Writing – part x555, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, How to Write Reviewer’s Quotes

8 October 2018, Writing – part x555, Developing Skills, Marketing Materials, How to Write Reviewer’s Quotes

Announcement: Delay, my new novels can be seen on the internet, but my primary publisher has gone out of business—they couldn’t succeed in the past business and publishing environment.  I’ll keep you informed, but I need a new publisher.  More information can be found atwww.ancientlight.com.  Check out my novels–I think you’ll really enjoy them.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning withhttp://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

  1. Don’t confuse your readers.
  2. Entertain your readers.
  3. Ground your readers in the writing.
  4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.

     4a. Show what can be seen, heard, felt, smelled, and tasted on the stage of the novel.

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

These are the steps I use to write a novel including the five discrete parts of a novel:

  1. Design the initial scene
  2. Develop a theme statement (initial setting, protagonist, protagonist’s helper or antagonist, action statement)
  3. Research as required
  4. Develop the initial setting
  5. Develop the characters
  6. Identify the telic flaw (internal and external)
  7. Write the initial scene (identify the output: implied setting, implied characters, implied action movement)
  8. Write the next scene(s) to the climax (rising action)
  9. Write the climax scene
  10. Write the falling action scene(s)
  11. Write the dénouement scene

I finished writing my 29th novel, working title, Detective, potential titleBlue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.  The theme statement is: Lady Azure Rose Wishart, the Chancellor of the Fae, supernatural detective, and all around dangerous girl, finds love, solves cases, breaks heads, and plays golf.

Here is the cover proposal for Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective.

Cover Proposal

The most important scene in any novel is the initial scene, but eventually, you have to move to the rising action. I am continuing to write on my 30thnovel, working title Red Sonja.  I finished my 29th novel, working titleDetective.  I’m planning to start on number 31, working title Shifter.

How to begin a novel.  Number one thought, we need an entertaining idea.  I usually encapsulate such an idea with a theme statement.  Since I’m writing a new novel, we need a new theme statement.  Here is an initial cut.

For novel 30:  Red Sonja, a Soviet spy, infiltrates the X-plane programs at Edwards AFB as a test pilot’s administrative clerk, learns about freedom, and is redeemed.

For novel 31:  TBD

Here is the scene development outline:

  1. Scene input (comes from the previous scene output or is an initial scene)
  2. Write the scene setting (place, time, stuff, and characters)
  3. Imagine the output, creative elements, plot, telic flaw resolution (climax) and develop the tension and release.
  4. Write the scene using the output and creative elements to build the tension.
  5. Write the release
  6. Write the kicker         

Today:  Time again to look at marketing materials.  I just finished a new novel—actually, I finished it a few weeks ago, but I’ve been working on the marketing materials.  I always develop the specific materials first, then the condensed materials for my currently defunct publisher, and then the cover.  You can see above, I made a proposed cover. I haven’t put any of this information on the internet yet, but I’m building up to that.

Here is my proposed cover:

Cover Proposal

Marketing materials are a must.  I’ll be straight up with you.  I know most people have not completed their novels.  Some of you might have.  You might be still working on your editing and proofing.  You might be still perfecting your novel.  All of that is important, but none of it matters if you don’t have a plan for marketing your work.  Marketing means you have some plan and know what a publisher might want to know about you and your work.  What you need is a format for your marketing materials, and here it is.

Title of Work:

Blue Rose: Enchantment and the Detective

Author(s) Name:

L.D. Alford

Type: Either Screenplay or Book


Length: Either # of words for books, or # of pages for screenplays

108,475 words

Keywords and Market Focus:

Fiction, detective, supernatural, fae, fairy, romance, intelligence, Britain, United Kingdom, MI6, magic, New Scotland Yard, goddess, Dagda, organization, the Crown; will fascinate anyone interested in mystery, detectives, and the fae—will appeal particularly to those who enjoy mystery and suspense novels.


Mystery Fantasy

Author Bio: Approximately 120 words

The finest entertainment in literature is an escape into a real and inviting culture—so asserts L. D. Alford, a novelist who explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know.  He builds tales that make ancient people and times real to us.  His stories uniquely explore the connections between present events, history, and the future—he combines them with threads of reality that bring fiction alive.  L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from theUniversity of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, and Air Command andStaff College.  He is widely traveled and has spent long periods in Europe, Asia, and Central America.  L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality.

