4 Tips to Writing a Book Blurb

You have readers picking up your book because of its awesome cover. Now you need a blurb to capture their attention and pique their interest.

Know Your Genre

1) It’s easy to think of your book as unique—that it doesn’t fit into one genre—and most likely you’re right. Even so, there’s always a main genre presence within your book. This is what you need to focus on, otherwise, you have no marketing leg to stand on. If you can’t market your book because you don’t know how to define it, then you’re going to lose readership. Through sweat, tears, and loss of sleep, you worked, refined, and created a book you’re proud of, so it’s just as important to put in the sweat and time to research your genre. Whether self-publishing or traditional, genre is important. To search for the right agent, you need to find one who shops your genre, and as a self-published author, it’s extremely important you get it right for the sake of promotion.

Writer’s Digest has a great list and break down of the genres.

Target Audience

2) Writers say they write for themselves, but it doesn’t help when it comes to audience. For instance, if you’re writing a Young Adult (YA) novel there are some things you need to know about the YA audience. The writer needs to understand a YA reader’s mind—the teenager full of angst and over-the-top emotions. How they view the world of endless opportunities. How they know everything, yet forget the awkwardness of a first kiss. The way their favorite songs pull them away from their momentary problems. The ups-and-downs of friendship—and how betrayal runs rampant in schools. When you know your audience, you’ll have a better understanding of how to create your blurb.

Book Points

3) While writing my novels, I always had a separate document to notate phrases or areas in the book I found unique or interesting for when it came time to promote. I used these on bookmarkers and they assisted with my blurb. From my Women’s Fiction / Contemporary Romance novel, Fogged Up Fairy Tale, here are a few notes I made:

“The last thing I remembered was a blast of light, and a deafening sound, like you hear during cicada season.” – An Accident

“Easton teased my memory with stories of my mother, and in return, over time, the frozen memories melted and came flooding back.” – Amnesia

“Punch-drunk indeed. My liver might not have appreciated the term, but my mind had enjoyed the ride.” – Humor

“He came close displaying a gapped-tooth mouth with a remaining few teeth stained yellow. I wondered if he had tried eating a can opener.” – Humor

“After another dance, we shook off the romance that burned on our skin, the eroticism that frolicked between our legs, and joined the others with our fingers braided, palms moist.” – Romance

From my Psychological Suspense Thriller novel, Net Switch, here are a few notes I made:

“The bitterness of loneliness always comes unannounced…and uninvited.” – Mental State

“Jealousy tugged at my soul.” – Mental State

“There was a familiarity to his voice—an old song.” – Attraction

“I had played Russian Roulette in that chat room and lost.” – Tragedy

“Arcane was the first guy to ever call me beautiful…somehow I gave him ownership of the words.” – Possession

I looked through my lists of phrases to help me figure out what set my romance and psychological thriller apart from others in the genre. I asked myself, What makes my book unique? These lists helped me determine my books’ themes, which I then incorporated into the blurb.

Tone of the Book

4) Similar to the book cover, the blurb should reflect the tone of the book. This is where book themes can help mold the blurb. The blurb has to give the reader an idea of the type of book. With an ill-fitted blurb, comes negative reviews. It’s important the reader knows and understands that your book is romance, thriller, fantasy, YA, etc. Make your blurb say a lot with as little words as possible—anywhere between 150 to 250 words—and hook them with the first line. The first line is visible on Amazon, so you don’t want anyone clicking away. The most important thing about getting the tone right is by reading as many book blurbs in your genre as possible. Read unknowns and popular writers to get a better sense of how it’s set up and executed.

Blurbs and Marketing,