What are they and how can you sell your books with blurbs?
Blurbs are baby commercials. Little ads. Introductions. Blurbs entice readers to discover your book!
Journey with me (you may have to go back in time) . . . to a bookstore or library, and begin browsing the shelves for your next book to read.
I scan the area for the Category Sign I am interested in today. After I locate it, I go to the section, for instance, Fiction and creep into the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre stacks. First, I check a few authors who are my favorites and grab a new book, if there is one, or at least one I don’t remember reading before.
Standing with my first choice in hand, I start looking at the covers of the books. Drawn to pick them up, I search for the blurbs on the back cover, and inside, if there is a dust jacket.
A short blurb on the front or back cover sometimes draws me in to read a longer blurb inside. On the basis of those two items, I may then want to flip to the beginning of the book and read the first three paragraphs, continuing through a couple of pages if I like what I read. Otherwise, the book goes back on the shelf.
Did you get that?
Optimally 25 words (Smashwords.com wants at least 50 characters)
A colorful hedge of flowers. Make yours stand out!
It’s nice to have one about 50-100 words and one 150-200 words. The point is that you need an “elevator speech” for your book, with a focus to your audience. What’s it about? Why do I want to read it? Is it funny, educational, scary . . .?
The objective of the blurb is to get your prospective reader to click through on a link and read the first few paragraphs of the manuscript itself! If they click on the link (attached to the name of your book, the cover image or to a specific website where your book is sold), there is a good chance they will consider buying it!
Nab them with the first few paragraphs!
Create a dynamite manuscript and turn it into a great book! Endeavor to lure your reader all the way into the reading room and don’t let them go until they are convinced they have to have your book.
That’s all the time you have to create a bond between you and your reader! So, write blurbs. Write them about your own books and about the books you read and put them onto Facebook, other social media, or booksellers to get your name out there as a reader, as well as a writer.
Take action! Blurb!
Barnes and Noble gives this take on blurbs: Nook’s tips for Writing your Novel’s Description
1. Pitch it
If you had 30 seconds to explain to readers why they would enjoy your book, what would you say? Translate this 30-second pitch to 150-200 words or copy—that’s your description.
2. Add a headline
Then write a shorter, snappier 20–40 word headline that draws in readers and quickly lets them know what your book is about. Is it a love story, a period piece, a nail-biter? It’s also a good idea to help identify the tone (humour vs. thriller), genre (romantic, fantasy) and main events. If your book crosses genres, be sure to note that too. For instance, paranormal romance is a hot topic and readers would be interested in knowing that you have both a steamy plot and vampires. Already have your copy? Edit the first line to include a few more details and you probably have a pretty good headline.
3. Leave them wanting more
Don’t be afraid to leave your readers with a few questions. Once you have them hooked with the header, your reader wants to learn more. But what and how much will you tell? Always create suspense—entice readers to buy the book to find out more.
Have a great day and READ!
Gypsy Shadow Publishing will be celebrating its seventh year in business in September. We are primarily an eBook publisher based online, although we have almost 50 books in print! Please drop by and check out our more than 250 eBooks by almost 100 authors. (Including the owners of the company!
Denise Bartlett is Gypsy Shadow Publishing’s Chief Editor and acquisitions editor. She delights in working with established authors to tighten up their manuscripts and their messages and in working with brand new authors to bring their dream of being a published author to fruition. Visit her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/DeniseBartlett.ChiefEditorGSP/