The Art Of Blurbing


I spent some time yesterday morning writing a blurb for the novel I’m just about to start work on. A good exercise to get me focused on what the story is actually about and at least i now know the MC’s name!

I know some people get confused between a blurb and a synopsis, so we should probably start there..

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Blurb = Found on the back of a book and used to entice a reader to buy it. Usually two or three paragraphs in length. No spoilers.

Synopsis = A summary of the whole story from beginning to end. Usually about a page long (unless told otherwise) and sent to agents/publishers. Must include spoilers.

So now we’ve cleared that up lets get to the nitty gritty…what should a blurb actually do? What needs to be included?

  • Wet the readers appetite.
  • Convey atmosphere.
  • Indicate what kind of book it is, genre.
  • Short and sweet, draw the reader in quickly.
  • Introduce the protagonist.
  • Describe the theme, if the book has a strong one.

Right, so now i know what a blurb is and what i should include, i must be able to write a great one yeah? lol….you be the judge. This is the blurb i wrote for my new WIP Pressence 🙂

“It just feels so right.” Was the thought that escaped Beth Adams lips as she stood outside number 10 Button Lane with the Estate Agent.

Having battled her ex-husband Michael for nearly two years in their bitter divorce she was looking forward to a fresh start and rebuilding her life. An unloved Victorian house in a picturesque Kent village was exactly what she needed.

But behind the dirty stained glass in the front door lurks a dark force. Beth’s search for recovery soon turns to terror as she is forced to confront her fears and the pressence, with whom she is convinced she shares her new home.

Does beth have the strength to win this last battle? Or will the strain be enough to tip her over the edge?

Do you ever buy books on just the basis of the blurb? I know i do, so i guess its important to get it right 🙂

Open to suggestions and opinions…does this work or do i go back to the drawing board? lol

 

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22 thoughts on “The Art Of Blurbing

  1. Is that from the Save the Cat book everyone is reading? I blew this month’s writing book budget on the emotional thesaurus (which is awesome btw). I tend to skim blurbs, and focus on tite/cover and the first line or paragraph of the book itself. I love the second two paragraphs of yours. And the questions you pose at the end. Not sure there is enough of a hook in the first paragraph though. Maybe start with the fact it’s a house first? I have never written a blurb that I’m happy with though so It’d be good to know what everyone else thinks.

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    • I am working my way through Save The Cat, but no, this was an exercise i needed to do for my bio for the anthology I’m involved with 🙂

      Ooooo, The Emotional Thesaurus is brilliant isn’t it!

      Ahhhh, interesting, thanks honey, i can see what you’re saying 🙂

      xx

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  2. I like it and like the fact that it starts with a short but meaningful line of dialogue. A book like this stands or falls on the atmosphere created so the contrast between ordinary/hopeful and what is to come is compelling. Would I want to read it? Yes, job done.

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  3. I don’t think that needs to go back to the drawing board Vikki, my appetite has been whetted good and proper. There’s plenty to tempt the reader without offering any spoilers.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  4. Looking forward to this one Vikki but be sure to do the synopsis also, so you don’t run out of steam halfway through. Graph your highs and lows, with that rug-pulling moment near the end. I should talk. I’m stuck on my last chapter and don’t know which way to jump!

    love Sue X

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  5. Hi Vikki, I’ve put a comment on the blog, but just to you I have a couple of nit-picks. Did you put ss in ‘Presence’ for a reason ’cause it ain’t in the dictionary with 2? You have used the dreaded ‘was’ a few times.   2nd paragraph 2nd sentence, perhaps ‘the’ unloved house and ‘in the picturesque Kent Village of ?’ would make it more personal. As a by-the-way, an elderly gent in my Birling group lives opposite Peaches’ Geldoff’s house at Wrotham. He has told us a few weird tales about her. Now there’s a strange setting to think about. Ghosts don’t have to be old.

    love Sue X 

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    • Ha ha ha…you do realise this went public Sue 😉

      Yeah, i was wondering about the double “s” but when i did a singular one spell check kept telling me it needed 2 lol…will look into it 🙂

      Will look at the “was’s” lol

      Ahhhhh, but i haven’t decided where to set it yet.

      Oooooo, now, i haven’t said the age of my “presence” have i? he he he…

      Thanks honey, really appreciate it xx

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  6. I might tweak this a bit, and tighten it. Not too much time, if you’re just beginning, because some things may change when you’ve actually gotten underway – my characters are notorious for taking over! I’ve learned to just roll out the welcome mat and keep typing… =)

    I’m not sure I’d use ex-husband and divorce in the same paragraph. Either one implies the other.

    Also, it’s ‘presence’.Sometimes spell-check lies. Me, though – I was a spelling bee champion once upon a time! =D

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  7. I hate reading blurbs, I much prefer going in ‘blind’, then it’s all a surprise. I find they often give too much away. Never written one either so I know nothing :Dbut a couple of suggestions for you…..

    I think you could lose some of the words in the 3rd para so that the important words ‘dark force’ and ‘presence’ get more emphasis. Eg ‘behind the dirty stained glass door lurks’ or ‘the stained glass front door’. Think poss one too many adjectives maybe?…Think presence needs a comma after it. How about ‘Beth’s search for recovery soon turns to terror as she confronts her fears, and the presence, whom she is convinced shares her new home.’ Ok I put an extra word in there lol. See what you think 🙂

    Sounds great book, can’t wait to read it 🙂 xx

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  8. Pingback: Online Writing Class: The Art of Blurb Writing | J. C. Conway

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