Are you frustrated with trying to write a compelling and interesting fiction book blurb?
Does it take up a lot of your time and still doesn’t sound all that good?
If you’re an indie or self-published author, you’ll have to write a compelling fiction book blurb to help you market your book effectively, or you’ll have to find someone to do it for you.
Your book description on Amazon has to hook your readers immediately and get them to buy the book before they click away and read something else.
How to Write a Book Blurb for Fiction
Writing the book description is a rather daunting task, which is why many authors would rather avoid it. I know I felt that way for a long time. I struggled with how to start, where to start, and what to write. There was no clear process to follow.
Like most authors, I wrote a simple synopsis for my novel and then used that information to write a fiction book blurb. It took a long time to write and wasn’t very compelling to readers.
When I published my second novel, I felt like it took as long to write the fiction book blurb as it did to write the book! That’s when I decided there had to be an easier way.
I got tired of putting so much time, energy, and stress into writing just a few hundred words. So I studied a lot of book blurbs for fiction and nonfiction. I learned what worked and what didn’t work, and what made fiction blurbs different from nonfiction blurbs.
Fiction Book Blurbs vs. Synopses
It’s hard to capture the essence of the story and make it interesting so that it grabs your reader’s attention.
Do you find yourself struggling with this?
The good news is that you’re not alone. Over 50% of the authors I surveyed said they didn’t know how to write a book blurb that’s interesting and attention-grabbing.
Writing a great book blurb is a bit intimidating, isn’t it?
You’ve written an entire novel of 50,000 to 90,000 words or more, and then you just need to write a few hundred more for your blurb so you can market your book. It shouldn’t be difficult, but those extra words need to give an exciting glimpse into the incredible story in your book.
This is where the problem starts. Many authors tend to approach writing the fiction book description like it’s a synopsis. The synopsis is the tell-all of your book. It’s important to write a synopsis if you’re going the traditional publishing route, but it isn’t helpful for self or indie published authors who must write their own fiction book blurb for the Amazon book description.
A great book blurb is not just a synopsis.
Writing a synopsis is time consuming and can soon put you into overwhelm. There’s a lot of information to sift through. You look at all that happened in your story and search through all the details. Then you try to decide which ones to include and which ones to leave out. And then you’re trying to summarize that information to make it sound like the story.
What often happens, though, is that you can find yourself telling a “this, then that happened” kind of scenario. And you’re writing the information exactly like you wrote it in your story.
The sad truth is that, even after all that work, some of the key compelling points of your story may still be missing from the book blurb.
You want to put the heart and soul of your story into your fiction book blurb, but it isn’t happening. Your story is good, so how do you decide what to pull out and share with your readers? And how do you make it grab their attention?
The fiction book blurb serves a whole different purpose than the synopsis. And that’s why it needs to be approached with a different mindset.
How to Write a Better Blurb
Ask yourself a few key questions about your story:
- Who is my protagonist?
- What’s important to know about my protagonist?
- Who is my antagonist?
- Why is my antagonist being mean to my protagonist?
- What bone does the antagonist have to pick? What is the main conflict?
Then, ask yourself what are the four key events that occur. These should include:
a) The Kick Start – what got my story going
b) The Back Story – what brought this story to this point
c) The Climax – what is the big clash
d) The Ending – what events get tied up
The kick start and the back story are a great way to share the theme or the underlying conflict in your story. This is important as it gives the reader a sense of the main struggle that the protagonist is dealing with. It tells us where the protagonist was, where the protagonist is now, and where the protagonist wants to be.
To tease the reader as to where the story is going, use the climax and ending and ask yourself these questions:
- Does the protagonist win?
- Does the protagonist lose?
- Does the antagonist win?
- Does the antagonist lose?
In answering these questions, be sure that you’re not just putting down information. You want your reader to connect with the emotion and drama of your story.
- What grabbed you in your story?
- What emotions did you feel?
- What feelings do you want to evoke in your reader?
You want your reader to experience what the protagonist is going through. This is key to connecting the reader to your story and making them want to read your novel. Your fiction book blurb needs to show the intrigue, the mystery, and the emotion of your story. If you don’t get your reader emotionally involved in your book description, you’re unlikely to get them to buy your book.
The information in your fiction book blurb doesn’t have to be in the same order as your story. You want to use your answers from the above questions and write a new short story — that is your blurb. Do not think of it as a summary. It is something new and enticing that reflects the journey of your protagonist and hooks your reader emotionally into the drama of your story.
People love mysteries, and essentially every story is an unknown until they’ve read it. To draw the reader in, build on that mystery of where your story is going. Give them enough information to know what’s going on and why it’s so exciting.
Novelists, it’s time for you to take back your time and lower your stress. Stop writing a synopsis and start writing a compelling fiction book blurb.
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
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- How to Summarize a Novel: 4 Steps to Writing a Great Summary
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Glenna Mageau is an award-winning suspense/thriller author, who is also a speaker and writing coach. She works with individuals to overcome the hurdles holding them back, to writing and publishing a novel. She also works with Indie/Self Published authors to create attention grabbing fiction book blurbs. Glenna offers writing workshops and is the creator of Mastering the Art of Writing the Catchy Fiction Book Blurb (for Indie/Self Published Authors). To learn more about writing fiction book blurbs, get her free ebook, 3 Keys to Creating a Compelling & Interesting Fiction Book Blurb. Learn more here: www.glennamageau.com. Her motto: Escape to read… Read to escape… and Write for the Freedom!