Writing book blurbs 101

A couple of weeks ago Amanda Hocking blogged on the subject (check out her post) saying she didn't like reading them. I sort of see her point there. I mean, it gives you some sort of orientation, but I'm more of a review type of reader. And that is why I love buying books online. Although reading the blurb is still the first thing I do, that alone won't convince me to click any buttons. Let alone turn on WIFI on my Kindle. That thing eats battery like crazy. Especially if you're like me and always forget to turn it off.

No matter how much I whine about it, as an author I know I have to make an effort and write one for my upcoming book. It's just a short story, a short short story for that matter. Nevertheless both the text and my future readers deserve a full-fledged product. Anyways, I came to the point where I can no longer avoid writing a decent book description. So, I roamed the world wide web and came up with a checklist of few simple rules.

First: Keep it short! You don't need to write an essay. People want to read books, not their descriptions. Instead, introduce the hero/heroine, the setting, give a simple plot set up and that should cut it. You can spice it up with a few hints of interior/exterior conflicts or stating the hero's goal. One or two paragraphs should be enough, depending on the length of the book.

Second: Keep it simple! With all the movie trailers in the air this one is harder than it sounds. Don't use words or phrases that you hear in those. Bits like "the adventure of her life" are no good. Because people will know that you wanted to say something big, but ended up not saying anything at all. The blurbs I liked the most were always from the main character's point of view. That way you can set the tone without giving away too much information. And, for heaven's sake, don't ever put "must-read" or "great-read" into a book description. For me, personally, that is the lamest excuse of advertising, ever. Come on, you wrote the thing, of course you and/or your publisher think it's good, or else it wouldn't be published in the first place. Let's just leave this one for the reviewers.

Third: Follow the genre's lead! Knowing what your readers want to know about your book is essential. Pick up a few pieces of your book's genre and look for the clues and buzz words that convinced you to buy them. (Reading the same genre you write in is something everyone should be/and probably is doing.) This rule is about the best one you can abide by, since you'll be familiar with the readers' expectations of said genre.

And now, nothing has left for me, just to bury myself into the story and come up with a few convincing sentences. Easy-peasy, right?

Does any of you out there have experience with writing blurbs? What do you think of my rules?


Anonymous August 4, 2012 at 2:54 AM  
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Anonymous August 4, 2012 at 2:55 AM  
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