Synopsis:  Approximately 500 Words

The Lady Azure Rose Wishart, in the sixth form, the head girl at Wycombe Abbey, and a capable detective.  She is also the top girl, a scratch golfer, and lives with a couple of dubious acquaintances—one is most likely a vampire and the other a werecreature.   Well, most likely.  In any case, the Lady Azure Rose Wishart lost her estate but not her title.  Because of that, she could be on the parishes’ charity list except she has a scholarship to Wycombe and the Crown pays for her other work.  The Lady Wishart is driven to reacquire her estate and make her way in the world.  She wants to be a supernatural detective.

We first meet her as she untangles a mystery for the New Scotland Yard.  Unfortunately, this isn’t a true supernatural crime, but Azure (the Lady Wishart) solves it in no time, and she is now on New Scotland Yard’s payroll.  Another few thousand mysteries, and she might buy back her estate.  That’s her first problem, she doesn’t make enough to ensure she can ever win back her hereditary holdings.  The second problem is just about to hit her squarely between the eyes—Lachlann Calloway meets her at a party.

It was truly an accident of occasion and invitation that brought Lady Azure Rose Wishart into the sights of the dashing Wing Commander Lachlann Calloway, but so is life.  He immediately fell in love with the ravishing and dangerous Azure.  However, Azure doesn’t have time for a lover or a boyfriend.  She, of course, does everything in her power to discourage him.  During their next meeting, she thoroughly embarrasses and chastises him.  On their first date, he privately blows her cover and propriety.  What Lachlann discovers is that his mother, a high level manager in her majesty’s intelligence operations, has black listed Azure from any intelligence work.  This is curious, but he’s still in love.

Instead of being discouraged, as Azure would have liked, Lachlann gloms on to her like a social leech.  She isn’t used to these types of entanglements.  In any case, Lachlann is trying his hardest to entice Azure to love.  She is trying her hardest to be rid of the puppy, Lachlann Calloway.  Lachlann’s mother wants nothing more than for Lachlann to dump the unwilling Azure.  Meanwhile, Azure, through New Scotland Yard, has uncovered a truly supernatural mystery.

With Lachlann’s help and encouragement, Azure proceeds to take a sledge hammer to the Crown’s supernatural intelligence structure—she has a mystery to solve.  The Queen approves, Lachlann’s mother disapproves, and the others have been ordered to accommodate and work with the temperamental Azure.  Azure’s goal is still the same, but not everyone else agrees.  Will Lachlann’s love prevail?  Will Azure win her estate?  Will the truly supernatural mystery be solved?  The real question is will Lachlann’s mother ever resolve herself to a potential daughter-in-law who is, in her own words, despicable?

Concept of the Work:  Approximately 250 Words

The concept behind Blue Rose is first to show a persistent protagonist who is driven to achieve.

The second idea is the persistent pursuit of love represented by Lachlann Calloway.

Registration: WGA, ISBN, or Library of Congress, Write the number.


Other Information:  If you have more work, a website, anything interesting and professional, especially any awards or recognition.

Deirdre: Enchantment and the School www.HestiaNovel.com, the child of a Fae secretly attends a girl’s boarding school until Deirdre discovers her.

Sorcha: Enchantment and the Curse www.GoddessoftheHearth.com, a cursed woman becomes a deadly spy at the hands of a dangerous mistress.

Essie: Enchantment and the Aos Si www.HearthGoddess.com, a matron rescues and educates the Queen of the fae.

Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer www.GoddessofLightNovel.com, a math genius girl gets a boyfriend and becomes a Japanese goddess.

Valeska: Enchantment and the Vampire www.GoddessofDarkness.com, a British agent accidentally becomes involved with a vampire.

Khione: Enchantment and the Fox www.GoddessNovel.com, a graduate student discovers a demigoddess in modern Boston.

Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon www.AksinyaNovel.com, a Russian princess calls a demon to protect her family.

Dana-ana: Enchantment of the Maiden www.Dana-ana.com, the mystery of Dana-ana Goewyn.

Hestia: Enchantment of the Hearth www.EnchantmentoftheHearth.com, the misadventures of archeologists in modern Greece.

Antebellum www.AntebellumNovel.com the mystery of a house that has been missing since the American Civil War and the girl who is called to it.

The Second Mission www.TheSecondMission.com is a historical fiction novel about ancient Greece published in 2003 by Xulon.

