Yes, there are professional Blurb writers –blurbists?–and here’s a video with one

I’d been writing blurbs for a while. I didn’t even know that’s what I was doing when I helped author pals years ago to condense their stories. I still help author pals now.

Editors who offer services for blurb writing can charge anywhere from a pittance to hundreds of dollars. It seems to hover around $100 in most places I’ve seen.

Bryan Cohen–author, copywriter– is one whose fee is on the higher end (pretty sure last time I checked it was more than $200.)  But he also has hundreds of author blurbs under his belt–experience!

Here is a a show with him talking about blurbs. The pertinent part starts at around 38:21 in this videocast. Lindsey Buroker (host, author) asks him for his “formula” and he offers his four steps, which I’ll list as follows, and I’ll quote something pertinent for each. Listen to the videocast to get the details of what he’d put in each section, including examples:

 

  1. Tagline –“short, sweet hook that gets people in the door.”
  2. Synopsis– “bare bones plot,” “raise those stakes,” and “establish an emotional connection between character and the reader”
  3. Selling Paragraph–“why people will like your book”
  4. Call to Action– “command form,” “extra instruction”

I agree with him (and have naturally tended to) stick to the first part of the book in writing blurbs (no more than first half), so you don’t spoil the book–especially if it has a big surprise or twist. And not too many names or locations. It’s easy to get bogged down in details. Stick to the most “relatable character.”

For more information on his way of doing up blurbs,  go have a look at Bryan’s book, How To Write A Sizzling Synopsis.

Hope either the video or the book help any of you struggling with your own blurbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Insightful Article at BookBub Helps Indie Authors Craft More Effective Advertising Blurbs

If you’re an indie author and you’re preparing a blurb for an ad or a promotion, you want to read this article that offers useful tips from the folks at BookBub on how to get your blurb to make readers CLICK! They used an A/B testing methodology.

Some of the tips are no-brainers: If you have won a prestigious award, include that! If your work fits a subgenre, identify it.

Some of the tips are genre specific:  A cookbook blurb should include the number of recipes in the book. As a frequent browser of cookbooks on Amazon, I can attest that I want to know the number. I want lots of recipes. I also want to know the niche–Mediterranean, gluten-free, Paleo, allergy-free, etc. But how many recipes: important.

Another genre-specific one: Chick Lit books need to give clues to the protagonist’s age. I haven’t read a Chick Lit in years, but I know that I preferred readers who were in their thirties or older back when I did consume them. (We used to call that Hen Lit if the protagonist (s) were middle-aged.)

One tip made me smile: Punctuation for emphasis doesn’t matter, other than one exception. Readers, it seems,  like ellipses when the genres advertised are those with scary or suspenseful elements. I wonder if it’s because that punctuation is a subtle, visual version of the cliffhanger, so it appeals to readers who prefer genres such as horror and suspense.

Interesting stuff, right?

These tips surely work for back-of-the-book and other blurbs.

Always think about how to give browsing target-audience readers what they want to see, quickly, engagingly. What makes them want to LOOK more closely–and hopefully buy–your book.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the article. It’s worth checking out before you write that ad blurb.