Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - blurbs

A great blurb will sell your book. It's the hook that draws in the agent, publisher and readers. It's also the bump in the road that gives me a lot of trouble. As a writer, you have to be half-writer and half-salesperson. Protest that if you wish, but it's the truth. My marketing skills aren't superb, but I've learned a lot over the years about how to write a great blurb.

A blurb is a 100 to 250 word synopsis of your novel that doesn't give away the ending. You see them on the back cover or inner flap of books. You include them in your query letters to agents and publishers. You use them to promote your book everywhere. This means it has to be able to reach out and grab people.

Be sure to include the main character(s) and the conflict. Don't dance around the plot. These are the basics, but find what makes your story different. How does it stand out from all the others?

Paranormal romances have a particular atmosphere. When writing your blurb, make sure you capture the mood of the story. Is it dark or light-hearted? Is it a fast-paced scary tale or a leisurely magical journey? Is it hot and sexy or shyly romantic? Don't exaggerate it. Let it represent the true soul of your novel.

As with any story, the blurb should have mounting tension. The beginning hints at the conflict, but the end shows that it's imminent.

The best way to learn how to write a great blurb is to read other writers' blurbs. What catches your attention? Why does that work? How can you make it work for you?

I'm constantly rewriting my blurbs. They're always evolving and that's a good thing.

How are you at writing blurbs? Do you have any tips to add?


  1. I agree that the book description is everything to spark an interest in a book (of course a great cover is probably first).

    When Lynnette Labelle critiqued my query letter, she had me fill out my MC's GMCs (Goals, Motivation, Conflict). I find it is very helpful to write these down and use them when writing a short description of your book.

  2. I suck at blurb writing. And synopses,too.

  3. I'll spend a month on the blurb alone! And I always need help.

  4. They are tricky to write... mine are tweaked all the time, but like you say, it's a good thing...:)

  5. You should have included an example! If not one of your own, something from another book?

  6. Cherie, that's a good tip. I'll have to try that myself!

    Prerna and Alex, they're really hard for me too. I spend too much time on them. Thankfully I have some very clever friends who are better salespeople than me!

    Tania, definitely a good thing to keep tweaking.

    Manda, hmm, maybe I will do that. Thanks for the suggestion!


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