Oh yeah, that title can be taken a lot of different ways, especially if you're a fan of paranormal romance like I am. Alas, I'm not talking about physical antics but the literary kind.
Ever hear of a Sound Bite? It's a literary term meaning: a short catchy comment or saying; basically it's a quotable statement. It's a term that's only been around about thirty years but it's very relevant to authors. Perhaps even to readers if you stop and think about it. And I do. Want you think about it.
One of my reviewing buddies and partner in crime polled some authors for me and one of them called it a "pull line". Whatever it's called, it's the same thing - a quotable phrase that can appear on the cover a book. OR on an author's website/blog/promo page.
You see them all the time. Find a book in your room or pick up one at random from your library and you'll see one. It's not only the romance industry that uses them. Check out your favorite author's site and you'll find she/he's posted sound bites to augment their book info. Don't have access? Let me help you.
See these two book covers?
There's a quote by Maggie Shayne on Desire Untamed and a quote from Stella Cameron on Causing Havoc. Those are examples of sound bites or pull lines.
Why am I bringing this up? Because I wonder how many reviewers out there realize that they too can be quoted? Well, technically the name of their review site will show up but it will be the reviewers' own words on those books or on those dedication pages/websites. Can you imagine the thrill of seeing your words out there for millions of book readers to see? It's happened to me and I have to tell you, it was a major sqeeeee! moment.
Believe it or not, authors who read reviews actively look for those quotable pieces. I'm not too sure how it gets to their publishers but whatever happens in the background, the first thing that needs to happen is for a reviewer to write something worthy of a sound bite.
I hope knowing this doesn't put too much additional pressure on reviewers to be extra clever or creative. This information isn't being shared to stress anyone out, but all of us need to be aware. I actually think it'd be pretty easy to accomplish for the reviewers who already put more of themselves into their reviews. (personal opinions) I think the placement of the sentence(s) might be expressed in the wrap up recommendation paragraph.
In just doing what comes naturally, a quip about the story can smoothly translate from keystrokes to words in your review. Especially if you absolutely loved the story, then you know it's not going to be what to say but where to stop. Enthusiasm has a way of making the writing of a review easy. Have you noticed that?
And here's my revelation. In preparing for this post, my fellow reviewer and silent partner Googled 'romance review sites' and both of us were absolutely astounded by how many she found that had no sound bite material in any shape or form.
She waded through review after review, mentally cataloging issues and observations while searching in vain for anything that an author or publisher could use as a one sentence sound bite.
So I joined the search. Finally I found one that can be considered coming close to what we were looking for. It's a short little review but despite its size, I found the reviewer put a lot of her opinions in it, which was refreshing. In doing the research I saw a lot of fuller ones, but again, long on synopsis, short on personal opinion. Click this title: Her Dark Dragon . See the very last line in the review? That is as close to a sound bite as I've been able to find.
I will share one of my own reviews as a possible sound bite. I'm not sure if it's accurate or not; only an author can tell me yea or nay: Check this link: Ambushed! Look at the last paragraph and the part where I say: "I laughed, I sighed..." What do you think?
Well, fellow reviewers, authors and book readers, now I understand why that polled author pounced on this subject and requested a usable sound bite to quote as the very first answer to our questions. I believe she thought this query had the most importance, "What is your wish list of things you'd like to see in a review?" After doing the research, I can understand her frustration. I wonder if other authors out there have the same issue?
I know I've learned something new. I had no idea it was this bad out there. I think we have a new challenge to tackle, don't you?
When you drop by, can you share with me your thoughts on how to address this? I think we'd all benefit.