How to Write Bewitching Blurbs
The right blurb will sell your book.
Your advertising might get readers to your page, and your cover might entice people to take your writing seriously, but your blurb is what will have the most sway when it comes to getting readers to click the “buy” button in the end.
That tiny snippet of text will have more say in selling your book than--well--the entire book itself.
Unfortunately, many writers find the blurb harder to write than the actual novel. Blurbs don’t have space for too many details or descriptions, and any perceived weak spots could tank it. A blurb should be able to hook readers completely with only a few paragraphs of text, and if you’re used to dragging out suspense for pages, you might find yourself struggling with knowing which elements should make it into the few paragraphs of space available.
The good news is that blurb writing really isn’t “creative” writing at all but a form of copywriting, a sales pitch that operates on a simple and predictable format. It's basic, and it's extremely formulaic. Once you learn the basic parts of a blurb (which will vary depending on your genre), you should be able to write one for yourself in only a few minutes with minimal effort. I’ll walk you through the process below.
What are the parts of a blurb?
Let's look at it top-down.
First, you have the cherry on top. This is a simple statement or direct quote from your book that demonstrates the style, tone, and flair that you want your novel to have. For my paranormal romance The Vampire’s Secret, I went with:
Vampires and long-term relationships don’t mix.
Boom. Short and sweet with a hint of sass. This one-liner is arguably the hardest part of the blurb to write, too, so I recommend saving it until you’ve filled out the rest.
Next down we often have character introductions. Don’t get bogged down listing everyone who shows up in your pages. Your readers haven’t met any of these guys yet, so just mention one or two of the main characters and say something about them. Personality, job, situation. Keep it easy to understand and snappy. Some genres (like dystopian or epic fantasy) might focus on world-building instead for the top part, laying the foundation for the story to happen. Always check your comp titles to see what would work best for your book.
After we’ve met the characters, it’s time to mention the plot. Don’t get very detailed here—stick to one core event that starts the entire story and mention what’s at stake. It’s critical that you keep this part simple. This is where a lot of writers lose potential readers, so don’t overwhelm anyone.
Some plot-heavy genres will add an additional twist here to show what the plot evolves to or what common tropes are in play. Again, don’t get too carried away. Listing something entertaining and casual will be enough to grab most readers' attention.
In the end, you’ll usually want a qualifier. This could be a note about you as an author, an introduction to the rest of the series, past positive reviews, or similar authors you try to imitate. You can also throw a word or two in about your genre, like “swash-buckling epic” or “beach-side romance with a side of magic.”
Below are the steps I use to write my blurbs. Feel free to make any adjustments based on your genre or writing, and remember to keep it simple.
Note: This article was suggested by a fellow writer. If you have something you’d like me to feature, please suggest it in the comment box below or join my publishing group on Facebook.