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Bob Nailor

The Book Blurb

Be honest. How many times have you flipped a book over, having had the cover capture your imagination, just so you could read what you think might be the best book to purchase? And then … yawn? Pick up the next book with a 'pretty good' cover, flip it, and read — only to find your feet already headed for the check-out lane with the second book in hand?

Why is that?

Even the best crafted book can fail for the lack of a catchy blurb. Yes, we enjoy eye candy which grabs our immediate attention and flares our imaginations BUT it can all fizzle faster than the last moments of a snowflake hitting a super-heated frying pan if the blurb don't hold up.

So how do you avoid that killer moment? Get the first sentence to explode in their faces.

Using the last suggestion—Give that one-liner and then expound on it. Find that perfect sentence which explains your novel or story and then, expand it. Start with only five or six words to describe your story. Once you've got that, re-tell it with thirty to thirty-five words and then finish with a one-hundred plus word blurb.


As you can see by the process above, I started with the five-word sentence and worked it to a final blurb for the story of "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain. This is MY blurb, not the real one which I'm sure is much better.

It is said 'we judge a book by its cover' but that's not completely true. You put a lot of effort into the book cover, sometimes barring no expense or time, to make sure it will be noticed. So why cheat yourself by passing off a cheap or bland blurb on the back. The cover will grab their attention but it is the back blurb to make them carry it to the checkout lane.

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Elyse Salpeter
Excellent tip again... each time I read one of these it makes me question what I'm doing...
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