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February 6, 2014

The blurb is by far the most important thing for me when it comes to deciding if I want to read your book so why, of why, did I save this aspect of research for last? It is daunting: my book will sink or swim depending on a blurb.

Some quick and dirty tips:

Read every blurb that you can. Make note of what you don’t like and do like from the blurb. What in it catches your eyes, what turns you off, what peaks your interest and what makes you groan.

The blurb is not the same as a synopsis. You want to capture the reader’s interest and no spoil the intrigue for them.

It should be short ranging anywhere from a couple sentences to a couple of paragraphs.

Stakes! Set the stakes right then and there. Give the reader more than Suie was top of her class, never got in trouble blah blah blah. Why are you starting with this moment in Suie’s life, what is different about it?

The voice of the piece should be the same as the story itself.

It needs a hook. Yes, a hook. Something to lure the reader in – to make them want it. At the same time, you need to end with a cliff hanger.

Avoid clichés – for the love of God and baby Jesus – drop them like a hot potato.

What do you like/dislike about blurbs?

Further Reading:

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  1. I’ve been using “power words” in my blurbs. After you write your blurb, find some more powerful verbs.

  2. Great advice. Some people give too much away in the blurb…Then why buy the book. Keep it interesting and make the reader want more. Not less.

  3. I agree about the blurb and equally as important for self-publishers is the cover of the book. Often, nearly always, I decide to pick up a book because the cover itself is a hook. Then I go to the blurb. If the voice on the blurb appeals, then the book has a chance of being purchased.

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