Blurbs are the second thing I hate when I’m writing a book. The other thing is the synopsis. Most authors will agree. It’s so hard to write a short version of your book. You need to put enough to make it interesting. You want the reader to pick it up and take it to the counter to purchase, but you don’t want to tell too much. It is really hard.
Everyone should think about the size of the back of the book. Most books are 5.5″ by 8.5″ which isn’t very much space for the back cover picture and a short bio about the author. Look at other back cover blurbs. Are they long or short? Think about what they are doing that draws you to their book blurb.
James Scott Bell can write a very short blurb. This is from Final Witness which I have read. It is a good book, very suspenseful.
A cold-blooded killer is destroying all who oppose him. Will there be a final witness to the truth?
Young, idealistic law clerk Rachel Ybarra has just been handed a career-making opportunity––helping in the prosecution of an infamous leader of the Russian Mafia. But when the star witness turns up dead, Rachel discovers the case is not merely a battle for the truth––it’s a battle for her life.
Did you realize there is no question in the end? Count the sentences. There are four, but it tells the story.
Most authors seem to think they have to tell the whole story in the blurb, but you only have to make it exciting in order for someone to buy it. Think about an elevator speech. That’s where you begin. Look at the first two sentences in Final Witness. That is the elevator speech. Now look at the rest. It introduces you to the rest of the story. It was not overbearing, it didn’t take up most of the back page of the book. It stated the facts and nothing more. Now see if you can do it with your book.