Posted on 09/17/2015 at 12:00 AM by Jeffrey Bruner

The blurb — both the one you use for marketing and the one on your Amazon page — is a critical conversation between you and a potential buyer.

A great blurb can double or triple the number of clicks you convert to sales. A mediocre one can kill you.

Yet time and again, I see blurbs that are afterthoughts. And they're often riddled with these gremlins:

Bad spelling or grammar: If readers see even one typo in your blurb, they're going to wonder how many are in the book. Dozens? Hundreds? Are you punctuating the blurb the same way as your book? Are you following the same style as your book? Why not?

ALL CAPS: This has been considered rude since the birth of the Internet. Nothing has changed. WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING AT ME?

Spoilers: Don't give everything away. This isn't a synopsis and you're not writing a book report.

Ellipses overload: One is fine. More than that is an amateurish attempt to create tension. A boatload of them is seen as the hallmark of a hack. You don't want people parodying you like they did Larry King, trust me.

Nicknames: Readers know that the main character wasn't born Crash Walker. If you think it's a great way to convey a character trait, just lead with the nickname. They can wait until page 1 to find out his birth name was Robert.

Fragged: Short sentences are fine.  Lots of fragments. With a few words. Like this? They will make the reader wonder if you know how to write complete sentences.

Cast stuffing: If a character only appears once in your blurb, he or she probably doesn't need to be there at all. If you confuse buyers, they're going to leave without making a purchase.

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