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