I was asked to write a post about writing a book blurb. At least I think I was since it’s sitting on my topic list with a blogger’s name next to it. To be fair, I have part of a shopping list on this thing too. Still need to pick up those eggs.
Now I’ve written several book blurbs and synopsis and one or two of them could even be called good. The thing is that I truly hate writing these things because they leave me drained and stressed. Why? Because there is so much I want to say and I never know what’s the important stuff and what hooks should be used. Keep this in mind as I tread into the list. As I said in the title, I don’t always know what I’m doing. In fact, I had to rewrite all of mine and annoy a good friend who knows better than I do.
- Keep It Simple!– A very long blurb can turn a potential reader off because they lose interest or fear that the author has no concept of ending. It’s smarter to stick to the facts and leave the extraneous stuff as surprises. For example, naming every character in an ensemble is a mistake, so choose the one or two that will be the focus. The rest can be friends that reveals more heroes will appear.
- A Blurb Can Reveal Style– You might not realize it, but a potential reader may look deep into your blurb to guess at your writing style. Is there humor? Is everything spelled right? Is it long-winded? All of this will give the insightful a hint at what to expect beyond the words. A big reason to edit and try to be yourself with writing a blurb.
- Need that Hook– This is still something I haven’t learned very well. You need to having something in the blurb to make a potential reader curious. Hit them with a stunning first line that has them excited to keep going and finish them off with a question or statement that puts a sense of mystery into their minds. To get an idea, take a look at the blurb for Beginning of a Hero:
(Opening hook.) Every hero must take the first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble.
(Body) Depending more on bravery than common sense, Luke sets out to protect a royal heir who is attending the prestigious Hamilton Military Academy. With a demonic assassin in the shadows, the determined warrior will have to think on his feet to defend his charge. If only he waited long enough to find out which student is the hidden noble.
(Closing Hook) With Luke’s dream on the horizon and a deadly enemy on his path, how will he transform from a reckless adventurer to a true hero of Windemere?
- Write Too Much and Cut– This is a method that might work if you find yourself saying too much in your blurbs. Go wild with the first draft then go take a break. Come back with the intention to slash the whole thing down to something smaller. You might have to make it go up and down in size and scale before you get what you want.
- Utilize Your Blog– I think this is a no brainer, but only if you have a blog or some social media platform. Put your nearly finished blurb out there for a little time to get opinions. I do that with mine by posting it for a day on my blog and shutting down the share functions. This keeps it in your area, so all comments and feedback will come directly to you. It also tells you what your potential audience thinks.
- Read Blurbs in Your Genre– If you’re really unsure then wander over to your local library, bookstore, or visit Amazon. Head for your genre and read blurb for 15-20 minutes. Get an idea of what the trends and traditions are. You’ll find that you gravitate toward certain styles, which is what you should go for. Write a blurb that you would enjoy as a reader.