How to write a book blurb

How to write a book blurb - best tips from book blurb writers as well as brilliant book blurb examples!

Writing a book cover blurb

After the front cover design, back cover blurbs are the second most important sales tool for a book - so it's important to get it right. Personally, I prefer writing a 60,000 word novel than a 200 word blurb! It is so hard to condense your novel succinctly, while making it enticing for a potential reader, agent or publisher.

I asked three professional book blurb writers from Fiverr their best tips on writing a back cover blurb. 

I also wanted to find out how they work with authors to write a book blurb for them. (Because sometimes getting someone else to write a book blurb is better than writing it yourself!)

Personally, I've written a blurb for a novel and then sent it to a friend who is an editor to rework. By getting two eyes on it and two different impressions I was able to riff off her ideas and even improve it further.

Read through to the end, where I give examples of two book blurbs that I think are absolutely excellent!

Best tips for how to write a book blurb

ellswrites:

Spread the paragraphs apart. Some people are put off with massive chunks of text, so once it’s spread out it’s easier to read.

Make sure that your writing fits the genre of the book.

Try to hint at plot points in the book but not give spoilers away. If you want to subtly mention a spoiler, try putting it in question form instead.

Ensure that the word count isn’t too long. 100-200 words are usually the best unless specified otherwise. If you give away too much on the back cover it could discourage readers.

Have a look at other examples.

Make sure the first and last line make the reader want to find out more. Sometimes I use a question or quote from the author depending on the requirements.

Try writing it in first person if third isn’t working out. Sometimes if you delve into the character of the book it creates a more emotive blurb. But always check with the author first.

Visit ellswrites' profile on Fiverr

paigedown:

The most important part of the back cover is the hook and how you present that hook. The first part deals with how the hook is written. It should give readers a taste of what the book will be about, without giving away the best pieces. Authors should avoid cliches and plot spilling! Sometimes including a sentence or two from their book will give readers a window into the plot and characters of the book to build the suspense.

My second tip is to format the hook differently. With the rise in e-books and self-publishing, it is important to format the blurb with bold and italics creates a visual effect that draws the reader in. Most importantly emphasizing the hook! Many authors rely on online sales and by changing the format it can create even more intrigue.

A book blurb should be between 100-200 words! Too long and readers will know all about your book with no reason to buy it. Too short and readers won’t know what the book is about and move on to the next one.

Writing an enticing blurb is a balancing act of concise word choice and captivating your audience.

Visit paigedown's profile on Fiverr

lwagensveld85:

When I write a blurb I read through the information I have on the story and pick out the most intriguing bits, then I try to elude to them without giving too much away. You want enough info to grab people's attention, without revealing too many secrets. The other thing I try to do is always end the blurb with an enticing question. That way the person looking at that book will have to read it to get answers!


How to find a book blurb writer

How book blurb writers work with authors

Ellswrites:

Usually authors message me before placing an order to discuss what they would like and any extra requirements they are interested in. This can be from multiple books or possible proofreading so I can create a custom offer specifically for that.

But with the actual blurb process, I tend to request a rough outline of the book so I can get an idea of the story. There’s a slight difference between the fiction and non fiction blurbs too. With fiction the author usually provides a synopsis and with non fiction they sometimes provide chapter titles, reviews or direct quotes.

After I receive the information, I produce a first draft of the blurb for them to look over and see if there’s anything they would like me to add or change.

Once they’re completely happy with the blurb I can deliver the order.

Get help writing your book blurb from ellswrites on Fiverr

Paigedown:

When I am starting a book blurb, I like to get as much information as possible from the author. I don’t want to read the entire novel, but if I can understand the characters, plot and the world that the author is creating, I become invested in their book and can write about it. There is no such thing as too much details. With full details it allows me to pair down the summary and really find what makes their book special and what will hook the reader.

Get help writing your book blurb from paigedown on Fiverr

lwagensveld85:

When I do a blurb I ask the buyer to send me an outline, or a synopsis if it is longer. The best thing I've found though is a well written outline. This is an outline in the sense of what you'd send to a publisher, or use to plan the book. It should have the characters, plot points, the acts, etc. That way I have a clear idea what I'm writing about. I also like to read an introduction, or a first chapter to get a sense of the writer's style and voice. What isn't ideal, is a paragraph or two scribbled last minute that vaguely explains the book. 

Get help writing your book blurb from lwagensveld85 on Fiverr

Examples of excellent book blurbs

Toni Jordan's Addition (Text Publishing)

Grace Lisa Vandenburg counts. The letters in her name (19). The steps she takes every morning to the local café (920); the number of poppy seeds on her slice of orange cake, which dictates the number of bites she’ll take to finish it. Grace counts everything, because numbers hold the world together. And she needs to keep an eye on how they’re doing. 

Seamus Joseph O'Reilly (also a 19, with the sexiest hands Grace has ever seen) thinks she might be better off without the counting. If she could hold down a job, say. Or open her kitchen cupboards without conductng an inventory, or make a sandwich containing an unknown number of sprouts. Grace’s problem is that Seamus doesn’t count.  Her other problem is…he does. 

Kristen Krauth's just_a_girl (UWA Publishing)

Layla is only 14. She cruises online. She catches trains to meet strangers. Her mother, Margot, never suspects. Even when Layla brings a man into their home. Margot’s caught in her own web: an evangelical church and a charismatic pastor. Meanwhile, downtown, a man opens a suitcase and tenderly places his young lover inside.

just_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary culture. A Puberty Blues for the digital age, a Lolita with a webcam, it’s what happens when young girls are forced to grow up too fast. Or never get the chance to grow up at all.

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