Want your blurb to sell more books? You’ve got to have a solid blurb. Here are tips to help you writing a winning blurb that ends with a sales pitch that makes browsers ready to buy.
Welcome back. In part one of this two-part series, we investigated the differences behind prose and ad copy. We discussed why we as writers have so much trouble going from penning wondrous stories to beating our heads against the desk when faced with creating a short but intriguing description. And finally, we explored what makes a great hook.
This time around, we’ll dive into the main body of the blurb and finish up with a quick look at the selling paragraph and the final Call to Action sentence.
People Care About Other People
When crafting our ad copy, the primary thing to remember is people care about other people. Despite us being social creatures, this is often overlooked when copywriting. Authors tend to get caught up in their plots. While this is understandable, when it comes down to it, the plot isn’t going to sell the book.
People caring about what happens to the characters is what draws readers. The journey to Mt. Doom to destroy the ring isn’t what kept folks turning the pages of Tolkien’s works. It was fear for what might happen to Frodo, Sam, and the others which made The Lord of the Rings so compelling.
So when you write those paragraphs, focus on what the PoV character wants, what stands in their way, and how they react in trying to change their situation.
Why the First Paragraph of Your Blurb Is So Important
When we worked on our hook last time, we used a young actress framed for murder as one example. Let’s continue on with that particular story to expand upon our blurb.
The first paragraph is an introduction to the hero/heroine and their current state of being. The next sentence gives a taste of plot but still focuses on how it affects the subject. And the third sentence provides an initial cliffhanger.
As a simplified example:
Aspiring actress Judith Mimsy dreams of gliding down the red carpet. So when the role of a lifetime lands in her lap, she’s determined to shine. But when her eagerness to please gets her framed for murder, she’s terrified she’ll be reduced to method acting behind bars.
From this example we can see that Judith aspires to big things in Hollywood. She’s a people pleaser, and when she’s lucky enough to land a juicy role, she does her best to make everyone involved happy with the decision. Then comes the dead body, and her fear sets in.
Even though the word choices show this is closer to a cozy than a thriller, anyone scanning the paragraph can get a feel for what sort of woman Judith is. They will empathize with her plight enough to want to discover how she escapes her predicament.
The Juicy Middle Draws Your Reader In
The second paragraph will be similar but dive a bit deeper into the story (but usually no more than halfway into the second act). It will up the stakes for the main character while maintaining the toll it takes on her emotions.
And then the final cliffhanger follows:
Will she find the murderer before she trades in her wardrobe for an orange jumpsuit (or possibly end up as the killer’s next victim)?
With the main body of the blurb looking good, it’s time to wrap things up. If the potential reader has made it this far into the blurb, they’re interested. Now you need to close the deal with a call to action.
Why Your Blurb Needs a Sales Pitch
Readers need an extra push to get them to snap up the story. This is where we need to give a summary that includes the book’s title, the author’s name, and some appealing characteristics of the book.
So, for our actress story, the sales pitch could go something like this:
Death Takes a Curtain Call is the first glittering book in the Hollywood Perils cozy mystery series. If you like naïve but determined heroines, the glamour of classic films, and quirky whodunnits, then you’ll love Norma Backscratcher’s spirited tale.
Buy Death Takes a Curtain Call to roll the cameras today!
This concludes this brief survey on how to keep copywriting from giving you hives. Practice makes perfect, as they say, and this is no different.
How to Write the Perfect Blurb
Start off by writing 5–10 hooks, and then try to work each one so it’s snappier. Then head on to the main body of the blurb. Two paragraphs focusing on the main character (there is an extra paragraph for a romance, so the love interest gets some spotlight time), and finally the selling paragraph and a one-line Call to Action.
Nope, it still won’t be easy. But with some dedication, you can go from driving away sales to gaining new fans.
And if you’re having trouble getting your ads to convert, grab your copy of our Top 10 Amazon Advertising tips!