The book blurb

How do you distill a 93,000 word manuscript down to 2 paragraphs? While my novel is off in beta hands, I’ve been writing, editing, scrapping, and re-writing my book blurb, or as it’s called on Amazon, the “product description”. That’s not very romantic, is it? If I was buying a blender or a new laptop, sure, “product description” seems to fit. But for a book?

I suppose that in the online environment our books don’t really have a book jacket or a back cover. Will kids in the future even know those terms? Most will be introduced to the smart phone, iPAD or Kindle before they start kindergarten. Will the touch and feel of a paperback (or hardcover), the smell of old paper, be foreign to them?

But I procrastinate. Product description. Why not  something as simple as “about this book”? Too boring I suppose.

But boring is NOT what the book blurb can be. It has to grab the reader immediately. A voice in their head says I must take a closer look at this book, which leads to “Buy now with 1-click” and makes us writer-ly types happy.

The advice about writing the book blurb here and here makes it sound like it should be  simple. Writers know that this is not a piece of cake. Think of all the plots and subplots in a novel. I know what the most important thing is; I can tell you what’s at stake for my protagonist. But keeping it short, punchy, and to the point without revealing the details – that’s the trick.

I posted my 4th attempt at the blurb for my upcoming novel on an earlier post. I’ve already worked up 2 different versions, including one that went over really well at my writers group last week.

I’d love to hear from you and I know my non-writer readership would be interested in your tales! How many rewrites did it take you to finalize your own book blurb?

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