The Road to Self Publishing- The Hardest Writing


So, I’ve sent off copies of my work to beta-readers (in multiple formats, need to be accommodating to the people who are helping me). So, now it’s time to sit around, twiddling my thumbs (or doing my day job) and wait for them to send it back, right? Ha. Ha. No. Remember that list from the last article? If not, go back and refresh your memory. As you can see, there’s no shortage of things that need to be done, and some (many?) can be done as you’re waiting for beta-reading to be done. Today, we’re going to look at a small piece of the marketing puzzle- the back of the book blurb.

For those who aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about, the back of the book blurb is that piece of writing on the back of the book (or inside the dust-jacket) that tells the reader a little bit about it while enticing them to actually open it up and read it.

Wait a minute? The title of this one is The Hardest Writing. What’s so hard about writing the little description on the back? Quick: come up with a 250 word summary of your book that doesn’t give away any spoilers, but still manages to communicate what the thing is about in a way that makes it seem like it would be a fun read.

Not so easy, right?

So, what advice do I have for someone struggling with this? I’m going to do something that I haven’t done in this series so far, admit I have no idea. I have no tips or tricks for writing a good back of the book blurb. What I will say is; read them. Just like you first learned to write from reading books, read as many of these little snippets as you can. Read from your favorite authors. Read from authors you absolutely hate. Read from the top sellers in every genre. Just as importantly, read from the ones who barely sold anything. Were the bad sales due to a bad book, or maybe due to a bad blurb? The pieces matter and the ones who failed can tell you as much as the ones who succeeded. You’ll see what I’ve come up with below, and we can decide if I’ve succeeded or failed.

Maybe, after all that work, you still think your blurb isn’t that good. If that’s the case, it might be time to consider taking out a blurb writing services. Yes, they do exist, but unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with them, so I’ll hold my tongue. I may do another post about them, if I end up using one at a later date. But, if you feel like your sales skills aren’t up to par, you’ll definitely want to bite the bullet and spend a little money on this area. It is definitely one place you don’t want lacking.

Alright, above I told you I’d show you the blurb I’ve come up with. A little aside: this blurb is for a horror book, so, keep that in mind. Now, without further ado:

Hi. I’m Vi. I thought it would be fun to sneak into that abandoned asylum. Spoiler: it wasn’t. It really wasn’t. Bad things happen in there. Don’t believe me? Fine. Open this book and read what happened. You can read all about the death, see all the gruesome details. But, if I were you, I’d put this book back down and get out of here, now. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Because, if you do, it’s over. You can’t escape.

No one can.


So, what do you think? Does it make you want to read this book? Maybe make you a little uneasy? If not, what does it make you feel?

What’s you’re blurb look like? If you want, go ahead and post it in the comments, and we can all decide whether it’s ready. We can all be in it together.

And, as always, check out the master post for the other stages in this series.

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