How to write a successful blurb
When I was writing my first blurb, a history teacher told me that “war, violence, or sex” sells. This listicle shares other lessons that I have found useful in writing a blurb.
To write a successful blurb,
- Have a compelling hook in your very first sentence.
- Keep it around 150 words —any longer and it could be perceived as boring; any shorter and it might not attract readers.
- Answer the question: why should people read this book?
- Write it in the same tone as the rest of your book.
- Focus on grabbing attention — what is the boldest and most significant claim?
- Be factual and accurate. Your credibility and reputation are important.
- Demonstrate your credibility and legitimacy as an author.
- Have a cliffhanger: make readers eager to find out what happens or what comes next.
- Consult people to obtain more data— test different blurbs with audiences and seek people’s opinions on them; conduct A/B testing; ask people to find out what resonates with them.
- Most importantly, ensure that a good blurb sells. It is not just a simple summary.
Extra! Bonus material:
The same history teacher told me that, because a blurb is still a piece of writing, the usual rules of writing still apply.
For example, try to use the active voice; ensure that your own voice comes out in your writing; and use rhetorical devices like metaphors, allusions, and parallelisms.
Proofread your blurb, watching out for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Check your facts and figures. The little things matter.