Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The All Important Book Blurb (It Makes "Em Buy Your Book)

As I head into the final stages of preparing my next novel for print, I begin thinking about my book blurb.  The blurb is the product description (Amazon) or Overview (B&N), and the words that are on the back cover of an actual book.

Make no mistake, an indie author cannot take the blurb lightly.  It is the thing that will make readers decide if they will purchase your book or not.  The story itself must be great, or people won't buy another book from you.  The cover must be great, because that compels readers to look at the blurb. But the blurb?  That baby had better sing, and sing well.  It can't be too long, but it has to grab their attention. 

Think of it as advertising.  That is really what it is.  After over 20 years in adverstising sales, I can tell you that a good ad gets a customer (reader) to take action.  That is ALL it does.  It does not tell them the story. It does not give them all of the facts.  It simply gets them excited.  Like a carnival barker.

Readers don't want you to take up much of their time with the blurb.  If you don't capture them quickly, you lose them.  If you capture them, but then start blabbing on and on about the story (which they can get if they read the free sample), they will grow impatient.

Why should they buy it?  What is mesmerizing about it?  Hook them.  Pull them in.  They will then either buy (if it sounds like something they would enjoy) or read the free sample (if they are online and not quite sure yet).  The free sample is where your great novel steps in.  If the novel sucks in the first couple of chapters, they walk away.

The blurb is the romance.  It is the candy and flowers; the violins and promises.  The blurb damn well better get them to take positive action, or you will get caught holding the ring in your hand.

I write the first draft of the blurb several days before I need it.  The first draft will suck.  That gotten out of the way, I can now hone it off and on other the next few days.  My gut tells me when it is ready. 

I have the "suck" draft on my computer right now.  It is being worked on constantly in the back of my mind, even though I have no idea what my mind is deciding.  I will attack it again today at least once. 

The words will come together and it will sing.  I will once again be ready to make romance to the readers.  I will hope that they like my choice of flowers; my box of candy. I don't want to have to keep this "ring" for myself.  My book is like a precious gem to me. I want others to "wear" it.

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