You have a final draft of your book and you’re getting closer to being ready to publish—congratulations! But the work isn’t done yet. To help your book sell, you also need to understand how to write a book blurb that is powerful, which is a lot easier said than done.
Well, you are in the right place. This article will guide you on how to write an amazing book blurb!
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The last thing you want is to let yourself get stressed when you’re so close to the finish line! Check out how to write a good book blurb (with examples!)
What is a book blurb?
Book blurbs are short descriptions of your book. (It is also called the synopsis.)
Importantly, you need to remember that a book blurb is a promotional description. It is a description designed to entice readers to buy, not just a summary of your book.
Besides describing the narrative, a book blurb can also include brief highlights about the author and/or testimonials from editors, other authors, or advanced readers.
Why does an author need one?
The book blurb may be what makes or breaks a prospective reader bringing your book to the cash register (or hitting BUY). No matter the kind of book you’re writing, you need to have a book blurb.
Basically, you can think of the book blurb as an ad or one of your book promotion ideas. It will be the biggest selling point for your book in many cases.
Eye-catching book blurb examples
Certainly, there are best practices for how to write a book blurb, but there is no set formula for success. Plus, no matter how good of a writer you are, you will definitely need to rewrite your book blurb many times with different types of editing.
If you don’t know where to begin, try referring to book blurb examples from best-sellers in your genre.
Here’s a look at some examples of great book blurbs for inspiration:
Fiction book example
Book blurb on Amazon:This is the story of Oliver Barrett IV, a rich jock from a stuffy WASP family on his way to a Harvard degree and a career in law, and Jenny Cavilleri, a wisecracking working-class beauty studying music at Radcliffe.
Opposites in nearly every way, Oliver and Jenny are kindred spirits from vastly different worlds. Their attraction to each other is immediate and powerful, and together they share a love that defies everything.
This is their story—a story of two young people and a love so uncompromising it will bring joy to your heart and tears to your eyes.
Word count: 98
Why it works:
- Introduces the characters and highlights their intense contradictions
- Adds mystery by being intentionally vague about the plot
- Appeals to readers’ emotions and sense of romance with powerful vocabulary
Self-help book example
Book blurb on Amazon: Happiness is a brain function. With a healthier brain always comes a happier life.
After studying more than 200,000 brain scans of people from 155 countries, Dr. Amen has discovered five primary brain types and seven neuroscience secrets that influence happiness. In You, Happier, he explains them and offers practical, science-based strategies for optimizing your happiness. Dr. Amen will teach you how to
- Discover your brain type based on your personality and create happiness strategies best suited to you;
- Improve your overall brain health to consistently enhance your mood;
- Protect your happiness by distancing yourself from the “noise” in your head; and
- Make seven simple decisions and ask seven daily questions to enhance your happiness.
Creating consistent happiness is a daily journey. In You, Happier, Dr. Amen walks you through neuroscience-based habits, rituals, and choices that will boost your mood and help you live each day with clearly defined values, purpose, and goals.
Word count: 153
Why it works:
- Clearly outlines what the book will cover and how it will help you, a huge part of how to write a book blurb
- Highlights the author’s credentials to establish authority
- Further demonstrates credibility by including figures and making references to science
Poetry book example
Book blurb from Amazon:The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
Word count: 55
Why it works:
- Matches the tone of the book
- Appeals to emotions, which is key for how to write a book blurb
- Takes a unique approach
Food book example
Book blurb from Amazon: If you’re eating a healthy diet and you’re still dealing with fatigue, inflammation, anxiety, recurrent injuries, or chronic pain, the problem could be your spinach, almonds, sweet potatoes, and other trusted plant foods. And your key to vibrant health may be quitting these so-called superfoods.
After suffering for decades from chronic health problems, nutrition educator Sally K. Norton, MPH, discovered that the culprits were the chemical toxins called oxalates lurking within her “healthy,” organic plant-heavy diet. She shines light on how our modern diets are overloaded with oxalates and offers fresh solutions including:
- A complete, research-backed program to safely reverse your oxalate load
- Comprehensive charts and resources on foods to avoid and better alternatives
- Guidance to improve your energy, optimize mood and brain performance, and find true relief from chronic pain
In this groundbreaking guide, Norton reveals that the popular dictum to “eat more plants” can be misleading. Toxic Superfoods gives health-seekers a chance for improved energy, optimum brain performance, graceful aging, and true relief from chronic pain.
Word count: 171 words
Why it works:
- Highlights author’s personal experience and credentials
- Identifies a problem and notes why other solutions don’t work
- Outlines what she will share to help readers overcome their problems
Mystery book example
Book blurb on Amazon:Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was seven, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. When Charlie is seventeen, he meets a dog named Radar and her aging master, Howard Bowditch, a recluse in a big house at the top of a big hill, with a locked shed in the backyard. Sometimes strange sounds emerge from it.
