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Some authors say that writing a book blurb is one of the hardest things to do, and for that reason, they save it for the very end. Well, I fall on the opposite end of that spectrum. In fact, I write my book blurb at the very beginning, before I even start writing all of my book. Crazy, right? To me, I find it easier to condense everything I want to happen in the book into a few paragraphs, and that helps to get the creative juices flowing. These are my five key components to a great romance blurb.
• INTRO/BRIEFING ON THE FEMALE MC
• BRIEFING ON THE MALE MC
• HOW THEY MEET/CROSS PATHS
• WHAT SECRETS OR DRAMA LOOM IN THE DISTANCE?
• CLIFF HANGER AT THE END
PRO TIP: When writing a blurb, you want to make sure that it’s enticing, but be sure not to give it all away.
The trick is to hint around the key spoilers and plot twists in your novel, but not reveal them. For example, if you know your main character (MC) gets hurt, loses a loved one or gets in a car crash, you may just write, “when tragedy strikes,” or “when things take a turn for the worse,” instead of telling exactly what happens.
Why is a Good Blurb so Important?
Writing a book blurb is an important that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s essentially the first introduction to your book that your readers will get that will decide whether they want to dive into the book to find out what’s in between the pages or not. In other words, it may just be difference between whether you get the sale or not.
PRO TIP: Know who your target market is (Hint, if you’re enrolled in my Booked & Busy Course, this will be in your #BookGoals Roadmap under the genre you chose.)
You typically want your blurb to be around 200 words, but I know I have a few that go over that (up to around 250-300 words). Remember, your blurb is an important selling piece from you, so you want it to be strong. Below, I’ll show you the difference between a strong blurb and a weak one.
Example: My first novel, Diary of a Hood Princess. Published in 2013.
When somebody shows you who they really are, believe them…
Sydney Tate had a simple life that consisted of all work and no play, but to her surprise, all of that would soon change. After meeting Justice, a drug kingpin with his own share of secrets, she becomes addicted to the thrill and finds herself falling for him. But she soon finds out that everyone she’s become affiliated with, just may not be who she thinks they are. When the truth starts to unravel, death and destruction will be all that’s left when the smoke clears.
Go back to my key components and ask yourself what’s missing.
Yes, there’s the briefing of the female MC, but it’s one sentence that doesn’t give the reader much at all. Moving on, there’s also no briefing of the male MC. All you know is that he has secrets and he’s a drug kingpin. It mentions they meet, but it’s very quick. The reader knows there will be some type of drama, but it’s not clear what kind. There was a bit of a cliff hanger at the end.
Fast forward four years, to a rewrite of that blurb that was published in 2017.
In one night. Just 24 hours. Sydney Tate’s life changed forever. One minute, she’s living the dream in the Big Apple with her best friend, Kris, by her side. The next, she’s staring at his dead body on a hotel room floor. He’d been murdered, and she’d become a target. Her once calm world is flipped upside down, and she’s soon kidnapped for her own “safety” by Justice Silva, a drug kingpin with his own set of secrets.
Growing up in the streets, Justice knows the ins and outs of the game like he knows the back of his hand. He commands attention anytime his Timbs hit the ground; attention that, over time, Sydney is willing to give him. Through him, she learns things about Kris’ lifestyle, and the reasons why he may have wanted to take his secrets to the grave.
This news should turn her away, but it doesn’t. She quickly becomes engulfed in the thrill of his dangerous lifestyle, and even more intrigued by Justice. He’s different than any other man she’s ever met, and through the chaos, her feelings for him grow stronger. But, everyone is not who they are perceived to be, and there’s a detective on a mission to find out who murdered Kris in cold blood.
The more Sydney gets sucked into his world, the more she learns that everyone she’s become affiliated with, just may not be who she thinks they are, including Justice. When the truth starts to unravel, death and destruction will be all that’s left when the gun smoke clears. Are you ready for Justice and Sydney’s love story?
Let’s check for the five key components. Is everything there? Yes! It gives the reader just enough to want to know more, without giving any of the major plot twists away.
PRO TIP: Research length and flow of other blurbs in your genre. Do they give too much away? Are they saying just enough?
In the end, the most important thing to remember when writing your book blurb is to make it enticing without giving the story away.