This is a guest post by Tina Hogan Grant
Many authors find that one of the hardest parts of writing a book, is cramming their 80,000-word novel into a descriptive 250-word blurb. It's quite a challenge. I want to show you how to write an irresistible book blurb to sell your book.
What is a book blurb?
A blurb also referred to as a "synopsis" or a "glossary” and is the summary of the story found on the back cover of a book. Other than the cover, it is the other most important selling feature of a book.
Once potential readers are drawn in by the fabulous cover of a novel, their next instinct is to flip to the back cover and read what the book is about. It's at this stage, when most readers will make the decision to either buy the book or move on.
I just recently finished writing a blurb for my novel "Reckless Beginnings."
5 Tips On How to Write a Book Blurb that Will Sell Your Book
Before you begin writing your blurb, do some research. Read other blurbs. Study the layout, the content and the word count. Take notes on what gets your attention. If you start losing interest, ask yourself why.
Make it short
The standard length of a blurb is under 250 words. Writing too many words will lose the reader. They are looking for a quick summary of the book and don't want to spend too much time reading long drawn out descriptions. By keeping it short and straight to the point, you will keep the reader interested.
The blurb of your book is your selling pitch. This is your platform. Imagine yourself up on a stage with a microphone. You are allowed to say 250 words to describe your book to a crowd. How many heads begin to turn around, because you have captivated their attention by what you are saying? Make the first sentence good and continue to draw them in.
Mention characters and setting
At the beginning of the blurb, you want to set the scene and welcome the reader into your world. Make the blurb personal. Introduce your main characters. Set the location of the story. Give a town name or a country. If necessary, give a time period. For example, if the novel takes place in the late 1800's, state that in the blurb.
What’s the hook?
Now that you have the reader’s attention. It’s time to write your hook. Use action/drama words to grasp the reader's attention. Describe without giving away too much, the issues, problems, troubles or tasks of the characters, leaving the readers with questions and wanting to know more.
You can even put these questions in your blurb. For example: "Will he survive?" "Who killed Jill?" Leave readers with a cliffhanger that draws them in and leaves them yearning to know the outcome.
My book blurb
A sister that runs away and simply vanishes
A forbidden love affair
Turmoil between a father and daughter
An eviction with nowhere to go
A dark secret
Lies and deceit
Drugs, abuse & violence
Tammy Mellows, a fourteen-year-old native of England, was shocked when her father and troubled older sister, Donna, moved to the States.
With her family now separated by divorce and divided by an ocean, Tammy felt helpless when she learned Donna had run away and couldn’t be found.
Thanks to her father insisting she stay behind in England to finish school, Tammy could do nothing for the next three years but pray that Donna would be found safe.
When Tammy’s lifelong dream of moving to the States was finally fulfilled, she had high hopes of looking for Donna. But with no leads and faced with turmoil in her own life, there wasn’t much Tammy could do.
After a forbidden secret love affair and a catastrophic dispute with her father, Tammy eventually meets Steven, settles down and has his child, only to discover he is a heroin addict. Thrown into a life of drugs and violence. Shadowed by his addiction, she becomes the silent and forgotten one. Living in fear of what Steven might be capable of and struggling alone to provide for her young son.
What consequences might she face if she leaves Steven? Is she ever going to find her sister alive? Will she have enough courage to conquer the impossible challenges of her twisted world and still come out on top?
Reckless Beginnings is a story of fiction based on true events.
Notice that I began the blurb with bold dramatic headings to attract the reader.
- The first section - Introduces the main character: "Tammy Mellows" and gives a brief history of her background, including geographical locations.
- Next I added some drama by mentioning the lost sister and the frustrations Tammy faces. This arouses curiosity in the reader.
- Again I added more drama "After a forbidden secret love affair and a catastrophic dispute with her father." Instantly the reader wants to know more.
- Now that I have the reader’s attention, it’s time to set the hook with elevated plots. "only to discover he is a heroin addict. Thrown into a life of drugs and violence, Tammy lives in fear of what Steven might be capable of and struggles alone to provide for her young son."
- I end the blurb with questions the reader is probably asking themselves and wants to know more and will hopefully buy the book.
Those are my five tips for better blurb writing. I hope this helps you when you begin writing sales copy for your book.
Have you written a blurb? Tell us about it in the comments.
To get your blurb writing juices going, why not join our FREE WRITING CHALLENGE: Write 3K in 3 Days? We’ll send you inspirational emails with writing prompts every other day to help you get a bunch of words on the page.
And one more thing...we have lots more great writing tips for you in our ebook How to Make a Living as a Writer.
Tina Hogan Grant
Tina Hogan Grant had a notion of writing her debut novel “Reckless Beginnings” for fourteen years. But it wasn’t until the sudden death of her father in 2010 and a battle with breast cancer a year later that she made the decision to get it done. Seven years later, she finally completed it and it’s due to be launched September 4th 2018. She is now working on a sequel titled, “Better Endings.” She currently resides with her husband in the small mountain community of Frazier Park in Southern California. To learn more about the author, please visit her website here or you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Goodreads.