Have you ever spent some time in the library watching people how they choose their next book to read? It is actually a very gentle click that happens between the book and the reader, isn’t it? They take the book, check the cover and then turn the book and glimpse at the text on the back cover or browse quickly through the e-books published on the Internet and Amazon. This is a well-known practice all of us follow when it comes to choosing a book.
A pleasant cover and book blurb is the very first touch between the reader and the book.
So, yes – every book requires a great blurb, that turns it from just a book to a bestseller! A one that can compel the reader with few sentences only.
A modern look
In the 21st century - the digital era where we are all in rush to be at work on time or to jump on the next train or plane, we have very little time to spend reading a book blurb. That’s why it is important, the blurb you are about to write to be full of tension, some mystery, and also to shape the plot of the book in a catchy way. To put it all in a nutshell - the text on the back of the book should tempt the reader to dive into the book straight away.
That’s why there are some points that are crucial for the book blurb to make sure you don’t bore the readers.
What to include
Don’t forget to depict the book genre and know that you have a limited number of words to give your novel a boost in the right direction. This actually sounds hard at first but your job is to present the book in few sentences only. Give the reader a short description of the plot, the main character, and the conflict. Say what is at stake for the main character.
However, the blurb shouldn’t give too much of the story – your blurb has to tease the reader; it has to make him curious about the characters and the story in the book.
Well, the blurb is not a book summary – it is there just to hook the reader and sell the book without any doubt. Just try to keep it short – up to 200 words - it would be more than enough to nail it. Using some keywords that are often used in your genre is going to serve you right when a reader is surfing online for the next book to read.
Structure and grammar
A good approach is to use fewer verbs, but more nouns and adjectives to drag the reader into the book. Use that few lines to present the protagonist’s life, emotions, and the conflict in the book. Shape the world the reader is about to discover.
Stay on the safe side - do your research, find samples, go to Amazon and check the bestselling authors in your genre - you can always ask other authors for help as well or hire a professional. By doing that, you will get an idea of what would sell more and what is worth to involve in your blurb. We all know that it is challenging to find the best proportion of what is too much and what is just enough, but it is not impossible! Try to always write a blurb by targeting each reader individually, this approach will shape the personal bond between the reader and the book.
Another point, worth mentioning is the “validation” – this is what somebody else has said about your book. This gives credibility to your novel, of course, if you are a self-publishing author, for example, you can always include some of the reviews from your Amazon book page.
Tone of the blurb and Audience targeting
The tone of the blurb should be the same as the book – you can’t present your book in a funny way if the book itself is a horror story, right? Just consider the audience you are targeting and use the appropriate language that would appeal to the particular audience. Otherwise, you will confuse the reader and leave them wondering what is the genre of your book.
And last, but not least – never forget the saying - The shorter, the better!
The best thing is to stick to the short paragraphs – 4-5 sentences long so a reader can go through them easily.
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