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  • Writer's pictureTara

How To Write Your Blurb

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

For most authors, the blurb (also called the book description or back cover copy) is usually the most difficult part of writing their book. Trying to sum up their story in just a few sentences is tough. Adding to that is the fact that these are the words that will either hook readers or cause them to put the book down. Talk about pressure!


The importance of the blurb is that it is the first part of marketing your book. This is your initial sales pitch. You should write this with the idea that it is a showcase for your book. Take care with it, and do your best to highlight why it is important that your book be read.


8 TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR BLURB:


1. The book blurb should be a short description of the book's main character and the conflict that they encounter. For most novels, it is best to keep the word count between 100 and 250 words. Separate this into 2–3 short paragraphs. For nonfiction, make it easy to scan by using bullet points to describe the main ideas or problems that will be solved.


2. The first sentence or two should really grab the reader’s attention and hook them. Talk about what is important, unique, interesting, and compelling about your story.

If it is a nonfiction book, tell them what problems your book will solve or how your book will solve the problems.


3. Introduce your characters. Why are they your main characters? What is special about this character or these characters? Don’t tell everything about them. Allude to the personalities and their struggles.

In nonfiction, talk about the main ideas or the new perspectives that will help them solve the problem.


4. The goal of the blurb is to get the reader to feel something for your characters right away. The way you do that is to tease the main conflict so that they become invested in the outcome. Of course, you don’t want to include any spoilers, but you do want to lay out some pretty good hints about the challenges so that the reader can relate to them or root for them.


5. Don’t compare your book to another. Just don’t. Often, instead of talking about the plot of their book, an author will use a comparison to a more well-known book.

“…fans who love The Lord of the Rings will surely adore this story.” or “A tale that’s a cross between The Hunger Games and Harry Potter.” This isn’t helpful to your readers. Spend the time crafting your own description and let your readers decide if it is like another book.

6. Write in the third person. The third person is when a narrator tells the reader the story. The narrator will refer to the characters by name or by the third-person pronouns he, she, or they. This is an industry standard for all genres of books, but of particular importance for memoirs, autobiographies, and nonfiction. Whenever you want to say “I,” use the pronoun instead.


7. Your blurb should match the genre and tone of your book so that you attract the right readers. If you’ve written a psychological thriller, your blurb should convey the seriousness of the situations and should plainly establish what is at stake for the characters.

If you’ve written a self-help book, your blurb should give the reader a sense of helpfulness and be casual and intelligent while talking about the problem that the information inside will solve for them.

Matching the tone and mood (along with an appropriate book cover) sets expectations about what is in the book and what the reader can expect to learn from it.

8. Read examples of blurbs that are in your genre. Study what they have done. Notice the word count and the paragraph breaks. Notice the patterns and the word choices. You don’t have to make yours exactly like theirs, but emulating the bestsellers is a good place to start.


Blurbs are a key part of book marketing. You can’t get around the fact that you must write one for your book. If you want readers, you have to tell them what your book is about. And do it in a way that is not telling them everything; you are trying to entice readers to buy the book.


I get it; blurbs are frustrating! If you are still having difficulties writing yours, I can help with one-on-one coaching sessions or by writing it for you. Get in touch if you’d like to chat more about blurbs.


All the best!



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