Recently, I helped an author come up with ideas on how to write her blurb for her book. If you’re not familiar with what a blurb is, it’s basically a short synopsis used for promotional purposes like Goodreads, Amazon, book jackets, etc. But many authors hate writing them. It’s akin to scrubbing the dirtiest toilet in hell after Hades just had chili. The hate lies in the fact that coming up with a small snippet to best describe your book while not giving too much away can sometimes be very hard for an author. How do you cut down your entire story into less than 300, 150, or even 75 words long? It’s fracking hard, I tell you! But there is no need to lose one’s mind over writing blurbs. I have a list! Yes, a list on how you can write effective blurbs and not go postal.
- Decide what kind of blurb you want. I have seen many types of blurbs: character perspectives and characters addressing the reader, short summaries, genre specific blurbs, retrospectives. There really isn’t a standard list, but when writing a blurb for yourself, figure out what best fits your promotional needs.
- Introduce your protagonist. Meeting the main character or characters helps the reader identify with your characters before they crack open the book. It’s like meeting a new friend for the first time.
- Add a little intrigue. Nothing gets me like a good blurb that really draws my attention. Find the hook that will draw your readers to your book.
- Don’t sell it too hard. I will not buy or read a book that tells me the whole book in the blurb. What’s the point, right? I already know what’s going to happen.
- Shorter is better. Readers will start to tune out if reading a long blurb.
- Read other blurbs. Hey, no one said it’s against the law to learn from others.
- Don’t freak out. It’s only a blurb. Ask a pal for help if you’re in a bind.
Writing blurbs isn’t rocket science. Just sit back and look at your book from a bigger perspective. List what you want to share with your readers. Write it as long as you want and then trim it down from there. Then, for the love of Pete, have someone edit it.