HOW TO WRITE A GOOD BOOK BLURB
WHY SHOULD I BUY YOUR BOOK?
That's the question the prospective reader asks when reading your book blurb.
Book Blurb? You know, the copy on the back cover or on your Amazon book page.
After the title,
It is the most important prose you will write in regards to the book that you have slaved for months to produce.
How do you manage to spotlight your book and NOT torpedo it?
1) Seduce the reader with your protagonist or world.
Amy Wilkins, Assistant Manager of Digital Content and Social Media at Harlequin, says a SHORT TEASE can win readers to your book in a heartbeat as in
STONE KISSED by Keri Stevens:
“When Delia Forrest talks to statues, they talk back.”
a.) A hint of the plot: "Secret Experiment. Tiny Island. BIG mistake. (Scott Sigler, ANCESTOR)
Other times it is more important to set the scene by establishing the world of your story --
especially it is set somewhere unusual.
SHORT is again the key.
b.) Idea of setting: Washington DC, Rotunda (Dan Brown, Lost Symbol);
“from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings” (James Rollins, Doomsday Key)
2) Hooks: yes or no?
Hooks are that bit of bolded text at the start of a blurb or between paragraphs that grab the reader’s attention and entice them to read on.
Good hooks are unique, short, and convey at least one KEY QUESTION to the story.
Unsuccessful HOOKS are tired clichés, too long or don’t add anything of value.
3) I'm a writer, Jim, not a doctor.
You are going to have to become a specialist in prose triage in order to sell your book to a stranger.
As you write your blurb, ask: Does your reader really need to know that? (and be harsh)
Could it be considered a spoiler?
Are you telling the whole plot, including how the conflict will be resolved?
Don't give away the punchline:
Oh, you will never believe that the psychologist was dead all along!
4) Learn from drug dealers.
Give the potential customer a free taste -- a SHORT snippet of your prose to present your voice and prose style as a tease.
5.) Think of your blurb as a movie trailer.
End in conflict. End in a question. The stakes are high. The heroine is sexy. The world is at risk.
Make the reader want to read more.
Do movie traliers tell you how the movie will end? Keep your potential reader in suspense.
6.) How long?
West of Nightmare Waits
the House Eternal
SEE HOW IT'S DONE: