Getting attention for your book is one of the most important jobs a writer has. But it is also one of the most difficult for some writers. I like to imagine that the writing of the actual book is done by the right side of the brain and the blurb written by the left side of the brain.
Your blurb is what sells your novel. It is the most important sales pitch you get to make to a potential reader. Because of this, writing your blurb may seem like a daunting task. How do you condense your 400-page masterpiece into a paragraph that conveys the depths of your awesomeness? Below, we detail the magic behind the blurb.
A + B + C + D = Blurb
Writing the perfect blurb is as simple as one, two, three. Kind of. Most fiction writers do follow a simple formula though when developing a blurb. The recipe? A + B + C + D = Blurb. First, they introduce the situation (a). They follow this with a problem (b) and the potential of a twist (c). Finally, they end with a mood-setting sentence (d) that grabs the reader’s attention. And while some feel that the order is better D + A + B + C + D these are the building blocks you need to get started.
Simple, Short, Sharp
Your blurb is a condensed, simplified version of your novel. A potential reader should be able to quickly scan and digest the gist of your story. Look into what other bestsellers in your genre are putting out there. Most have 100 to 300 word blurbs that grab their readers’ attention. Do not use words that have no content value, such as really, then and somehow. Write with an active voice instead of a passive one. This creates a more engaging scene.
The very first line of your blurb is your pick-up line. Literally. If you cannot captivate a reader with this sentence, they will not read past it. Introducing your main character(s) by name and providing a short description will help to engage your reader further. A name, role and primary defining characteristic is all you need. “Ambitious NASA scientist Leah Hannigan thought she knew how everything in this universe (and the next) worked. That is, until she broke down on a dark, desolate highway and reformed criminal Garrett Smith arrived with a tow truck.” You want to quickly give your characters dimensions and introduce a problem. You also want to provide a glimpse of the setting and use words your target audience expect. These words help convey vivid images to your target audience. Writing a thriller? Throw in dangerous, escape, or fearful. A romance? Try sizzling, eager, and lustful. Finally, create a cliffhanger. The point of your blurb is to make a potential reader want to know more. Use your blurb to hint at more.
You Can Do It! We Can Help!
It sounds like a lot to manage. You have put so much time and effort into crafting your book; a paragraph does not quite seem to do it justice. In essence, the blurb simplifies and defines the contents of your book. Keep it short, sweet, and captivating. The tips above can help you develop a blurb that will keep your readers wanting more.
If you get truly stuck, we can help write it with you, or even just give you some feedback on what you have so far. Feel free to email! We’re here to help you be the most successful writer you can be!
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