Now that you've finished your book, you are faced with creating another art form all its own: the blurb. Don't worry, it sounds worse than it is. Here are some key do's and don'ts that will help make your blurb brilliant!
First of all, let me start by saying that you should treat it like what it is. Its own art form. Completely separate from writing the book itself. It will, and should, take some time and editing to make it great. Take the time to play around with it until it's just right. That being said, let's get going on those key points that will help make it just right.
1.) It's a blurb, not a synopsis.
Your first instinct may be to summarize your whole book, or a good portion of it. This is a synopsis, not a blurb, and should definitely be avoided. You want your blurb to be no more than 3-4 short paragraphs and 100-200 words maximum! Its job is to reel in the reader so that they can't wait to spend hours reading your book!. Having an amazing book cover is also great, but, if that hooks the reader, they are headed straight for your blurb next!
2.) Don't be a cliché.
The first sentence should really grab the reader. Especially if it's an online blurb. People tend to skim, so you will want to get their attention right away. In order to do this, do not open with an overly used phrase or cliché. It is possible to be too predictable or boring, and this will make people skip right past your book and on to the next one.
3.) Create some mystery and intrigue.
Make sure you introduce your characters and set the mood. Talk about their situation or problem so the reader will wonder how they got to where they are, how they will overcome their situation, or what they are up too. You may also want to include genre keywords, such as romance, dystopia, fantasy, etc., making sure not to over do it, of course.
4.) Spoiler alert.
Include something catchy that COULD solve a character's problem, lead to love, end it all, etc. You get the idea. Something that will make the reader want to find out what will happen. Just make sure you do that and ONLY that. Don't give any spoilers away, ever, no matter how tempted you might be to do so.
5.) Amiable adjectives.
You will definitely want to include some great adjectives in your blurb. Beautiful, powerful, magnificent, terrified, benevolent, etc. Give the reader a really good idea of who your characters are and what their situation is, without getting carried away of course. Nobody will make it through a wonderful, spectacular, beautifully written blurb about the most adventurous, romantic and thrilling book ever. (See what I'm saying?) DO use great adjectives, but DON'T overdo it.
6.) 5 stars and awards.
If you happen to be an award-winning author or have a lot of 5-star ratings for your book, go ahead and include it! While over-selling yourself, over-promising what your book will deliver, and comparing yourself to great writers who came before you ("The next Bella Andre") are all very poor choices, touting your actual accolades is a great choice and perfectly acceptable.
So there you have it. Following the do's and don'ts listed above will have you well on your way to a successful blurb for your book. What it won't do is write the blurb for you (now wouldn't that be nice?!) It will, however, give you some guidance and make the path to success much less painful.
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