When I first decided to self-publish, I scoured the internet for advice and help. Let's face it, as a self-pubber, every aspect of getting my book ready and out into the public was going to be up to me. And I had a lot of learning to do.
Now that I've got some experience under my belt, I like to pay it forward. (You can check out my other tips under the self-publishing tag.)
So here are my tips on blurb writing.
A Blurb is not a synopsis – A synopsis is a brief rundown of your entire book. It usually gives away the secrets and the ending. A blurb should hint at those secrets.
For example, a blurb makes you ask, “What’s in the box?!”
The synopsis will tell you what’s in the box. And to be honest, if I’d known what was in the box, I wouldn’t have watched the movie. DON’T GIVE TOO MUCH AWAY.
Keep away from expository writing – This isn’t the place for long descriptions of backstory or setting, or even describing a character.
It should be enticing – Think of it like a commercial or a movie trailer. Make you want more. If it helps read your blurb like the famous movie trailer voice of Don LaFontaine.
It should be short and punchy – Make every word count. Use emotive words, concentrating on actions.
Present tense – This isn’t a hard rule, it’s just usually how they’re done. I dare you to pick up any book and read the back cover, odds are, it’s written in present tense. The blurb doesn’t have to be written in the same tense as the story.
Third person – Again the POV doesn’t have to match the story, generally blurbs are written in third person. However, there are some awesome blurbs written in first. Just make sure you have a great voice and reason for using it.
Below I have an example of a blurb I helped a writer with. Check out the before and after.
“Crestfall University, founded in 1786, derived its name from the twelve founding families of the school itself. The six Native families were cast out of their tribes, and six families of European descent were emancipated from their founders once their dream of a school of equality was set forth into becoming a reality. To commemorate the losses that each group had endured, the familial crests – and in the Native’s case, tribal symbols – were woven into the school itself. ‘Crestfall’ was born under the idea that each family had ‘fallen from grace’ in the eyes of their elders, and so the name of the school itself is a reminder of one of the many sacrifices which the founders made.”
While most colleges struggle with rival football teams, these walls hide a different kind of rivalry.
A rivalry between the mind and heart.
Love versus lust.
Good versus Evil.
Crestfall University stands tall and regal against the forested backdrop of Unity, South Dakota, and numerous secrets lie among it's stone walls. Two sisters learn the hard way that their fates within the halls of Crestfall offer much more than a degree, and that blood is thicker - and stranger - than water.
Sailor Landwell is a dedicated pre-med student whose only goal is to graduate with honors and attend the finest medical school possible.
Amelia Landwell is less than focused but thinks she has finally found her calling in anthropology.
Meeting gorgeous frat boys Rafe Catori and Marrok Tala seems like the icing on the collegiate cake, until it becomes painfully obvious that the two of them are keeping secrets bigger than the Landwell sisters could ever imagine. How far will they go to uncover to truths of Crestfall, and more importantly, at what price? Murder, mystery, and the supernatural collide in Crestfall - Book One of The Crestfall Saga, the debut novel from Ashelia Raven.
Sisters, Sailor and Amelia Landwell are excited to start their first semester at their grandfather’s alma mater, Crestfall University. While Amelia is less than focused, Sailor plans to get through the next couple of years with no distractions, graduate with honors, and go on to the finest medical school possible.
Enter distraction number one, the sexy and playful frat boy, Rafe Catori. The more Sailor tries to keep her distance, the stronger her attraction to Rafe grows. It doesn’t help that his best friend has taken a liking to her sister, Amelia, so the boys are always hanging around.
Soon, the Landwell sisters realize the frat boys are keeping secrets bigger than they could ever imagine. And that while most colleges struggle with rival football teams, the walls of Crestfall University hide a different kind of rivalry. One that could mean life or death. But how far will they go to uncover to truth, and more importantly, at what price?
What do you think? Better?
Since I used Ashelia Raven's book as an example, I'll include the link for her book Crestfall. You can also check out my review of Crestfall in an earlier post.
I love helping out and reworking blurbs. Do you need help? Let me know.