You are not alone.
Many of my author friends hit the hair-pulling stage when they try to condense their long, complex stories into a satisfying blurb.
Fact: Crafting a good blurb is not always going to be an author’s forte.
I’ve heard variations of this a lot: “Writing that 600 page novel was easier than this stupid blurb.”
But it’s got to be done. Every book needs one. For book retailer sites. For back covers on print editions. For promotional purposes on blogs, Facebook, and in ads.
Sometimes, writers choose to hire someone to take on that vexing task.
After all, writing time is valuable. For some, it’s a truly scarce resource, way too precious to allot even one of those hours–or at worst a whole writing day–to blurb work.
If you seek, you will find freelance editors and copywriters who offer blurb services. They will charge anywhere from Fiverr’s superlow prices to–and, yes, this was a price point I saw last year–$90 for a few paragraphs of blurb.
Is that excessive?
Maybe. Maybe not.
If that $90-per-blurb freelancer is brilliant, if they’re longtime pros, such as a former publishing house editor, then paying that much is worth it. That sort of talent and experience may result in a book description that shines so brightly that it nabs readers and does the job: sells books.
Here’s editor Jessi Rita Hoffman–who has worked with Donald Trump and Michael Hurley— on back cover copy (which is, after all, one use for a blurb):
The hundred-and-fifty words you’ll place on your back cover are arguably the most important words in your entire book.
Here’s why. After the book title and front cover, the back cover is the next thing readers look at when deciding whether to make a purchase. The back-cover copy also functions as the primary ad for your book. Not only will it appear on the book itself, but you’ll probably use it as your Amazon description.
If it’s an online bookseller, that copy isn’t on the back. It’s right there on the top half of the page with the title and cover.
I bet you rely on them when you shop for books.
Can you think of one recent blurb that captivated you so that you hurriedly clicked the for the sample–and then you bought the book? Would you have read the sample pages without that blurb’s hook drawing you in?
For an example of a recent blurb that sold me on a book, go here: ASHLEY BELL.
Here’s a question for you, if you are an author who struggles with blurbs: how much would you be willing to pay to have someone else write yours?
Give it a thought. Five bucks? Ten? Twenty-five? Ninety? More?
I’d appreciate it if you left a comment with what you’ve concluded is a reasonable charge for outsourcing blurb writing. We all have differing comfort levels–and budgets.
Also, what would you expect for that fee? One 150 to 250 word blurb and that’s it. A longer one you can whittle down or revise as needed. Or would you prefer a pairing of very short and a longer one, two sizes for various uses? (Do note that some publishing experts say use a longer description on Amazon, at least 500 words, for maximization.)
I’d really like to know your opinions.
What is a blurb, anyway?