+ CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR: Rachnal
How a Good Blurb Can Make or Break a Sale!
Book blurbs are more like a sales pitch than a summary of what you’ve written.
While you may think otherwise, book blurbs are one of the most important things that help sell your book. The title and cover image prompt the reader to pick your book up, but the blurb makes them buy it.
So, a blurb must be compelling.
But did you know that a bad book blurb could even hurt your sales?
In this post, I will reveal the secrets behind book blurbs and show you how a good blurb can make or break your sale!
Keep reading to learn more…
What a Book Blurb Is and How It Works
A blurb, in general, is a short description of the book for promotional purposes. It’s usually found on the back cover of a book.
Book blurbs include the following:
- Short description of the story
- Reviews from credible sources like popular magazines, newspapers, etc.
- Quotes from well-established authors of the same genre
The main purpose of a book blurb is to sell your book to your target audience.
While a good blurb makes the reader want to know more about your book, a bad blurb will make your reader place the book back on the shelf.
The Secrets Behind Book Blurbs: What Helps and What Doesn’t?
Writing a book blurb is actually more difficult than writing your book. No, really – that’s why most authors have a tough time writing blurbs.
I would like to share some tips that will help you write an awesome blurb. I’ll also reveal a few things that can hurt your book sales.
How to Write an Awesome Book Blurb
Before we begin, I would like to share the blurb from one of my favorite books, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin:
“Summer spans decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plot, lusts, and intrigues; to the vast frozen north, where a 700-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. The Game of Thrones. You win, or you die.”
This blurb does everything that it should. It is scannable, tells you enough about the story without giving too much away, and makes you curious about what happens next.
Let’s look at what every good book blurb must do:
Introduce the main characters/theme: To captivate your audience, you must introduce them to the theme of the book. In the example above, Martin mentions the unique conditions of this world and the Iron Throne. In character-driven novels, it’s also important to introduce the main characters.
Set the stakes: Explain the conflict and tell your reader why the stakes are so high. In the example, Martin mentions that the Iron Throne is up for grabs.
Include cliffhangers: Ending your blurb with a cliffhanger will arouse your reader’s interest and make them take the book home.
Include reviews and quotes: Quotes from reputable sources such as well-established authors from the same genre or respected newspapers, magazines, or journals also help with your book sales
Things You Must Avoid
There are a few things that will make your reader pass on your book. Let’s take a look at things you should not do:
No spoiling or giving away too much of the story: You must convince your reader to buy the book, not serve the ending to them on a silver platter!
Steer clear of clichés: Avoid clichés like “in the world of…” as that’s something that most other book blurbs contain. You want to stand out.
Set expectations too high: Don’t call your book ‘The next Twilight’ or something along these lines, as it might not meet the high expectations of your audience.
Make it all about yourself: An author bio instead of a blurb will not grab the reader. They are interested in the contents of your book, not your life.
A good book blurb can put your book on the bestseller list, while a bad blurb will leave it collecting dust in the back corner of your local bookshop.
So, what can you do to write a good blurb?
I highly recommend that you conduct your own research and read through the blurbs of popular books in your genre to get an idea of what sells. Next, write a blurb and test it out. Ask people whether they would buy the book.
Remember, book blurbs are about selling your book to the audience.
I hope this blog post gave you some insight that helped you create an awesome blurb of your own. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section!