The Fussy Librarian

All about that blurb

An ongoing series of posts about results of our survey of 1,200 Fussy Librarian subscribers.

What persuades a reader to buy a book? The results surprised me ... and they didn't surprise me.

Question: When you're looking for a new ebook, which is most likely to persuade you to buy? Please rank in order of priority.  

Description: 3.51
Reading the first few pages: 2.23
Cover art: 2.13
Number of reviews and average rating: 2.13

I don't think these results give an author permission to ignore the quality of the cover or setting a price the market will respond to. A great professional cover -- even a pre-made one bought for fifty bucks -- will get you to first base, if you will. Then the author glances at price. (Survey results here on book pricing and here on novella book pricing.

If the consumer thinks the price is fair -- which is not the same thing as "what is a fair price for the author" -- now we arrive at the original question: What factor closes the sale?

Blurb, blurb, blurb. All about that blurb.

For starters, most blurbs are too long. One of the first changes I made in the book submission form was to redesign the email template to accommodate a longer blurb. In hindsight, that was a mistake. I'll make a shorter blurb mandatory eventually, but I encourage you to create a shorter version now.

So what do readers want in a blurb? Beth Bacon wrote about this in the newsletter back in November: 

"They want drama. They want tension. They want to know they’re going to dip into a world where they’re hooked and curious and completely immersed till the end. If your blurb doesn’t hook your readers, they’re going to assume your book won’t hook them either."

Unless you're completely happy with your sales and don't want any more, go back and read (or re-read) Beth's post on crafting an irresistible blurb. She breaks it down for you, step by step. It's well worth your time, I promise.

Posted By Sadye S, The Fussy Librarian on February 22, 2015


I just quoted your results in a new blog post, and then I finally noticed this: "(1= most important. 4= least important.)" If the averages reflect the numbers given by your readers, the blurb would be the *least* important. Can that really be? Or did you calculate differently somehow?    

From Jeffrey: They awarded four points for first place votes, three points for second place and so forth. I should have explained that :)


Posted By Ruth Nestvold on 02/23/2015

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