How To Write A Brilliant Book Blurb

By on November 14, 2019

Your book blurb is an incredibly important piece of marketing that you need to perfect if you want to ensure that you are attracting the right readers and showcasing your work in its very best light.

It’s a short piece of writing that acts as a sales pitch, telling potential readers why they should buy your book. You only have one shot to introduce what your story is about, and so you’ve got to make sure you’ve captured the essence of the story while simultaneously making it as exciting as possible to persuade them to find out more. 

The truth is, however, that many writers don’t spend nearly as much time and effort as they should carefully crafting their book blurb, and this can be an essential reason why they don’t see as many sales as they’d like. 

So what can you do to ensure that yours is as good as it can be? Here are some helpful tips:

Do your research

Amazon is a great place to start your research. Look at the most popular books in your genre and read what other writers have done. What do they include and, perhaps more importantly, exclude to get noticed? Analyze the way they’ve structured their blurb, the critical details, and the enticing language they’ve used. You can also go to your local library and do the same. 

Break it down

Break the blurb down into sections so you can start to see patterns emerging. If you do, you’ll probably notice that there is something of a formula for writing a book blurb. The first section is an introduction to the protagonist and where they are currently at in their life, the next explains the big event that changes the course of events and takes them out of their ordinary world. After that, there is usually a comment that sums up why the reader should read it. 

Look at this example of Paula Hawkins’ best selling novel, The Girl on The Train to see how this would work:

“ Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

 And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. (c) Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.”

By the end, your readers should know who your main character is, want to know more about them, be drawn in by revealing just enough of a cliffhanger to make them desperate to find out what happens and feel encouraged and persuaded through the language you’ve chosen.

Keep it short and sweet

Try not to make your blurb more than 150-200 words. This is where the real challenge comes in. Use short sentences and make every word count. If you can get your blurb down to nearer 100 words, you are more likely to make the most significant impact as your reader will be able to read the entire thing without having to click on the ‘read more’ link in Amazon.

Write different versions and ask for advice

Don’t just write one version of your book blurb, write many, ask for outside opinions, test them out with potential readers, and keep tweaking until you feel fully confident. The more versions you write, and the more you test them out, the better the final piece will be.

By bearing the above in mind, doing your research and taking your time, you can hope to craft a smart, compelling book blurb that will attract readers and boost your sales - good luck!

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman -

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