I don’t know about you, but writing the novel is the easy part, compared to writing the book blurb. How do you take a 100+ page novel and condense it to fit on the back cover of a book? And how do you make it intriguing enough to get people to want to read it? Writing a book blurb has always been challenging for me, but I recently took several classes on this topic and learned a few things that you might find helpful.
The blurb on the back of your book is all about the journey. Who is your protagonist? What is his or her goal? What problems are they up against? Readers want to discover this journey on their own. Give them a glimpse inside your book that draws them into the character’s world.
There are three main elements to a good book blurb.
- The setup. This is the underlying theme of the book, the problem. For example, “She was kidnapped not once, but twice, and now someone wants her dead.”
- The capture. This is the backstory, the kickstart, the conflict. The capture tells the reader about the hurdles the character has to get over to meet their goal.
- The intrigue. Leave the reader with a question. Will the character succeed or fail?
When writing a book blurb, always remember to include the name of the protagonist, what the protagonist wants, and how the protagonist got in this situation. What is the connection between the protagonist and the antagonist? What are the main events that kickstart the story? What is the first main event that stops the protagonist from moving forward? Also, make sure the tone of the blurb matches the tone of the book. If the book is dark, emotional, mysterious, then the blurb needs to be too.
Be careful though, because a book blurb is not a synopsis or a summary of your book. Blurbs should be around 200 words and should focus on the struggle. A blurb is not a detailed description. A book blurb is also not an endorsement. Testimonials should not be included in your blurb. If you want to include them before or after the blurb, that’s fine, but they should not be present in the blurb itself.
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