Crafty Tuesday - What's in a good Blurb

This is the one element to every book that most authors seem to dread. This is apparent if you follow some of your favorite authors on social media. Someone is always complaining about having to the cursed Blurb.

The blurb is necessary, though. Arguably, it's one of the most important element to any story because it's the first thing a potential buyer will read. Why wouldn't you want to make it the best you possibly can?

Not sure how. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Make sense - Go ahead, roll your eyes. I'll wait.... Now, I recently read a blurb that didn't do this. This seems like an easy thing to achieve and common sense, but remember how close you are to your story. What makes sense to you, might not to the audience who hasn't read the book yet. So take a step back from the story. Give it a few days if you have to and then come back to it. Maybe even get someone else to read the blurb.

If you don't write anything else for your audience, write a good blurb. You might have heard all the great writers tell you to write a story for yourself, and you definitely should, especially the first draft. The one element to the story that is NOT for you at all is the blurb. This is for your readers so keep them in mind while you write it.

What a reader needs to know - The blurb I read didn't have any of the things a reader needs to know.

Genre - After I read it I had no idea what genre it was even in. I mean I could look at the book cover and get some idea but just taking in the blurb all by itself, I was left not knowing if it was romance, sci-fi, paranormal. It could have been horror for all knew. Now, I'm primarily an M/M Romance reader so genre is important to me and it's important to a lot of other readers too.

A blurb should subtly tell the reader what world they are about to enter.

Example: So if you're writing about a shapeshifting lion named Leo, then there needs to be a sentence or two that captions this fact all while throwing in a few elements that will make it exciting. So maybe Leo the lion shifter gets tranquilized and locked up in the zoo. Family gawk at him for months and he can't seem to get out of the situation until one day it's his mate that's gawking, who is a complete stranger.

So give us readers this information in a sentence or two. And make it as exciting as you can. If you have to, practice on the story scenario above.

Characters - So maybe you're writing Lord of the Rings and middle earth is the main focus. That great, you just made your setting a character, which isn't easy to do all by itself. Now, write the blurb so that the readers actually want to read about that character. My point in using a book that's heavy in setting, is that every book has a good character, or group of characters, even if it is an entire world. Most people just want a good story with characters that they can enjoy. Give the reader a glimpse into the type of person/people or even setting, they are about to embark it.

So, I'm a character writer. That's what comes to me first for every book, so that's how I start the blurb. So for Leo the lion shifter I'd maybe give a personality trait and then a bit of the plot and setting.

Example: Leo likes to live on the edge but this time his adventurous ways lands him in the zoo.

After that I would say something about him being a lion shifter so this first sentence is put in prespective for the reader. By doing this I'd also be giving away the fact that it's a paranormal book of some sort. Saying that his mate is one of the zoo visitors would giveaway the fact that it's a paranormal romance. further telling about the fact that his mate is male which is unexpected and won't go over well his his pride would tell enough of the plot to grab the reader.

There might be a few more elements that you'll find helpful to you and the genre you write in as he go along. Above all else please remember that the blurb is one of the two things that helps sell your book (the cover being the other thing). There are certain things readers need to know to determine if they want to spend their hard-earned money on your book.

Ask yourself what you make you buy the book? Maybe go to a book-selling website and check out a few find out what you do and don't like about certain ones and incorporate the dos into you own blurb.


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