Centurion www.CenturionNovel.com published January 2008 and Aegyptwww.AegyptNovel.com also published in January 2008 are historical fiction novels from OakTara Fiction www.OakTara.com

The Chronicles of the Dragon and the Fox is a science fiction series published by OakTara Fiction

            The End of Honor (published, July 2008) www.TheEndofHonor.com

            The Fox’s Honor (published Oct 2008) www.TheFoxsHonor.com

            A Season of Honor (published Nov 2008) www.ASeasonofHonor.com

Ancient Light is a suspense series published by Broadstreet, Eleutheria, September 2014 in a three-in-one www.AncientLight.com.

            Aegypt (second edition published by OakTara Fiction, 2014)www.AegyptNovel.com

            Sister of Light (published by OakTara Fiction, 2014)www.SisterofLight.com

            Sister of Darkness (published by OakTara Fiction, 2014)www.SisterofDarkness.com

More information is available at www.ldalford.com

L.D. Alford has more than 70 technical papers published in international journals on flight test, military policy, flight safety, space, and cyberwar.  His military aviation writing is featured as Military Aviation Adventures onwww.wingsoverkansas.com.

Reviewer’s quotes.

The Lady Azure Rose Wishart plays golf, reluctantly finds love, adjudicates the Fae, fights with the Queen, and solves supernatural mysteries—what’s not to like?

Azure was called “despicable” by her boyfriend’s mother, Mrs. Calloway—it doesn’t help that Mrs. Calloway is the head of supernatural intelligence for Britain and has the ear of the Queen.

Can the Lord Chancellor of the Book of the Fae find peace, love, and wealth as a supernatural detective?  Not if the Queen and Mrs. Calloway, the goddess of the Gaelic people have their way.

The next question is how to write a reviewer’s quote or marketing blurb?

Here we are.  Have you ever read some of the reviewer’s quotes on a published book?  Some sound stupid.  Most seem to have no idea about the book at all.  Many are just general and gratuitous—“This was a real page turner.”  “I loved this book and so will you.”  Most of these are either paid, jaded, or traded.  It happens all the time.  The author sends a free copy to a bazillion authors (or just famous people) and asks for a reviewer’s quote or comment.  For low end authors such as us, these can be helpful, but difficult to get.  For the high end writers, many authors are tickled, many famous charge gratuity, and others want an equal favor.  In any case, the really well written reviewer’s comments are great—those are the writers.  The meaningless blurbs are, well, meaningless.  Mostly the happy to help (get paid or take a favor), but can’t really write types.

These reviewer’s comments are worthwhile, but I’d really rather have a tightly written review for all my effort.  Most authors are willing to let you use their review or parts of it in your marketing blurbs, plus after it is published as a review, the author kind of loses the rights to it as a piece.  In any case, you need to be able to write great reviews and you need to be able to write sentence length reviews—these are blurbs.

Just like a synopsis, a blurb starts with the protagonist.  The first is a simple description followed by a provocative or redundant question.  The description is of the protagonist and touches on the telic flaw of the protagonist and the novel.

The Lady Azure Rose Wishart plays golf, reluctantly finds love, adjudicates the Fae, fights with the Queen, and solves supernatural mysteries—what’s not to like?

The second example starts with the protagonist and brings in the antagonist.  This one touches on the telic flaw, but focuses on the antagonist and the protagonist.

Azure was called “despicable” by her boyfriend’s mother, Mrs. Calloway—it doesn’t help that Mrs. Calloway is the head of supernatural intelligence for Britain and has the ear of the Queen.

The third example describes the protagonist in a question then touches on the antagonist and the telic flaw.

Can the Lord Chancellor of the Book of the Fae find peace, love, and wealth as a supernatural detective?  Not if the Queen and Mrs. Calloway, the goddess of the Gaelic people have their way.

The trick, of course, in writing any of these is to focus on the protagonist.  Boil down the essence and lay it on.  The comments or blurbs must sound exciting and be entertaining.  Read them out loud.  Read them to someone.  See how they sound to you.  They should sound exciting with some entertainment in them.

Likewise, after you touch on the protagonist, hit with the telic flaw and the antagonist.  If these are entertaining in the novel, they should be entertaining here.  If you need more references, just look at my examples.  You can find them all over my websites.

The point of writing these market blurbs or reviewer’s quote is to provide marketing for your novel.  You rarely need these until your publisher asks for them, but you can use them for marketing and for your own works all the time.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:








fiction, theme, plot, story, storyline, character development, scene, setting, conversation, novel, book, writing, information, study, marketing, tension, release, creative, idea, logic


About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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