Monday, August 7, 2017

Blurb writing - basics you should include

When I, as a reader, read the blurb on a book, there's certain things I want to learn about the book from the blurb. And I'm going to share those in this post. Perhaps it will help writers write better blurbs about their book.

Blurb writing checklist for authors

  • No. 1 should be a short, basic synopsis of your book. The character count should be between 500-1500 characters. It should include the names of your 2 main characters, and a brief description of what happens, from beginning to mid point, leaving off the end of the book; but only posing a question about what happens.
  • ------ The rest of these should come at the end of your blurb, after the synopsis above, and should not be included in the character count. -------
  • Genre - Begin with what genre you think your book is.
  • Recommended ages - tell what ages you recommend this book for. Don't rely on the website to do that. It's your job as a writer to know what age audience you've written for. For example: 18 plus, 15 and up, good for children under the age of ???. Hopefully you get the idea. Give a basic age range, or a starting age and up.
  • Sex content - tell what kind of sex content is in the book. Does it have graphic sex scenes? Does it have romance but no graphic sex scenes? Does it have a rape scene in it? This is an important thing to tell, especially if it has a rape or other such scene in it.
  • Violence level - Let you readers know what level of violence is in the book. Loud arguments? Fights? Gun battles? Torture? Physical violence against women or children?
  • Cliffhanger or standalone - Tell whether this story has a cliffhanger continued ending, or if it is a standalone story that is all completed in this book. 
  • Also tell if it is part of a series of books, and are the books in the series all standalones or are they connected.
  • HEA - A lot of romance books especially include this. Happily Ever After. 
So that gives you an idea of what to put into a blurb. Some writers already include a lot of the stuff listed above in their blurbs, and I thank the ones who do. Some seem to think readers should plow through reviews to find this info, and those who think that are being very inconsiderate of their readers.

** Writers who include this in their blurb are simply showing common courtesy and care towards their readers. **

If you are afraid of including the above in your blurb for fear of turning readers off of your book, then you are doing a disservice to your readers; for they will be far angrier at you for not including it. Don't deceive your readers into buying your book.

Write a clear and truthful blurb.

It will help your reviews, because you won't have people getting your book expecting one thing and getting another. And it may pick you up some fans for it too.

Cliffhanger warnings are especially important! There are lots of one star reviews from readers disappointed because there wasn't a warning about a cliffhanger ending.

So authors, give a care for your readers, and write clear and truthful blurbs.

I hope you find this helpful.

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