Writing a blurb can be terribly daunting. Some can approach it with the same trepidation as a synopsis. How can you condense your work down to a single page (for a synopsis) or even worse to a single paragraph for a blurb?
But a blurb is just a few sentences to wet the prospective reader’s interest to ultimately and hopefully buy your book!
– Keep it short, concise and most importantly interesting
After looking at your book’s front cover, if they’re initially interested the reader – and buyer – will be drawn next to your blurb. But keep it tight and enticing. It’ll probably be the blurb that they clinch the deal for them. Start by jotting down the general gist of what your story is about. Try to keep it to a bare minimum but at the early stage it doesn’t matter too much about word count. Once you have the general gist then you can tinker with the words and phrases. Playing about with the content of your blurb, cutting, editing and cutting some more until you’re happy with the outcome.
– Again keep it short
I’ve repeated myself here, but it is important. Look on the backs of other books and you’ll see that you have a very limited amount of space. And what’s more most readers will probably on average spend only a few seconds reading your blurb and in the same few seconds will make a split second decision whether to follow through and buy your book. So make every second count by keeping it short. Make the paragraph short and sweet. It helps to make the sentences themselves short and snappy to keep it short and liven the pace. Keep it pithy! (Oh lord, how many ‘short’s’ have I used?)
– Do some research
It’s very helpful – and may sound obvious – to read other books blurbs. Browse in a book store or on internet sites and read blurbs. This will give you an idea of pace, length and rhythm of your blurb.
– Read it out loud
To yourself, to others, to anyone who will listen. It’ll be good practice when someone asks you what your novel/book is about. It’s at this stage, reading it aloud, when you hear what works and what doesn’t.
– Pass it on to others
Getting others to read it – especially ones who know nothing about your book/novel/plot – will be immensely helpful. You know your own story backwards and inside out. Every detail. Every plot twist. You understand the very basic premises of your work, but others don’t. It’s good to get others to read it to see if the blurb actually makes sense as well as being well-written and enticing.
– Don’t rush it
Don’t rush it. Don’t forget about it until the last minute. Don’t write it in a hurry and hope for the best. You’ve spent all that hard work, dedication and effort into writing the damn thing, so use the same momentum in your blurb or run the risk of being left behind in the ether of countless thousands on the internet. Wouldn’t it be a disappointment to have wasted all that effort? Make a point of sitting down to write it. It’s important. Your blurb is a key stepping stone towards the ultimate selling of your book.
– Still struggling?
A lot of writers get the blurb started by adding a ‘tag-line’ after the title. Movies do it all the time. Books are doing it too. It’s a great way to start, and if you use the right phrase – maybe even a question – it might make the prospective reader read on. The same technique could be used to finish off the blurb. A clear start – or end – may make it easier for you to write the rest of the blurb.
Make sure it’s perfectly proofread. Spelling, grammar, punctuation….. All needs to be PERFECT.
Especially poignant if you’re self-publishing. You’ll have to think about font, size and style of the text, including where exactly it’ll sit on the page, even down to the colour. It needs to be legible.
A blurb is a promotional description, one full of praise. Remember this. Have fun in creating your blurb. It’s all part of the process of writing.