The Attack of the Blurb!

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter! 🙂

Thank you for sharing your links and recommendations in my last post, definitely a great list of new books and authors to take a look at!

So, over the Easter break I thought a lot about writing (which I wasn’t supposed to be doing 😀 ), and thinking about what I need to do in order to prepare for self-publishing my books. One of the things I realised I could go on and get ready were the blurbs for my books.

Easier said than done! 😀

Looking around and doing some research on what others have written for their books I realised there are lots of different approaches, as there are with all things writing related. Some people recommend not using questions in the blurb as it can make it sound as though the writer might not know the answer themselves, for example:

Kate and Jack have a difficult journey ahead. What will they face? Will they take on these dangers together- or fall apart?

Not great, but you get the idea 😀

Others say you should use questions, as it gets the reader intrigued.

In general though, a blurb has to be a short, snappy introduction to your book that hooks the reader’s interest. I think of it as the cover should entice the reader to look at the book (I know, don’t judge a book by its cover, but everyone does!), and the blurb should be the thing that makes them want to read it.

Some of the best advice I found was to write a summary of your story, including everything: characters, plot and even the ending. Then pick out all the most interesting and important bits, condense it and fit it into a blurb, like they do for movie trailers.

Again, easier said than done.

Another tip I found was to think about the layout of the blurb, a chunk of text might not be as appealing as lines that are split and easy to read (much like the advice given for writing a blog post).

But as I’ve been trying to come up with a great blurb, I realised I need to think of it not as a writer but as a reader. What would get me interested in a book?

I need to know certain things if I am going to consider buying a book:

– Genre and tone
– An idea of the plot- What is going to be going on throughout the story?
– Main characters

If I pick up a book and the tone of the blurb makes it sound like a fantasy, but it turns out to be contemporary I’m going to be disappointed, even if it’s a great book. That’s not a good way to build up a good relationship with a reader.

Now I’m trying to go back over all the books I have bought and see what it was about those blurbs that got me interested in them.

I recommend checking out this article-How to Write an Effective Blurb. I found it had some great advice, and I will definitely be following some of the points she has talked about.

So, in summary, a blurb needs to be short, set the tone of the book, give an idea of the plot and characters, all whilst engaging the reader’s interest enough to purchase and read the book. Wow, not too much to ask then!

What is it in a blurb that makes you buy a book? How do you go about writing a blurb for your own work? Do you have any advice or tips?

Progress Report

Status of Third Manuscript: 2 out of 3 copies back from readers.

April E-Book Review: Book read. Review ready.