Get the lowdown on blurb writing for your book here
What is the purpose of a book blurb?
A blurb is your sales pitch. It isn’t about explaining all the conflicts and their resolutions. It’s not about giving anything away, but to entice readers to open up to the first page. Just as a movie has a trailer, this is your moment to get the reader hooked.
How do I write a good blurb?
Like all writing, blurbs are not an exact science. It’s helpful to look at the best sellers in your genre and see how they are constructed. Remember to take time to research and re-draft, it may be the decider on whether readers take that extra step.
Use the below checklist to make your blurb awesome:
- Length: Is it between 100-180 words?
- Protagonist: Do you introduce your main character, without giving away their back story? Do you explain succinctly why they may have been drawn into this conflict (without giving away any of the plot).
- Conflict/Stakes: Do you state what the stakes are for that character? The reader needs to know why you’ve written this book in the first place. What is the conflict they’re looking to resolve?
- Research: Have you read other blurbs in your genre?
- Tone: Is it the same ‘voice’ you have used in your novel? Are you leaving it open ended?
- Mystery: Is your blurb wrapped up with a question or mystery that the reader can only discover the answer to by reading the book?
I absolutely love Victoria Mixon’s advice on blurb writing:
So what’s my super-secret formula?
When [identity] [protagonist name] [does something], [something happens]. Now, with [time limit/restrictions], [protagonist] must [do something brave] to [accomplish great achievement]/ or [sacrifice high stakes].Victoria Mixon
What should I absolutely not do in a blurb?
- Giving away too much. Giving away spoilers. Giving away the entire plot. Giving away the ending.
- Lack of flow in the blurb. It needs to be tightly written, and each sentence is as vital as the next when it comes to giving away information,
- Talking your book up. If you have praise from other reputable and well-known authors then definitely include those, but don’t go tooting your own horn.
- Writing an entire summary or synopsis.
Should I write my own blurb?
What’s the difference between novel and short story writing? I’m a novelist, short stories are the bane of my existence! There’s a certain technique to pulling off a short story that requires different skills.
Blurb writing is the next stage to that again. Writing a blurb is entirely different to writing a novel and just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There are professional blurb writers available out there, and I strongly recommend hiring one.