Recipe for a tasty book blurb with less fat, more flavor.
I’m going to say a word that will make some—maybe the majority of—writers cringe.
No, that’s not a bodily noise like a belch or a burp.
In case you’re not familiar, a book blurb is the well-organized and expressive words that a make a reader fall in love with your book. It’s the description of what was written. A succinct and interesting representation of say 20,000 words? 50,000 words? Or maybe even 100,000 plus words … in 50 to 150 words.
Yes, it’s taking what took thousands of words to communicate and shrinking it down to only a few sacred and poignant words.
Blurb is another word for hell. Of that I’m positive.
So yesterday, I sat with a new writer who had polished her brand new 15,000-word baby to a sparkling shine, ready to submit to a publisher, so excited and starry-eyed, and then I showed her the joys of writing…the blurb.
And she loved it!
She agreed that it was a pain just above having a bikini wax after allowing four months of winter growth down there. And those authors who love doing it, they are indeed a special breed—of crazy. But love you crazies!
However, blurbs are a necessary and required agony that comes with writing.
So here’s how we started.
First, we looked for blurbs of popular books in her genre that spoke to us on Amazon. What did they all have in common? I found three things.
- The blurbs were brief and informative. Ones that were longer seemed over-done.
- The blurbs used lots of figurative language but gave real details as well.
- The blurbs kept the reader guessing, and in the end, wanting to know more.
So we worked together to create a blurb for her submission, and in the end, it was fun. Kind of.
Here would be my recipe for a romance blurb. Note, it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing. It’s a recipe that’s meant to be flavored with your seasonings. Baked in your brain oven, and served only when you’ve trimmed, plated, and decorated it into a beautiful presentation. In other words—don’t rush it! Take your time. Run it by a couple of other authors. We’re here to help—really!
Jules’ Recipe for a Blurb.
- Character XYZ before their conflict, little about them. What’s happening in their world?
- Then something happens to change their life/ideas/perspective/plans/efforts Whatever it is, it’s big!
- Then life gets worse! And the character is required to make a decision.
- Can the character change/find happiness/make amends before it’s too late?
So for example, I’ll use the blurb from Chaps: Cherry County Cowboys 2.
- Where does he start?
Rising rodeo star Nate O’Neill never expected to be living in a small Nebraska ranching town waiting for his rodeo brother to recover from a vicious ride.
Poor Nate, he’s all alone in a strange town. What will he do?
- What changes in his life?
His unplanned stop steers him into the arms and bed of local celebrity, Tennessee Reed.
Oh, so he’ll do Tennessee! What fun!
- How does it get worse?
Soon he questions what thrills him more—the rodeo or Tenn.
No rodeo? Gasp! But he’s a cowboy! What has that NFL football player done to him?!
- Will he change to find his happiness?
Forced to face his reckless past, he’s reminded that relationships can cause damage far worse than any bull ride … and maybe he’s headed for the same suffering again.
So he’s been hurt in the past, will he see that this time is different? That’s something a reader must read the book to find out.
Then I did the same for the other main character in the book, Tennessee Reed.
Professional football draft-pick Tennessee Reed returns home emotionally shattered by the unexpected passing of his father who left Tenn with a hereditary secret buried in his chest. He might be dying inside, but when Nate walks into his life all Tenn’s troubles seem to disappear into those hazel eyes and he’s never felt more alive. Will Tenn follow the cowboy wherever life leads? Or will he protect his heart and watch those fringed leather chaps ride away?
So there you have it! Now, go write your blurb and make it yours.
Hugs to all…and don’t forget! It’s HUMP DAY!