Monday, July 23, 2012

Promo Monday- Errors made in blurbs

Recently I have come across blurbs on websites, authors posting on social networks and on amazon that have left me scratching my head and asking "who would possibly buy this book? I don't understand it and I refuse to pay my hard-earned money for it." The blurbs tell part of the story premise and touch on the conflict or important twists necessary to sell the book.

Remember, the blurb is a main selling point of every novel. Order of sequence generally is-
Author name/reputation
First few pages

I have seen authors omit and/or add wording to a blurb that is not a good selling point, just as I have seen authors create a 1,000 word blurb naming every secondary character as well as the main H/H and every event in the book. *cringe* I just recently saw a blurb that had dialogue in it. Now, this is not taboo by any means, but dialogue has a place in a blurb but the way this author set it up, it confused me. The section of spoken words had nothing to do with the premise of the book. Almost like a filler- which I refer to as when you're filling empty space and prolonging the book. 

So, my questions today are... how much is too much and where do you draw the line when writing blurbs?

Key points- 

  • Do NOT paraphrase every moment-
By this, I mean, please do not just copy and paste sections of the book or a particular scene in the book just because you, the author, feel it was well written. Take the entire novel and simplify it. Break it down, hit the key events and points that are relevant to the premise and show what is inside the book. 

  • Use of dialogue-
Dialogue has a place in a blurb, when used in the correct way. But please make sure it is pertinent to what you are trying to show, say and sell. If the novel is about a love affair gone bad and a crumbling marriage, is it appropriate for the characters to say loving whispers to each other or carry on in a love scene? Maybe use dialogue showing a fight moment. Perhaps dialogue with one partner questioning the others motives. Keep the dialogue applicable to the blurb. 

  • Always add the conflict-
This is crucial in a blurb. Readers and potential buyers need to know the H/H may experience some difficulties in their relationship and on the way to a HEA ending. no romance, fiction or real life, is without issues, roadblocks and contradiction from an outside source- so show it in the blurb. 

When reading a book flap or blurb on amazon/publisher's website, I look for the twist that may keep the H./H apart, even if only for a few chapters. This adds to the readers' fantasy, delight and chance to root for the H/H's reunion. Add this to the blurb to show the reader that the book has it. 


  1. This here was pretty well informative. I have read blurbs that really turned me off, or confused the hell out of me. Plus, that would be something to take into consideration.

  2. Well said, Dawne. A blurb is like advertising copy, like a teaser. It should lure you in, make you want more. And it should be spelled properly as well.