On writing

Tips on how to write a good book blurb

Tips on how to write a good book blurb

 

Tips on how to write a good book blurb

 

What is a blurb?

A blurb also referred to as a “Synopsis” or a “Glossary 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,  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.” From my experience, I have decided to share with you, my tips on how to write a good blurb.

Do some research

Before you begin writing your blurb, do some research. Read other blurbs. Study the layout, the content, 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. More than this, you begin to 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.

Sell It!

The blurb of your book is your selling pitch. This is your platform/stage. 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.

Give Introductions and Geographical locations

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.

Set the story / Set the hook

Now that you have the readers attention. You need to set the 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 blog. Example, “Will he survive?” “Who killed Jill?”  Leave them with a cliffhanger that draws them in and they yearn to know the outcome.

A breakdown of my 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

Hope

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.

I Begin the blurb with bold drama headings to attract the reader.

 

  • The first section – Introduces the main character: “Tammy Mellows” and a brief history of her background is given, 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.

I hope these tips will help you when it’s time to write your blurb.

Below are some other writing tips you may enjoy

Click on image to view article

 

Kayaking solo to replenish the mind
Kayaking solo to replenish the mind
it-takes-courage-to-publish-your-first-book
It takes courage to publish your first book

feeling the pressure to write a sequel
feeling the pressure to write a sequel

 

Below are some other articles I came across that may be helpful while writing a blurb.

Megan Hood has some good ideas

Jean M Cordell has some good advice

113 thoughts on “Tips on how to write a good book blurb”

  1. Once again, really great tips. I honestly hadn’t thought about this for my book. I am still in the earliest phases of writing though, so I still have a while until I am to this point. So hard to keep up momentum!

  2. I am a website administrator & write training materials by day – your tips are useful and well written. I will definitely use this info to enhance an area on my blog site. Well done.

  3. One of the things I got attracted to buy a book is when it includes maps of the places stated in the book. And also some phases, or languages with translation.

  4. Some very helpful advice and timely too. I’m still writing my first book so will use these pointers to help me with the back cover once I’m at that point. Thanks.

  5. Something you dont really think about as a reader. My oldest stepdaughter is in the process of writing a book so I will have to pass this along to her. She is very new to writing and a little help is always nice.

  6. This is a talent. Anyone can tell you about anything in a 1000 words, but to be able to limit it to 250 and still be able to convey enough to give someone a synopsis that makes them want to invest their time reading is very difficult.

  7. I never feel the most comfortable writing blurbs, although this is a great starting point! And I believe you mean synopsis, not synonyms.

    1. I think Blurbs are harder than writing the actual book! Picking the precise words and narrowing the book down to 250 words is a challenge. And yes I did mean “synopsis”. Thank you for pointing that out to me. 🙂

  8. I would definitely struggle with creating a book blurb because I am not what you would call the most ‘concise writer’ So if I ever publish a book I will focus on your advice to do research and keep it short!

  9. This is really nice to know and are such great tips, I like blurbs that are short because once it becomes too long, I give up trying to figure out what the book is all about hence not getting it. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Thanks for breaking it down for me! It can be so tricky to get started when you’ve got a limited space to write. But seeing what to include and what to leave out (so readers want more) is helpful.

  11. I agree that the book blurb is the selling pitch. It’s one of the things I consider before buying a book You have great tips here!

  12. Your book seems to be an interesting read . Your blur is really proves to an effective selling point for the book. I especially like the tip of doing some research to inform the writing of your blurb.

  13. Writing on any concept need practice. When you practice daily your writing will be better day by day. I am gonna bookmark this page for reminding all those tips for writing better glossary and synopsis.

    Thank You,
    Rahul Sharma

  14. Thank you for sharing those tips, Tina. I’m interested in writing a book. Specifically, I’m thinking about a self-help, personal development, or how-to kind of book. What tips would you provide someone who has never done it before?

    1. Hi Damond, Thank you for your comment. In reference to writing a book, I would first start with writing down an outline of what you want the book to be about. Include topics you want to cover, what do you want to include in those topics. Consider your audience- are they female/male – young adults, middle-aged or elderly or all audiences. Make sure your content is directed to your audience. Once you have an outline, break it down into chapters and list content for those chapters. from there you should be able to write detailed chapters about the content you have listed. I hope that helps and good luck!

  15. These are very helpful tips! I can apply some of them for writing my blog and with my children’s writing. Thanks for sharing your process with other writers!

  16. This is awesome information on how to write a good book blurb. I have to admit that reading this one makes me want to read the book. Awesome job on the blurb and thanks for sharing the information.

  17. Wonderful tips. I haven’t written a book but I do hope to one day. I’m going to bookmark this page. Thanks for being generous with your knowledge.

  18. This is such a concise outline of how to write a book blurb! I love reading GoodReads comments/reviews and I’ve always wanted to write my own reviews but pause at how to compile my information…

  19. Writing a book is also my dream! I guess that the biggest part of my writing career. And im excited, thanks gor your tips!

  20. I’ve been reading your blog for a little bit now, and I think I’m going to send it to my friend. She wrote a book and is going through the editing polishing process. I think a good blurb would serve her well right now.

  21. Great advice and tips. I mostly agree with make it short and sell it. If it drags on as a long blurb, people may not take the time to finish reading.

  22. I like how you keep it concise. I’m sure people would loose interest if it were super long. I also love how you capture the reader’s attention right away.

  23. Great tips, I never really thought about what needed to go into a blurb, but I suppose it could relate to a website ‘About’ page as well? Very useful and definitely food for thought.

  24. Hello thank you so much for this article. I always love to read what people have to say about different books. Gives a great insight into wether or not I would like to read it as well. I agree with you I like a shorter blurb and 250 words does sound like a great control number. Just enough to catch the readers attention but not to long to be boring.
    Thank you so much.

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