Writing the dreaded blurb! #writingtips #amwriting #writinganovel

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A lot of the writers I work with have a great deal of trouble writing a blurb. I’ve given some tips on this before, but they are definitely worth repeating.

Almost as feared as the dreaded synopsis, the book blurb has the power to turn wonderful writers to jelly. But the blurb is the hook, along with the cover, to reel those readers in. You need to make sure that you entice your reader, that you intrigue them without giving too much away. Longer than the elevator pitch, but shorter than a synopsis, the book blurb is key to whetting a reader’s appetite.

So how should you approach it? Here are some quick tips on getting that blurb up to scratch.

Keep it short. This is NOT a synopsis. You want a couple of two to three line paragraphs. Too much and you risk giving too much away and turning off your reader. Too little and you might miss the mark.

Mention your main character(s). It’s important for your reader to know who the book is about.

Be precise. There is no place or space for vagueness, long-windedness or clever clever vocabulary in your blurb. Short, sharp, to the point.

Make it interesting. Obviously. What’s intriguing about the story? Why would I want to read it?

Don’t give away the ending. It might sound silly to even point that out – but it does happen.

Don’t compare yourself to other writers or compare the book to other books. Tell your potential reader that you’re the next J.K Rowling or Stephen King and you’re more likely to annoy them than anything.

Watch out for clichés or overused words and phrases. Try and be refreshing and new. And interesting.

Good luck!

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25 comments

  1. Perfect. I can’t believe how many are still copying and pasting their synopses into the ‘product description’. When make my reading choses from the RBRT list, how the blurb is written is EVERYTHING. One sloppy sentence or bad comma, and I’m out. Ditto anyone who compares themself to a well-known writer; that says to me that they a) are more ego than talent and b) are trying to copy someone else’s style.

    You could add in here to make sure that it’s immaculate and error free, and to run it past a proofreader – I think about half of those I look at on Amazon browses have errors.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely see the blurb as giving an idea of the quality of the book – and any errors mean I usually won’ t bother. Usually more use than a lot of reviews! And you’re right – running it past a proofreader is a great idea. (Errors are definitely allowed in blog post comments though!)

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  2. Long blurbs seem more of a problem on ebooks than printed, e.g. on Amazon some descriptions are huge. Perhaps it’s because writers are stuffing in key words to aid searching, but I agree with others here that it’s a turn-off.

    Liked by 1 person

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