Most people write their book and then they write their blurb. But, if you’re eager to sell more books, there’s wisdom in doing this backwards. Learn why the market research you gain from writing a blurb can help you sell more books.
Amazon is flooded with books. And for an indie author, climbing to the top of those hefty ranks can feel like Mount Everest. Not to mention that spending countless hours crafting an incredible story and seeing it flop is painful and costly.
However, there is an untapped exercise at your disposal to help you prepare for success and sell more books.
Writing your blurb first.
Blurbs are condensed, power-packed versions of your story. When done well, they grip a potential reader from the first word and don’t let go until they click “buy.” They’re designed to provoke emotion and suspense and leave your reader breathless and desperate to know what happens next.
It may seem strange to write a blurb before you write your book, but there’s a method to this madness. Here are a couple of reasons to try this strategy.
1. Get to Know Your Genre
Finding your ideal reader starts with genre. It’s crucial to match the professional look, feel, and substance of your chosen category. Not only does this help Amazon’s algorithm, it also helps make the reader’s decision to click “buy” a whole lot easier.
Blurbs don’t have room to mess around with genre. They have to hit the nail on the head, the same way a cover does. So, writing your blurb is a fantastic test to see if you are truly hitting all of those important and unique notes of your genre. Do you have the chosen one in your urban fantasy? The weary detective in your mystery? If you aren’t hitting the right tropes that will help your book sell, the blurb is a great place to find out.
So, take the time to look at what the blurbs are doing for the books selling in your genre. There you’ll discover the tropes you can’t miss, the phrases that convert, and the tone that drives your readers wild.
2. Nail Story Structure
Blurbs work best when they zero in on the inciting incident and crucial cliffhangers. Knowing these key points to your story are incredibly important for keeping a potential reader hooked to your blurb. But some authors aren’t really sure when the inciting incident occurs, its impact, and how to make sure it’s as powerful as possible. That’s where the blurb comes in. If you can articulate how your inciting incident propels your protagonist into the rest of the book in the planning phases, then you’re going to nail that moment in your story.
The same can be said for cliffhangers. Ending your blurb on an important, high-stakes cliffhanger is one of the best conversion tactics. If you know where your story is heading and your protagonist’s arc to get there, then it’s going to make writing the book a lot more streamlined. You’ll go into the drafting phase with a laser focus and come out with a book structured to sell.
Writing your blurb before your book can give you an avenue to dig deep into the marketplace. When you emerge, you’ll be wiser, better prepared, and ready to scale those ranks.