a Halloween party, he should go back to reading whatever slew of YA girl angst books that forty-year-old software engineer dads in the Bay Area enjoy as a guilty pleasure.
He responded with this:
Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.
Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five. [...]
This blurb is doing some different things. The sample came from John Grisham (The Racketeer), an author who sells an awesome number of books. The blurb’s opening uses italics AND bold. Outside these typeface enhancements, I’m not sure it’s outright superior. It’s using a different angle to hook readers. However, I am suspicious of myself of being lazy when it comes to marketing so I took up the challenge and rewrote the blurb. I ended up liking it more so I used it on Amazon.
War is as natural as breathing to a society. To be unskilled at war is to cease to exist. Compassion is exercised only when risk is minimal. You wouldn’t put yourself at risk to save another because that would be irrational.
Successful societies are more skilled at war than compassion.
Diff admires and is annoyed by SickDevil, a skilled nanotechnology engineer who crashes game servers and pickets peace rallies for fun. SickDevil claims an AI (Artificially Intelligent machine) would concur with his philosophy. Diff agrees to let his employer’s AI run a simulation to prove SickDevil wrong so he can knock SickDevil down a peg and trash SickDevil’s internet reputation.
But SickDevil pulls a fast one: the simulation transforms into a virus that reprograms nano-technology to produce warlike societies that turns Diff’s Halloween party into a fight for survival.[...]
I then went back and apologized for accusing him of seeding his bookshelves of Math Algorithms and Python books with girl angst books. In the end, it was the the friendship bracelet that won him over. We hugged and went back to being friends.
Do you agree the new blurb is more engaging?
The comments are open!