The book blurb is an important piece of the important puzzle of promotions. It’s an important skill, and, after your cover, is the next way to draw in your readers.
Here are five tips for creating one:
(1) Hook the reader
What does my reader need to know right off the bat? Who is your interesting protagonist, and why should we care about their quest? Or is the world you’ve created for your characters the starting place? Once you established your hook, consider Shoutlines.
(2) Shoutlines (can be called taglines) Yes or no?
These should be neither too long nor a tired cliché. Does it add something that the reader won’t get in the rest of the blurb? They need to add value or skip having one.
(3) How much plot do I include?
Obviously you don’t want to include a spoiler so keeping yourself to the first quarter of the book is a good choice for a spoiler-safe zone. You don’t want to bore your reader with too much but you do want to entice them to read your book.
(4) Use your manuscript:
An author’s own words are the best tool to sell a book. It can do a superb job of showcasing your writing voice. Reread the first 15 pages and highlight passages of the manuscript that you might use in your book blurb. Also, a well-written, accurate synopsis can help. Your own words will also convey if you have written in third or first person which helps your reader.
(5) Finally, end with conflict and drama:
Always leave your reader wanting more. You want them dying to read your book to find out how the story ends. It should almost seem unsolvable. You can end with a question or remind your readers what is keeping your lovers apart. Resist the urge to give them any idea of how things will work out. They must read your book to know!
Happy writing everyone!
Best, January Bain / Storyteller