November 03, 2021

#GuestPost with Evelyn Rainey: Back of the Book Blurb

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Back of the Book Blurb

By Evelyn Rainey © 2021

Research shows that an average book buyer spends 15 seconds on a potential purchase. What do they spend their time on? First, the cover. I know – you can’t tell a book by its cover – but you SELL a book by its cover 9/10 times. Then, the person will flip the book over and read the blurb on the back.  If you ever see someone in a bookstore thumbing through the book, that book’s author has passed the 15-second rule and is about to make a sale! 

The blurb will sound a lot like your query letter, because its purpose is to entice people to read your book. However, I am going to let you in on a secret that I learned from a how-to-win-sweepstakes author Sandy Lovern. It is the reason I have enticed so many publishers to look at my manuscripts and so many readers to purchase my books. 

Use the parts of your query letter that served for the hook and the premise.

  1. Think about one underlying theme in your book. For example, in my 2nd book about a civil war set in the future Bedina’s War, the underlying theme was medical: there was a disease that was killing off military personnel but not civilians. Perhaps your suspense novel has a main character who loves to cook, so your underlying theme might be food, or music plays an important role in your detective mystery. Whatever it is, it should not be the main idea – I did not use military terminology for Bedina’s War’s blurb. It should be the secondary theme, the underlying harmony that flows through all great novels. I will call this Theme-S.
  2. Look at your query again. Make a copy of the original, and on the copy, highlight all verbs and adjectives. (Why verbs? Because they are active and make your query come to life.)
  3. Go through it using your online thesaurus, researching each verb or adjective and replacing it with one from the thesaurus that is Theme-S in nature.  For example, if your  S-Theme is food, use aroma instead of hint, saucy instead of smart, inviting or entertaining instead of considering, nourishing instead of developing. 
  4. Now compare/contrast your original query and your Theme-S query. Blend them into one blurb.
  5. Now trim it until it is about 150 words.
  6. Do not add quotations or promotions – this needs to be totally about your book. Only the title – if you’ve used it in the blurb – should be bolded. No italics or any other emphasis.
  7. Now pretend you are introducing the author of (your) book to an audience at a book signing event. Read the new blurb out loud. If you stumble on anything, that needs to be changed. 
  8. Make sure it is spelled correctly and says what you want it to say. The blurb is reformatted into a png and pasted onto the cover, so no mistakes can be corrected after it is set.
  9. The blurb can be used for any version of your book – audio, ebook, hardcover, trade paperback – and for news releases, posters, and social media blurbs. 

If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact me through my website. I’m one of those authors and publishers who loves to help writers become published.

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 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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