Imagine this: you’re at a bookstore, looking for a new book to buy, you go into your favorite genre’s section and look at all the new options. You pick up a book that seems interesting, the cover is very vibrant and exciting, but then you flip the book to read the summary.
Whether we want to admit it or not, people do judge a book by its cover, but it doesn’t end there, if you’re lucky enough to attract the reader by the cover, you have to make your book blurb even better, and that’s what I’m going to teach you how to do today!
Book blurbs are the short summary in the back cover of any book, they are usually used for promotion, so writing a good one is crucial.
So how do you write a good blurb?
First, identify what genre your book is under, based on the genre, you’ll write the blurb. If you have a horror book, for example, you’d want a blurb that is brief, chilling, and attention-grabbing. So based on each genre, you set the mood your excerpt is supposed to give.
After identifying the genre, write down the main points of your story- excluding the ending, then arrange the points. After that you can modify it to your liking by changing the words, fixing the organization, and by adding or removing some points.
If you don’t want to reveal much about the plot, you could just choose some of your favorite lines from your book, it could be a small part of an important dialogue, or a monologue, and use that. But make sure it’s interesting enough to stand alone without a description. Whether you want to use part of a dialogue or a summary, it’s best to choose your personal favorite part; since you probably put the most effort into it. However, make sure that part is relevant to the main plot line, don’t mislead your readers.
Another way to write a blurb is by including the turning point of your book, for instance, the moment the main character decides to embark on that dangerous mission or the moment when a character is about to make a crucial decision, but don’t reveal if they ended up doing it or not. To be more clear, “Jamie looked at the pros and cons scribbled down on the paper in front of her, and she finally came to a decision, one that may change her life.”
See? It doesn’t have to be long and boring to be a good blurb, something as short as that makes a reader want to find out more about the book. The readers now knows Jamie made a decision, but they don’t if it’ll change her life for better or worse, they don’t even know what the two choices were, now they most probably want to find out.
Another important point to keep in mind: make sure to reveal the problem. What is it that the character is trying to solve? This will give readers a basic idea of what your story is about.
Things you shouldn’t do:
(Keep in mind, this is your book and your blurb, so I’m just mentioning some stuff you shouldn’t do in general, but your book could be an exception.)
- Don’t include the ending of your book
- Don’t make it too long, 100-150 words should be enough
- Don’t reveal too much
- Don’t make it too short, unless it’s effective enough to gain a reader’s interest
Other points to keep in mind: Put yourself in your reader’s shoes, read your blurb and imagine you’re the reader, would you pick up this book if it wasn’t yours? If you’re worried that you’re too biased, you could ask an honest friend or other writers if they’d read your book based on the summary, you could also go to my contacts page and send me an email or a direct message on Instagram with your blurb, I’d love to give you my opinion!
To summarize it all:
- Know the genre you’re writing under
- Choose your favorite part
- Use dialogue
- Choose exciting part (rising action)
- Write down the basic story line, then choose what to include and what not to
- Show the main problem the character needs to solve
Hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, don’t forget to comment, share and like! You can find my instagram and ko-fi account below, I post weekly tips there!