Tag Archives: entice

Author Lulu M. Sylvian – How Writers are Like Burlesque Dancers

Please help me welcome author Lulu M. Sylvian with an interesting article…


The Art of the Tease

… or why authors reveal a bit at a time.

Sneak peaks, previews, movie trailers, “coming up next on…” are all ways to pique your interest in a new upcoming work.

The reveal is a way to lure you in, get you interested, make you, the viewer, want to come back.

Burlesque dancers know about the art of the slow reveal, building anticipation, building the need, the desire to see more. The dancer knows not to show off everything at once. From a slow costume reveal with the removal of a long coat, to hiding behind a large feathered fan a burlesque dancer takes her time exposing only what she wants to expose. The dancer knows the audience’s pay off will be more satisfactory, more explosive if they are made to wait. The dancer builds an audience, and cultivates fans by beguiling her viewers.

Authors who slowly reveal excerpts, covers, and character profiles are doing the same thing. They are revealing a literary shoulder here, and a paragraphical midriff there. The whole point is to tease the audience just enough to make them want more. As an author the goal is to intrigue the reader, and have the reader long for the ultimate payoff, keep them chomping at the bit. There is an art to teasing the reader for long enough to keep them hooked, but not too long so they lose interest when it comes time for the full reveal of the complete story.

The whole purpose of teasing the reader is to make them hungry for more. So hungry that they follow the author on Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and any and all other social outlets, just to catch a glimpse or a hint of the new project. Of course in the end the payoff for the reader is to have their hands wrapped around the pages of the new book, or cradling their digital device with that new novel on the screen. For the author the pay off is that reader coming back for more glimpses, more teases, more book sales.

Just like the dancer who practices, and spends money and time preparing for a performance, authors spend countless hours behind the scenes. A well planned program of marketing (the drawn out tease) leading up to a book release involves scheduling, creating graphics, programming, and deciding which snippets will lure the reader in the most. These are the costuming and rehearsals and makeup of an authors’ enticing performance.

A good tease will lead the reader by the hand into more excitement and more build up. Some authors will expand the reveal into the hype and thrill of pre-release with more and longer glimpses into the work: blog tours, well timed give aways, and launch parties.

In the end, it’s the fluid movement of the dancer, and the show that brings their audience back for more. The tease may keep them on the edge of their seat, but its the delivery of the entire performance that has them sitting back in their chair, closing the book and sighing with satisfaction.


Lulu is an as yet un-published author. She writes paranormal and contemporary romance, and is learning the marketing dance that all authors need to know. Release of her first novel, Protective, is in the works for 2017. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. She collects resources for marketing and other author tools on Pinterest. She practices the reveal tease and interviews on her blog at www.lmsylvian.com.


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