Many authors agree that writing the back-cover blurb is the hardest part of writing a novel! Fortunately there are a lot of talented writers out there willing to share their expertise on the topic. Here are some useful resources that I hope will make the process a little less painful!
First, the synopsis. This is longer than a blurb, and most indie authors don’t have to write one very often. But if you’re trying to get the attention of an agent or publisher, you will probably need a synopsis. Krystine Kercher has a useful article about how to create one. Suzanne Purvis has a good one, too, complete with examples. And Sarah Juckes’ article has practical, step-by-step instructions.
Next, a logline. As the folks at Writers Helping Writers explain, “a logline is a one- or two-sentence pitch that explains what your story is about in a way that makes listeners want to read it.” Some book promo sites ask for loglines, and they’re also useful when people who don’t have much time to sit and listen hear that you’ve written a book and ask you what it’s about. This article gives some great examples and talks about how to write good ones.
And now for the blurb. Here are some of my favorite resources:
The Fussy Librarian suggests techniques for how to write an “irresistible” blurb here.
Author Pauline Creeden has a 3-part blurb writing “clinic” on her blog. Part 1 lists 12 dos and don’ts. Part 2 explains how to write a tagline (similar to logline, but not the same). Part 3 explains what to do in a blurb if your book involves multiple genres and main characters.
Fix My Story talks about how to write an “incredible” blurb, complete with tagline, here.
Starla Huchton lists several types of blurbs and how to tackle each of them, on her blog.
Sophie Masson lists several elements, both optional and required, of a good blurb, here.
And now for the one I have personally found to be the most helpful. Author Libby Hawker has a fun and useful video about blurb writing here.
Some people suggest formatting parts of your blurb (e.g. with bold, italics, different sizes, or color) to make it really stand out on Amazon and other sites. Here are a few resources on that topic:
In this article, the Fix My Story folks talk about how to use simple HTML to format your description on Amazon.
Here on Kindlepreneuer, they will actually generate the HTML for you. All you have to do is paste in your blurb and format it with easy buttons such as you’d find in Microsoft Word.
Finally, for those familiar with HTML and knowledgeable enough to use it on their own, Amazon itself has a list of the HTML tags supported on their site.
I hope these resources are useful! And if you have links to others that you use, or would like to share your own suggestions about how to write a good blurb (or synopsis, logline, tagline, or anything similar), I’d love to hear about them in the comments!