It’s without a doubt a crucial part of getting your potential book buyer to the check out with your book in hand. First it’s your book cover design, then reviews and your book blurb. Knowing how to write a blurb can be considered an art form in itself, as it’s essentially product and sales copy written together. It’s something that most authors either leave to the last minute or make it too long revealing to much.
Let’s run through some considerations that should be made when writing a blurb that’s effective, for your back cover copy and online store description. These elements all work together to create a visual image of your story in the potential buyers mind.
A Glimpse at the plot
This is where you hint at the story plot, usually just in one sentence. Be descriptive. Your goal is to create a visual image for your reader.
Here’s an example: “A heist gone wrong, a traitor hides among them, with the clock ticking the hunt begins”.
Establish the setting with time and place
In which part of the world does it take place? In what era or time does the story unfold. You want to state these things to help spark your potential readers visual image of your story.
Example: “From New York’s underground to the world’s most unforgiving jungle”.
Name your main character with characterization
Who does your story center around? Who is the main character the reader will get to know. Be creative with the use of characterization to describe who they are.
Example: “Newly appointed gang leader, Frank Rizzo…” or perhaps “Retired assassin, Blane Fysch…”
Spark intrigue and curiosity
This is where you want to draw the reader in. You want to end your blurb with a hook, something that will spark curiosity in your potential reader so they are compelled to buy the book to find out what happens and find resolution to this visual image you have created. The character could have a problem or obstacle to overcome and what is the consequences of doing so?
Example: “Only one of them makes it out alive…” or perhaps “Was the failed heist part of the plan from the start?”
This is usually a reviewer describing your book, relating it to more well known books. This helps readers ‘get’ what the book might be like. This helps with not only boosting social proof in eyes of the reader, but also helping describe the tone of the book.
Example: “It’s Young Indiana Jones, meets Stephen King. A wicked adventure with an ending you won’t see coming”.
The average length of a book blurb or back cover copy, whether it be a young adult adventure novel or an adult romance is about 200 words long.
Authors can find themselves to close to their story to know how to write a blurb effectively so it hits the right notes, without revealing to much of the story or waffling on. What is also recommended is to have someone else write your book blurb, having an unbiased, objective eye can help capture the essence of your story.
This article should give you a good guideline to writing a blurb. If you have someone write it for you perhaps send them a link to this article if you believe it’ll assist them. For some additional inspiration check some example blurbs over at Amazon such as Witch & Wizard by James Patterson, Ice Station by Matthew Reilly and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Go ahead and look for some examples in your own genre.