For any author a blurb is the second most important selling tool you have after your cover. That must grab their attention and make them curious – the blurb is what will hook them in and make them interested enough to want to read it
You can also use a blurb as part of a proposal for a publisher, or for editors to use if you persuade them to write about you or your book. A blurb can also be used as content for your website page if you have one.
Writing a cover blurb is hard though and is something I often struggle with. Writing a book blurb or a very short synopsis of your book is almost the same thing as explaining your book in a few short sentences.
.What is the difference between a book blurb and a short synopsis?
If you are making a submission to a publisher you will need both. A synopsis is a summary of the whole story – the beginning, the middle and the end: What happens throughout the story, at the end, how everything is resolved. A blurb on the other hand aims to stimulate interest and curiosity and hopefully persuades the reader’s appetite to buy and read the entire book. A book blurb must spark the reader’s curiosity.
Writing a blurb
A blurb should not be more than 150 words. Before you start study lots of back cover blurbs in your own or a book shop’s shelves. Note words and quotes and phrases that give instant appeal, atmosphere, an air of mystery, a sense of character, a sense of place and then look at the plot of your book and rework the words until they blend together in an exciting way.See what appeals to you the most, which blurbs grab you the most? When writing a blurb – first, you must determine the market for your story. The blurb should then be written in a way that shows your potential reader what you will deliver.
It is important to have a brilliant opening line, or hook which will do exactly that. The blurb should end with a reason for the reader to buy / read your book; this can be in the form of a statement or a provocative question.
A novel, it should promise a fabulous, entertaining read. A blurb for a Non-Fiction or self-help book should appeal to the reader’s interest.
Once you mastered writing your own book blurb, it will help your pitch if you can get testimonials from well-known writers, magazines or people. You will find that some are willing to help and others will just ignore you – keep knocking on doors until you find someone who will.
The 5 core elements of a good book blurb
The perfect hook
Think of the first sentence of your book blurb as your hook. It needs to be new, clever and engaging—something that will make a potential reader want to know more.
You could introduce your main characters by focusing on the precarious predicament in which they find themselves. But avoid clichés, inject your own style right from the beginning.
Talk about your characters – have the confidence to bring them to life in your blurb. Show them in their best or most interesting light and give them dimension. Talk about the dilemma your characters are facing, give your reader a reason to care or be interested enough to find out more:
Write the blurb for the audience you want and be honest—you don’t want to mislead readers – that is the quickest way to get your book tossed to one side.
Don’t give the plot away in the blurb.
You want your potential reader to buy your book, so try not to give away too much of the plot. You need to find that fine line between revealing enough for your reader to want to know more and maintaining that air of mystery.
Once you have them keep them wanting more
You have succeeded in creating enough intrigue for a reader to want to continue. Finish the blurb with a cliff-hanger—rather unsubtly and invite people to find out more.
You could end with a question, but this certainly isn’t essential. The point is to make your ending count and leave the reader feeling desperate to find out what happens.
You have just spent months, possibly years writing a book – do it justice by spending the time on writing the most effective blurb possible so you can share your soul with those who are really worthy.