Charlie starts doing jobs for Mr. Bowditch and loses his heart to Radar. Then, when Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie a cassette tape telling a story no one would believe. What Bowditch knows, and has kept secret all his long life, is that inside the shed is a portal to another world.
King’s storytelling in Fairy Tale soars. This is a magnificent and terrifying tale in which good is pitted against overwhelming evil, and a heroic boy—and his dog—must lead the battle.
Word count: 176
Why it works:
- Describes the scene and main character, and then leaves a huge cliffhanger
- Adds an element of magic
Writing a book blurb: Top tips
When it’s time to learn how to write a book blurb, you may be feeling a lot of pressure. That’s okay!
The three tips here will help you get started writing a book blurb that sells:
1. Tease, don’t summarize
Most importantly, remember this is not a summary of your book. Instead of simply recapping what happens, you want to entice your reader to pick up the book and find out for themselves.
First, introduce your characters. Then, establish the conflict. Think about including some of the elements of a plot.
Finally, leave the reader with a cliffhanger to lure them in.
2. Create emotion with your writing
Your book blurb is your first opportunity to connect with your readers. Tap into their emotional side to get them interested and also invested in your storyline.
Segals’ Love Story appeals to a prospective reader’s romantic feelings, while Kings’ Fairy Tale ignites their sense of curiosity.
These are both examples of fiction, but you can still appeal to readers’ emotions even if you’re writing non-fiction. The secret lies in your ethos.
For instance, you can demonstrate your authority as a writer in your book blurb by pointing to your previously published works, your professional expertise, and/or experiences. Ultimately, you want to let the reader know that your work is worth reading.
3. Make your intent clear
Knowing how to entice, excite, and energize your reader is part of understanding how to write a good book blurb. But while you certainly may want to leave a little mystery to lure them in, you don’t want to confuse them.
King’s Fairy Tale is a great example of giving the reader a clearly-defined mystery. While many details are left unknown, the reader very clearly understands what the book will be about: discovering a different world.
Providing clarity in your book blurb is particularly important for non-fiction works.
The book Toxic Superfoods by Sally Norton, MPH, is another good example. Here, the author explicitly provides a brief outline of what she’ll cover in the book. This way, the reader has a concrete idea of what to expect before buying, i.e., they know whether or not the author has the answers to their questions.
Expert tipRemember, you want to draw readers into the story and also make them understand how this book will change their life or be fascinating to read. You can check out other book blurbs as examples and inspiration while you work on yours.
Consider including key details that make your book different from others like it when learning how to write a book blurb.
What message should a book blurb convey?
The main point of knowing how to write a good book blurb is to attract readers to your story and get them to buy. To do so, you need the correct mix of promotion and creativity.
That said, a book blurb should never be too sales-y. While you want your book blurb to convert, you don’t want it to overly resemble an advertisement.
Instead, focus on making sure your book blurb conveys the same tone as your story to your target audience.
For example, you want to avoid making your description too outlandish or over the top if you’ve written an informational, non-fiction book.
Similarly, a book blurb for a self-help book shouldn’t read like a steamy excerpt from a romance novel or a thrilling cliffhanger for a mystery.
Where does a book blurb go?
Most commonly, you’ll see book blurbs on the back of paperback books—or on the inside sleeve of a hardcover book.
Even though there remain a lot of diehard analog fans, most people today prefer to read ebooks (first understand how to write an ebook and make money!). For ebooks, you’ll find the book blurb on the purchasing page, whether that’s on Amazon, on retailers’ book pages, or on the author’s website, etc.
Finally, book blurbs will also be read on social media to attract, entice, and hook new readers to buy.
What’s the right word count for a blurb?
Most book blurbs are between 100 and 200 words long—but the sweet spot is 150 words.
Of course, this is a suggested guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule for how to write a book blurb. While you don’t have unlimited space to write, you do have room to experiment.
Most importantly, you want the length of a book blurb to match the genre of your book.
For example, for academic or scientific books, your book blurb may be up to 250 words. For poetry books or if you want to know how to get a short story published, on the other hand, create a shorter book blurb that’s less than 100 words.
Related posts to writing book blurbs
Writing a good book blurb gets the reader’s attention!
A book blurb may be short, but that doesn’t mean you can race through writing it! Rather, just like the book itself, you’ll probably have to do several rounds of edits when learning how to write a book blurb.
If this is your first book, don’t get discouraged at this last step—you’re almost finished! Check out these 12 book writing tips for a first-time author for more ideas.