Authors will happily spend months or even years writing their book, carrying out immense amounts of research, rewriting, proofreading and structuring. But when it comes to thinking about one or two hundred words on the back of their book, their collective minds go blank. A feeling of panic descends. The author knows instinctively that there is something different about a blurb. How can they possibly encapsulate their work in such a tiny container? The typical response is to write a synopsis, giving away practically every plot point in the book. The best blurbs are an artful compromise between disclosure and withholding, suggestion and explanation. The blurb is a key marketing tool, both in actual bookstores and online, and it merits quite a bit of time and thought. Here are three perspectives on writing a great blurb, packed with plenty of useful advice and practical suggestions.
Most independent authors dread writing blurbs, and devote as little time to it as possible. Yet they are a critical tool for attracting potential readers. Seasoned author and promotional expert Joanna Penn enumerates several solid points to consider when engaged in the dreaded work of blurb construction. While many of the points (introduce key characters, describe the setting, a hint of mystery, etc.) might seem obvious, many authors opt instead for a leaden synopsis that gives away every important plot point.