Writing a blurb for a book of fiction is something that can take you days or even weeks to fine tune, it will become a selling point for your book and as such it’s vital to get right, but there is a fine line between what you should add and what you should leave out.
You also need to consider the length of the text, how much should you write? It’s tempting to try to say as much as you possibly can, but this can lead to a blurb which is close to 400 words and ends up never being read by those browsing for their next paperback.
So, here are our top tips on what you should consider when writing a blurb for your book (fiction):
One – Research
Before you start to write anything, look at the best sellers within your own genre and see how they’ve laid out their back pages, you’ll tend to find that they are concise, not over-bearing and designed to hook the reader. By looking at these best sellers you’ll get an idea of what your reader will expect to see along with a formula for what works.
Two – Genre & Details
The cover should make it clear what the genre is, but so too should your blurb, you need to reference the theme and genre of the book so that your readers know if it’s right for them. Try not to compare your book to others and never outright say how amazing it is either, for many readers ‘bragging’ is a huge turn-off.
Three – The Protagonist
Introduce your protagonist and give the reader an idea of who they are and what’s happening to them, of course don’t give any spoilers away but you should write so that the reader wants to know more about them and their story.
Four – The Hook
Every blurb for fiction needs a hook, this should describe an element within the book which draws in the reader and makes them want to find out more, you should try to avoid clichés and of course never give anything away. The hook can describe the challenge for the protagonist, their goals, conflicts etc. but it needs to add drama, this will become what is essentially a ‘sales-pitch’ for your book, so take your time with it.
Five – Size matters
You’ll normally over-write with your first attempt at a blurb (and this is fine), you need to spell out what the story is and hook your reader in to wanting to know more, but as we mentioned earlier, it shouldn’t be 400+ words. A good size for a blurb should be around 250 – 300 words in total.
Also think about whether you want to add a short bio and author profile image, if you do, you’ll need to consider the amount of room you’ll have for every element upon the back page, the image and bio will reduce the amount of room you have for your blurb, you can also consider having this within the pages of the book too, the ‘About the Author’ section normally appears towards the end of the book itself.
Six – Quotes
Many authors soft-launch their books at first, this enables them to get copies out to friends, family and reviewers, after a couple of months they’re able to collect reviews that they can then quote upon the back page of the book.
Depending upon how much other copy you have on the back page, you should be able to add a couple of quotes, these are a great way to show to your reader why your book is worth purchasing.
Seven – Bio and Profile image
If you do decide to have a short bio upon the back page (and not within the book itself), keep it short and relevant, you are not writing a resume. Your readers will want to know a little about who you are, if you have published before, if you have a website/social media, a rough idea as to where you’re based (obviously do not put your address here) and some of your relevant interests. It should give your readers a small insight into the author but not your life story.
With the profile image, keep it professional and do NOT use a selfie taken from a cellphone, the image should be taken in portrait and needs to be 300dpi in resolution.
Book cover designers.