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.

Shawn Seah
2 min readJun 17, 2021


Photo of the writer at a bookfair. Photography by the writer’s team.

To write a successful blurb,

  1. Have a compelling hook in your very first sentence.
  2. Keep it around 150 words —any longer and it could be perceived as boring; any shorter and it might not attract readers.
  3. Answer the question: why should people read this book?
  4. Write it in the same tone as the rest of your book.
  5. Focus on grabbing attention — what is the boldest and most significant claim?
  6. Be factual and accurate. Your credibility and reputation are important.
  7. Demonstrate your credibility and legitimacy as an author.
  8. Have a cliffhanger: make readers eager to find out what happens or what comes next.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.



Shawn Seah

Singaporean writer and public speaker, passionate about education, social issues, and local history and community stories.