If you are a fiction writer planning to write his/her novel in the near future, then a book blurb is an important part of the writing process you need to understand. One thing is clear, book blurbs are difficult to write but they are very important. A reader can read a blurb and at that instant decide whether to buy the book or not.
What is a book blurb?
You know those tiny paragraphs that are placed at the back cover of any book you are reading to give you an overview of what it is about, those are book blurbs.
A book blurb is a short descriptive account of a book which is placed at its back cover. However, it’s different from other forms of description. It’s like a 30 seconds-read ad copy written to persuade the reader to buy the book.
The blurb should include any information that best represents the book and intrigues the reader.
A book blurb must have five qualities:
- Brief: It must be brief. This is where a writer should say more with less. If the blurb is too long, the reader will not have the patience to finish reading it. Long and convoluted sentences will make the blurb to lose its power. When this happens, the reader may pick up another book from the bookshelf.
- Persuasive: Like any other ad copy, the blurb should be able to persuade the reader to buy the book. The purpose of a blurb is to sell the book to readers. A book blurb is the second thing a reader looks at before buying a book – the first being the book cover. Therefore, it should have an impact on prospective readers.
- Seductive: A blurb should be able to capture the interest of the readers. It should have the power to seduce the reader to want to keep reading and know more about the book. When it comes to novels, the blurb should be able to make the reader say, “This novel is interesting. I will buy it right away.” A good blurb connects with readers instantly.
- Genre Knowledge: A blurb should show the reader the genre of the book. Is it romance, thriller, horror, fantasy, family drama, science fiction, young adult fiction, children fiction or literary fiction? A book blurb should show the reader what to expect from the book.
- Selling Point: The blurb should highlight the selling point of a book – the hook. What makes this book unique? Why should readers buy this book? These are the questions a blurb must answer. It should convince the reader that spending time on your book will provide them with unique value that can’t be found within millions of other books. Every word in the blurb has the power to create a lasting impression on the mind of the reader.
Blurbs are very important. A popular statement about book blurbs says, “Always judge a book by its blurb.”
The blurb is not just a text printed on the back cover of a book, it is the short description of a book used for promotional purposes. It spreads all over the world through various website, print media and social media where the book is advertised. The blurb is one of the most powerful weapons that defines a book. The most important rule in creating an effective blurb in both the physical and digital publishing spheres is to cultivate suspense that drives the reader to want to read the book. Every good book deserves a good blurb.
Here’s an example of a book blurb. This is from a book I’m working on.
NEVER GO BACK
Some cold cases are a dead end. Others will get you killed.
DSS Agent Desmond Ademola hates cold cases, especially one that happened a decade ago. But when his old friend, from the force, begs him to investigate the tragic death of his daughter, he finds it difficult to say no to a heartbroken father.
Suddenly, Desmond finds himself hunted by assassins and shadowy figures. As a ten-year-old secret explodes, Desmond plunges headlong into a world of corruption and lies. And now, powerful forces are determined to stop him from unravelling a truth many people want to keep hidden.
Can Desmond give a grieving father the closure he needs? Or will the far-reaching consequences of the truth be more than he is willing to pay?
I wish you all the best in your writing journey.