Blurb Crafting Advice from Chris Fox: “Every single word has immense value” in a blurb– a video

First, the link: http://www.chrisfoxwrites.com/2017/04/22/week-9-crafting-a-blurb/

Skip the first five minutes, where Chris is talking about non-blurb stuff. If you only want the actual shots of his blurbs as he talks about them, go to 6:36 in the video.

“Every single word has immense value.”

He uses blurb examples from his own books. Might help you with your own blurbs.

Notice the bold tagline that introduces the body of the blurb in the first example: Planet Strider. It looks sharp. It’s visually more appealing than the second blurb example without a bold tagline.

Think about how you can add a strong, hook-y tagline to your blurb. 

He also suggests looking at books in a similar genre niche as one’s own (as I have suggested, too), to see what those blurbs look like.

Look at the bestsellers and their blurbs. Is there a pattern? Is there something that inspires you?

And Chris is right: the tagline of IRON DRAGOONS is terrific. I don’t read that genre, and I found it cool.

I like his point that having a blurb there for preorders helps. It’s a selling tool, so never leave that part of the item page blank.

Remember, a blurb is not set in stone. Although, if it’s a print run book, it is set on the hardcopy.  You can polish and tighten up your blurb online as much as needed. (Probably for POD, as well, though I am not aware how difficult it is to change information at CreateSpace, etc.)

A preliminary blurb for preorders can be completely revised when it finally releases–and after, too.

As an indie author, yes, you can tweak your blurb as much as you want. It’s a tool and tools can and need to be sharpened.

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.