Finding the right [amount of] words to sell your beloved work isn’t always easy. No question, writing book blurbs—otherwise known as sales pitches or selling tools—can be challenging. But, rest assured, it’s far from impossible.
Let’s consider what you shouldn’t do first:
- go on incessantly, revealing all
- reveal all (yeah, it’s a great story and you want to [enthusiastically] share every detail, but this really isn’t beneficial)
- summarize all plot twists and/or characters
- tell how the story ends
- talk about how brilliant you and/or the story is
- be overly effusive with descriptions (but not use effective descriptive words to entice us).
Now, let’s take into account what you should do:
- tell us the genre of your book (we don’t want to have to guess, although mysteries do have their merit)
- write a killer opening sentence; pull in your reader immediately
- have us wanting to know/learn more
- apply that old and familiar phrase: keep it short and sweet
- introduce the protagonist and his/her quest, quandary, desire, journey (whatever the trial may be)
- give a sense of setting.
My own process: write a synopsis (five to seven pages). From that, whittle it to a one-page synopsis. The blurb evolves from that. Yeah, it can prove time-consuming. But it helps capture the true essence of the book and, sometimes, it even reveals a snag.
Your process could be totally different. Discover what works for you. If you’re a first-time “blurber”, check out blurbs in your genre. Get a feel for how they flow. Adopt that rhythm.
Here’s a quick example (using my mystery series trio):
The gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency stumble across a body in Ala Moana Park while waiting for a new client. Could it be, this was he—Jake the Flake? Why did someone of his notorious background want to hire them? The assault he’d recently been arrested for? Or the stalker he’d briefly mentioned on the phone? As JJ, Rey and Linda search for clues across various Hawaiian Islands, it’s apparent a number of people hated the toady guy enough to want him dead. And when their quest drags them into the dark and dangerous underground gambling world, they learn they’d better push out fast . . . before they add to the mounting body count.
Remember: you want to create interest, if not excitement. Suck in your reader. Do that by revealing the dilemma or challenge facing your character(s) without disclosing how it’s resolved.
It takes practice, like anything, but it does come—and when it does, your awesome blurbs will attract readers (and followers) and help you make sales.