The Importance of a Well-Written Book Blurb

The book blurb is also known as the description. It is the key to maximizing potential sales of your book.

In the past, perusing book stores to discover the latest and greatest book to add to your collection was an experience unto itself. The atmosphere. The exploring. The smells. The displays.

We’d pick up a book and first enjoy / read the cover. This is the FIRST element in selling your book. But after the cover grabbed our attention, we’d flip the bock over and read the book blurb. The blurb would draw us in further and make the sale.

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This is SECOND element in selling your book, and some would say the most important. The blurb is where you grab’em and sell’em. The book blurb has 4 key notes to hit to be successful. Who. What. Why. And, Why you?

Start out with the obvious, your main characters. We don’t want the entire backstory of your characters, just the exciting / terrifying / dramatic bits. For example “Alene Baron is 38 years old and over seven years divorced from her philandering husband. Alene is also an avid reader of mysteries.” or “Sage Blackthorn revisits demons from her past and confronts a multitude of new ones when she returns to her childhood home to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.” Now we’re hooked. We like the main character and quite possibly relate.

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Next, tell your potential reader what the conflict is. What’s the problem, the challenge, the adventure the main character has to experience? For example, “Sage is confronted with a flood of problems. Her grandmother, who raised her and her brother Ross, is in steep decline; the hotel is closed, and the baths don’t bring in enough to keep the lights on; and she soon realizes that her brother’s death was no accident.” Don’t give them BOTH the cookies AND the milk! Give’em the milk.

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Next, what’s at stake for the main character? Life/ Death? Fame? Sanity? For example, “He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.” Or, “…. she will soon learn just how badly her world is broken. The silo is about to confront what its history has only hinted about and its inhabitants have never dared to whisper. Uprising.”

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And finally, why this book is important for the reader to own. Why would they NEED this book in their collection? The key is to imply similarities between comparable books without sounding derivative: ensure you also distinguish what makes your book unique. Knowing your genres, knowing your audience, and knowing your favorite authors and their books is extremely important.

And there you have it, the perfect book blurb.

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Importance of a Well-Written Book Blurb

  1. Iris Chinook says:

    I’ve recently read advice that it is useful to write a blurb about your book idea before writing the book as a means to keep to the elements of the story you want to write. Feedback on that idea?

    1+
    • Aaron C. Yeagle says:

      Iris, Yes, writing a strong description at the beginning of the writing process and using it as a reference to ensure your key elements are staying consistent would be helpful.

      1+
  2. Stephen M Davis says:

    I liken a book blurb to fishing. Great bait, and sharp hook, and a good way to land them.
    For what it is worth, here’s mine:
    For Rebecca, time travel isn’t an option
    it’s a necessity.
    Without her intervention in the past, history will take an alternative direction.
    A direction that will derail the lives of those closest to her.

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