Whether you're a new author or a veteran with dozens of volumes on bookstore shelves, your back cover blurb will always be your best chance to convince a reader to buy your newest book. These few short paragraphs must somehow convey the essence of the story to the reader, all the while not telling them so much that you give away the plot. The cover blurb is second only to the front cover in importance, when it comes to book marketing.
Like everything else an author does, writing a back cover blurb is a lot tougher than it looks. Create that effortless copy by following some common sense tips:
The Elements of a Back Cover Blurb
Break down all the best blurbs and you'll find the same basic building blocks. Find a way to put these elements into this order and you'll have the basis for a great blurb.
- Mention the setting and time period of the story
- Talk about the main character
- Give a glimpse into the plot, but don't reveal any twists
- Finish with a question or a hook
Optional Details in a Great Blurb
While the list above gives you the bare-bones basics, you'll want to add more. Fit a few of these details in to make pull the reader in.
Add a one-line description to let the reader know the genre and general age range for the story: A funny, heartfelt book for young teens.
Make mention of the author in some way: A funny, heartfelt book for young teens, by award-winning author Jane Doe.
Add a tempting quote from the book itself: "Sure," said Mandy, "Tad's been my best friend my whole life. But witnessing that murder turned him into a different person."
The Ideal Book Blurb Style
A book blurb isn't just a long paragraph stuck on the back of a book; it's got a certain formula to make it work. Keep it short and to the point, around 150 words. You want to give the readers a taste, not overwhelm them with pages of information. Use quick, snappy writing, and have others proofread it to make sure there are no confusing parts. Always write a book blurb in the third person, even if your book's in first person. Take a look at the blurb physically: is it broken up into paragraphs, or one big text block? Make it reader-friendly. Finally, try starting the blurb with a tag line written in italics: Meet Mandy Crumb. Her perfect day is about to turn into a nightmare.
Keep the Faith and may the Force be with You!