How to Write a Selling Book Blurb: 11 Tips for Authors + Examples


Here’s the thing – as an author, you know your story best. But writing those 150 words of book blurb seems like an impossible challenge. Can you relate?

We have good news. First, you’re not alone in your struggle – this issue is widespread. Second, we’ve prepared this ultimate guide to help you write a selling book blurb to attract readers. So, let’s dive in.

What is a book blurb?

At first glance, you probably know what it is – a short description of your story on the back cover or the text that appears in the information about your book on the online store page. Yes, but there’s more to it than that.

  • This is an advertising text. The first sentences should strike a chord with your potential readers and make them want to read the book immediately.
  • The blurb is the second thing, after the book cover, that decides whether people will buy your book.
  • It is NOT a summary. The blurb should lift the curtain on your story but not spoil it.

So, what should a perfect blurb look like? We’re about to figure it out in a second.

How to write a selling book blurb? 

Some authors hire a copywriter to write the blurb. But a copywriter probably won’t read your book thoroughly or grasp all its ideas and motives. They usually rely on summaries and general info.

You are the expert on your book! You know the characters, themes, and conflicts best. That’s why we recommend writing the blurb yourself. Check out our tips below to help you out.

Tip 1. Keep it short, simple, and structured

Keep your blurb between 100-150 words. After all, you have literally a minute to interest the reader, if not less. 

For the same reasons, your text should be easy to read. If you write fantasy, a potential buyer is unlikely to remember your world’s fancy terms immediately. Therefore, you must interest them in the general plot without any excesses.

Don’t write your blurb in long, plain text. Structure it into paragraphs to improve readability. The opening sentence can be bolded. If it’s non-fiction, use bullet points. The potential reader should be able to scan the blurb quickly with their eyes, not wade through it like a scrub.

Tip 2. Align the book blurb tone with your genre

Ensure your blurb matches your book’s tone to attract the right readers. If it’s a thriller, keep the blurb urgent and highlight the stakes. If it’s a casual self-help book, make it friendly and discuss the problem you want to solve. Straying from your book’s tone might attract the wrong audience, leading to disappointment.

Tip 3. Start with a hook

The first sentences of your book blurb need to grab the reader’s attention right away. Consider what makes your book unique or exciting to find the best hook. If you’re a fiction writer, focus on what sets your plot apart – maybe it’s an extraordinary world or a character with a unique appearance. For non-fiction, highlight the unique perspective or problem you’re addressing.

Tip 4. Add a summarizing sentence at the very beginning

It’s the sentence above the blurb itself. It characterizes your book very briefly, highlighting the central theme or conflict. You can also mention the genre and unique features of your story here. 

If your book has received any awards or notable achievements, be sure to include that information as well. This first line should be intriguing and give readers a quick snapshot of what makes your book unique.

Book blurb example - Add a summarizing sentence at the very beginning

Tip 5. Tell something intriguing about your main character

Your protagonist constantly accompanies the reader throughout the story, so tell more about them. Perhaps some traits will resonate with the audience and make them buy the book. Is your hero a weird loner? Or a cheerful person with humor? Or does the character have supernatural powers? Think about what might intrigue readers.

Tip 6. Reveal settings a bit

Some readers love specific settings – a magical alternate universe or a cozy bookstore. That’s why it’s important to immediately let your audience know where the events of your book are happening. Setting the scene right away helps draw readers in and gives them a sense of place.

Tip 7. Mention the main conflict in the book blurb

Every book needs conflict – if your characters live happily and peacefully, readers will get bored fast. After all, people don’t like to read stories about ordinary life. The conflict, or what’s standing in the way of your main character’s goals, is what keeps readers hooked because they want to see how it all gets resolved. In your blurb, tease the central conflict and set up the stakes, but don’t spoil the resolution.

Tip 8. Evoke emotions

Emotional responses make the blurb more memorable. A blurb that evokes feelings – whether excitement, fear, or empathy – will stick in the reader’s mind. To create such a text, use vivid language that creates strong images and feelings. Focus on the central conflict or challenge to draw readers in. At the same time, leave some questions unanswered to spark curiosity.

Tip 9. Go from big to small

If you don’t know where to start at all, begin with a general retelling of your story – it can be pretty detailed. Write it out the following things separately:

  • Main idea and moral of the book
  • Themes
  • Tropes
  • Unique features of your characters
  • Setting characteristics

Now, move from the small to the large, shortening the retelling, focusing on the main ideas, and removing spoilers. Then, try to shorten the text again, hide the plot’s denouements, etc. Do this until you have a good blurb.

Tip 10. Be ready to rewrite your book blurb a few times

Did you manage to write the book the first time? Or did you rewrite certain scenes several times, if not from scratch? We bet the second option! It’s pretty normal! 

The same thing applies to the blurb. Even though it is very short, writing it on the first try is impossible. Write a first draft and let it sit for a few days. Revise and rewrite it again until you have the perfect one.

Tip 11. Add a short review in the end

Even if your book is just about to be released, you’ve probably sent it to ARC readers or worked with betas. After the blurb, add the most apt and concise reviews. The opinions of others can motivate potential readers to buy your book.

Examples of selling book blurbs

Now, from theory to examples. Take a look at some effective and catchy blurbs.

Let’s start with the blurb for a fantasy book. It immediately attracts attention with an opening sentence that summarizes the entire story. The unusual first-person POV establishes a connection with the reader, who seems to be transported into the story. In addition, the author vividly describes the traits of the main characters, which intrigues the audience and makes them want to know more about them.

Fantasy book blurb

Then, check out this romantic comedy blurb. It contains a short review from a famous writer at the very beginning. Bold sentences grab the readers’ attention to short but essential information. The blurb is written in a light style that suits the genre’s mood.

romance book blurb

How about science fiction? The following blurb is divided into short paragraphs, making it well-readable. The text contains technological terms highlighting the genre style. The tagline in the very beginning catches the reader’s eye and evokes intrigue.

Science fiction book blurb

Now, it’s time for the mystery book blurb. This text is well-structured and easy to read. Bold accent sentences with scary details create the thematic mood. A short review and summarizing lines complement the overall blurb.

Mystery book blurb

Finally, let’s check the blurb for nonfiction. First, it starts with a sweet call to action. Then, the text gives a clear and detailed description of the book’s subject. The reader can see features and benefits listed in bullets. Such structure also enhances the genre’s peculiarities.

To wrap up

Are you struggling to write a blurb for your book? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! This guide will help you write a selling blurb that grabs readers and makes them want your book.

Here’s the gist:

  • Keep it short and structured
  • Match the tone of your book
  • Hook readers from the start
  • Mention what makes your story unique
  • Briefly introduce your main character and the challenges they face
  • Tease the central conflict without spoiling the ending
  • Leave readers wanting more!

Now, get writing! Remember, you can rewrite your blurb a few times until it’s perfect.

Do you ever have trouble writing a blurb? Share your experience in the comments.

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