Yep, if you thought it was tough writing a synopsis, think again. If you’ve written a novel, book or a novella whether it is self published or published by a publisher you will need to write a blurb. Yesterday, I spent most of the day trying to write one. What was the best starting point? What to put in it, and how to punch my potential reader so hard on the nose, they just had to buy my new novel.
What’s a blurb?
It’s the selling paragraph that’s on the back of your book, or next to the book cover on Amazon, or any other online marketing place. You need to be able to sum your book up in at least 160 words or less and finish with a question that will hook your reader.
Why a question? This is what will get the reader to buy your book, as they will be so intrigued and will want to read it to answer the question for themselves.
You’ll need to sum your plot up 1) Exposition: set the tone. Introduce your main character/s and setting. 2) Conflict and Climax: what problem does your character/s need to solve on their journey through your book (remember, no spoilers) 3) Resolution: set up a question which will spark the reader’s curiosity enough that they will want to buy your book.
The secret to writing a great blurb is getting to the heart of your story. What’s at the heart of your book? Can you sum it up is a single sentence?
Is it relationships, greed, bitterness, lost love, lost treasure, a driving need to find themselves, seekers of the truth, the list is endless. It doesn’t matter whether your book is a crime, romance, sci-fi or historical novel, every book need a blurb. This is your one and only opportunity to reach out and grab your readers by the throat and drag them in.
In a few words you will need to make the blurb scream buy me! at the reader. Your job is to work out exactly what words will scream the loudest at your potential buyer. So use your synopsis as a summary of your book, but also tear it to threads and get to the real beating heart of your plot. Think about what made you buy the last book you read. What got your pulse racing? Which words jumped out at you? Did the blurb match up to the story in the book, or did you say to yourself, Well, that wasn’t what I thought it was going to be about 🤷♀️
Just when you thought writing a blurb was tough, there’s one other thing you need for your book cover. A tagline. A sentence that sits on the cover under the title. It’s a kind of enticement, a bit of a tease.
Taglines are found on all products. They are what sell a product.i.e. Tesco: Every little helps. Nike: Just Do It. Audi: Advancement Through Technology. Maybelline Madeup: Maybe she’s born with it.
What makes a great tagline? It needs to be memorable. short, sharp and say something to your readers. On my novel Stone Angels the tagline was When Art Becomes Murder. It tells the readers everything they needed to know. This novel features both crime and art within the storyline.
My problem is come up with a new blurb for my next book, and a tagline that makes an impact. I’ve lived with this book for too many years, but it is only since having Stone Angels published that I realised my job wasn’t finished when I wrote The End in this book. Marketing your books is a whole new skill that has to be learnt. This time I’m ahead of the game and have my marketing head on early to think on a deeper level when trying to find a selling point for my next novel, one to really hook the readers.
Bye for now. I shall let you know how I’m getting on. Have a great day.