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How Important Is Your Book Blurb?

As an author, your main goal is to sell your books, but what can you do to help improve sales? One of the key ways to sell your book is to write an effective blurb. Without it, readers will not know what your book is about or if it is a genre they like. So how important is your book blurb - the answer is very.

Before we look at what makes a great book blurb, let's break down what a blurb is. Your blurb is the description on the back of your book and on your Amazon page which outlines who your main character is and what trouble they find themselves in. The aim is to entice the reader to buy your book, without giving too much away about what happens in your story.

Key elements to include in your blurb are brief details on your main character - what is their name, age (only if important to the story), and what do they do? (Again, only if relevant to your story) For example - "Archaeologist Jane Smith has just discovered a hidden treasure no one knew existed." Here Jane's job is worked into the plot. If she worked as a bartender, for example, this would not be a relevant detail. Similarly, with age, it is mostly only featured in young adult books as it is usually when the main character turns a certain age that the trouble begins.

You need to include the main character's dilemma - finding love, battling a monster, hunting a killer - as this will be the main focus of the story and what the reader wants to know more about. This presents a clear goal and readers will want the main character to succeed. 

Other elements to include could be a romantic interest or another equally important issue for the main character to solve. Can Jane catch the killer and save her sister's life? These two issues do not have to tie together. In fact, the main character could be torn between the two tasks, creating a moral dilemma for her. Do they stop a serial killer or save their flesh and blood? This will raise the stakes for the reader and they will want to pick up the book to find out what happens next.

Finally, leave your reader with a question that needs to be answered. This could be "will they find love?" "Can Jane return the treasure to the island in time?" The only way to find out is to buy the book.

When written well, a blurb can boost sales, but when done poorly, it can put readers off. If in doubt, there are professional writers available who can write a blurb for you. Prices vary, but a good blurb writer is a great investment for you. If you prefer to do it yourself, do take the time to get it right. Read through the blurbs on Amazon within your genre to get an idea of how to lay out the blurb. Do get feedback and if you find that your blurb isn't working, you can always rewrite it. In time, it will become second nature and blurb writing could become your favorite part of marketing.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Samantha Gregory