Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thoughts on writing a blurb

I'm writing this because it's something I've really struggled with. I've gone from giving almost no information about my books in a blurb in an attempt to let everything be a 'big surprise' as the reader discovers it as they read the story, to giving away too much. I've had advice from some excellent writers and great people and I've tried to learn from every suggestion I've been given. One thing I've learned, which should really come as no surprise is that everyone has a different opinion on what works best.

One thing everyone agrees on is that it's vital to hook your reader with the first sentence. With so many wonderful book selections available with the click of a finger, readers aren't going to waste time on something that doesn't grab their interest within the first few seconds. I understand completely and feel the same way. The challenge of course is to express all the greatness that's contained in the hundreds of pages of your book in a sentence. If that first sentence is strong enough then you might just have the chance to hook your reader with the remainder of your blurb.

Some of the best advice I've heard is to read blurbs from the best selling books in your category. Yes, authors who are already well known might not need the strongest blurbs because people already know they enjoy their writing and are willing to give their new books a chance. I'm not saying they don't have great blurbs because they quite usually do, but I think it's even better to look at the unknown authors with best sellers. What are they doing right that's not only attracting attention but convincing people to buy their books?

Strong verbs are important. Would you rather read a story described as 'nice' or one described as 'fascinating', 'suspenseful', or 'intriguing'? Pretty straightforward but sometimes forgotten in the blurb writing process. The blurb itself should be fascinating and suspenseful and intriguing but not more so than the book! It's never fun when the book you read doesn't live up to it's blurb.

I'm off to rework the blurb for Scinegue once again. The feedback I've had from readers has been very positive towards the book, the blurb seems to need more work.

Do you have any great tips you would like to share? Please leave a comment.