Posted on 12/13/2019 at 08:39 AM by Guest Author
It can be tough figuring out how to write a book blurb, especially for new authors. The key is to make it attention grabbing, as it’s a sales pitch to your readers…
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If you want to know how to write a book blurb, it’s important to understand what it actually is (and isn’t).
Put simply, a book blurb is a brief description of your book — one that provides a summary to the reader.
Used for promotional purposes, a blurb is often featured on the back cover of a print book or the product page of a book available in various formats from an online retailer.
Generally, a book blurb falls somewhere between 150 and 200 words.
In a few short, succinct paragraphs, the blurb describes the following:
The tone of the story
The main character(s)
The hopeful possibility
Many authors (especially those new to the business of writing) struggle with how to write a book blurb, which is why it’s also worth addressing what a blurb isn’t.
A book blurb isn’t a detailed synopsis, an endorsement, or a series of reviews.
These are all key elements to pitching and later marketing your book, but a blurb should stand on its own.
Although you should be writing a book blurb for every piece of fiction or nonfiction you release to the public, what’s even more important is writing a good book blurb.
As mentioned previously, a book blurb is a brief description of your book.
But more than that, it’s your sales pitch—not to industry pros, but to readers.
Though the title and cover of your book may initially pique a reader’s interest, it’s the blurb that really determines whether they choose to buy it.
That’s why writing a good book blurb is so important, as it helps increase your reader base instead of allowing your work to be tossed aside.
As you learn how to write a book blurb, keep this in mind: The difference between a good blurb and a so-so blurb is that the former captures the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go…
Whether you’re a new writer or a seasoned author, there will likely come a time at which you’re unsure about how to write a book blurb for the work you recently finished.
Rest assured it happens to everyone.
That’s why we put together a few tips — guidelines you can follow to write a blurb that sells your work to readers.
1) Hook the Reader in the First Sentence
If this tip sounds familiar, it should. Just like a book, a blurb should hook the reader in the first sentence.
Otherwise, the reader will likely get bored and move on to something else.
People have short attention spans, and many readers don’t move past the first sentence.
So, if you’re wondering how to write a book blurb that sells, nailing the first sentence is crucial.
As you’re crafting your blurb, focus on enticing the reader in that first line.
If the book is nonfiction, try hitting on a problem your book helps solve. If it’s fiction, set the scene and introduce an interesting character.
2) Include Key Phrases
Although you may be tempted to make your blurb clever and unique, it’s important that you stay true to what readers are familiar with — specifically, the key phrases they use to find books they’ll like.
Distinctive phrasing, original descriptions, and industry jargon can alienate those who don’t know what you’re talking about, which is why it’s best to stick to the basics.
This will require some research into reader reviews and blogs, but once you understand the language people use to talk about books in your genre, it becomes much easier to incorporate key phrases in your blurb that will prove appealing.
3) Use a Book Blurb Formula
When you find a book blurb formula that works, writing a blurb becomes a much simpler task.
Although you don’t need to follow the same formula for every book you write, it can help you remember what elements should be included.
Introduce the main character(s) and situation
Highlight the problem
Provide a hopeful possibility
Emphasize the tone of the story
Look at book blurbs from other authors to determine what yours should look like. And consult this advice from Beth Bacon for more specifics.
4) Stick to Your Own Voice
Since a blurb functions as a summary, it should give readers an idea of what to expect.
That’s why it’s crucial to stick to your own voice when writing a blurb, as there’s nothing readers dislike more than being misled.
If they’re confused by the discrepancy between your blurb and your book, they’ll likely avoid purchasing any other books you’ve written.
They may also leave poor reviews, which can hurt future sales.
Use the same type of language and feelings that can be found in your book.
Further, stay within your genre. If your book is a thriller, build suspense in your blurb. If it’s a romance, give it a tender vibe.
You can always look to other authors in your genre to get a sense of style.
5) Review and Edit
In learning how to write a book blurb, here’s one of the most important lessons: Chances are you won’t get it right on the first try.
And that’s okay!
Once you’ve finished with your first draft, set it aside and return to it after a few days. This allows you to come back with fresh eyes, allowing you to see if…
You’ve given away any spoilers
You’ve veered off course in terms of voice
You’ve included all the necessary elements
You’ve made any grammatical errors
Further, it will give you a chance to rework the blurb if it’s too hard to follow.
Ideally, your blurb should be made up of short sentences that pack a punch, as readers want to be able to scan with ease.
Writing a good book blurb can make all the difference when it comes to bringing on new readers and increasing sales.
After all, it’s essentially a sales pitch.
So, if you’re struggling with how to write a book blurb for your latest work of fiction or nonfiction, don’t just write up a bland description and call it a day.
Instead, apply the tips provided and write a book blurb that sells.
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