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Deeper Dive On Creating Book Blurbs

By Leslie Sartor

Do you dread writing your book blurb? I used to, but now it’s actually fun!

We all know that getting a reader to our selling page is step one. Book Brush can help you create social media memes that rock and will drive customers to this all important page.

The next step is to engage them enough to keep reading the blurb we’ve meticulously crafted and then finally to click that buy button.

I have 6 ways to help you with that.

In Teresa Conner’s blog she mentions how to create a back cover and touched on blurbs.

I’m going deeper on crafting blurbs using a modified version of Bryan Cohen’s method. I highly recommend you sign up for his newsletter.

1. Don’t Give The Entire Plot Away

image of a door in a vast field, L.A. Sartor's blog for Book Brush on Creating Book Blurbs

Created with Book Brush

I’m going to use an example from a blurb I just wrote. I’ve written enough of them that it sorta followed my new way of writing, but it focused too much on plot.

But first, the old version which sold a lot of books, but felt tired now.

ONLY IF YOU DARE BELIEVE
The Journalist…

Catherine Hemstead Malloy had it all-riches, glamour, and happiness-or so it seemed. When her husband dies in an accident, she discovers she really never had anything at all. Left with nothing but her precious daughter, Cate fights to rebuild their life, and then Haley goes missing. But she left her favorite stuffed bunny behind, so was she taken?

And The Knight In Shining Armor…

Jason St. Pierre doesn’t think of himself as a knight, just a man who does what must be done, lives by his own rules and damn the consequences. He’ll move heaven and earth to protect the innocent, and his heart. He loved once and won’t risk it again, especially with Cate Hemstead.

Together…

Their reunion-only for time it takes them to find Haley-pits Cate and Jason against a kidnapper who is always one step ahead, taking them on a hunt from the majestic mountains of Colorado to the idyllic beaches of Hawaii.

This blurb told you a lot of the story, the plot. But it’s been noted ad infinitum that it’s the characters people want to relate to, be it hate them or love them.

2. Build Your Characters

My blurbs are now:
NOT Plot based
ARE character based
IS the emotional journey

  • Note: Discover as you’re writing your ideas down what is unique and original to your story.

3. Mention The Setting

I know Hawaii sells books. In fact, I have a whole series built around Colorado and Hawaii. People often search for setting! Don’t neglect it in your blurb.

Blog on crafting book blurbs by L.A. Sartor for Book Brush, image of Hawaii and mountains, setting in some of her books

Created with Book Brush

4. Use A Trusted Group For Feedback

I have a small group of writers that I trust implicitly. That doesn’t always mean we see eye-to-eye, which is good. I know they won’t harm me, be jealous of success and help me get over failures.

So, after I’ve done all my prep work (which I’ll talk about next) I send them that work along with my final draft. Because there may be something in the prep work that triggers another thought.

  • Tip: None of that prep work is wasted as you can use some of those great ideas in memes and snippets on social media.

5. Find A System That Works and Tweak It

This is exactly what I did with Bryan Cohen’s webinar. I listened, took copious notes and came up with something that worked for me.

Image of a stack of notebooks for L.A. Sartor's blog on blurb writing

Created with Book Brush

So here is my take on blurb writing (Thanks, Bryan Cohen) You’ll find a lot more in his webinars than what I can show in this blog. But here are the basic distilled bullet points and my takes.

Hook/Headline

Mine was:
ONLY IF YOU DARE BELIEVE
Now it’s:
He has every reason not to help her find the child that should have been his.
She has no one else to turn to.

Synopsis or the meat of the blurb

1) Paragraph 1. 3 sentences (add 1 additional paragraph if it’s a romance so the hero/heroine each have a statement)

  • Introduce the character (sentence 1)
  • A bit of emotional background (sentence 2)
  • Cliff hanger like BUT… (sentence 3)

2) Paragraph 2 (or 3 if you’re writing a romance then paragraph 2 is the hero or heroine)

  • Build the stakes, bringing in emotion (sentence 1)
  • Set up cliff hanger #2 (sentence 2) (remember we want them to keep reading and then buy!)
  • But when…. (Sentence 3)

I added a short 4th paragraph in mine. (remember I said I tweaked the system, but I don’t always add that paragraph!)

3) Then your selling paragraph.

4) And finally on the sales page, add the CTA (call to action).

My New Blurb

He has every reason not to help her find the child that should have been his.
She has no one else to turn to.

Cate Hemstead Malloy’s life just hit a new low. Not only is she moving from her stately digs to a one-bedroom apartment, but her award-winning journalism career is now reduced to covering society events. It’s boring work, but at least it’ll keep a roof over her young daughter’s head.

Jason St. Pierre is counting the seconds until his ex-love moves away, ending the torture of living across the road from her, her husband, and their daughter. But when he sees the newly widowed Cate chasing down her moving truck, screaming that her daughter is missing, he can’t ignore the fact that a child could be in danger and his protective instincts kick in.

As Jason and Cate follow the kidnappers’ trail through the majestic mountains of Colorado to the idyllic sands of Hawaii, they uncover deep layers of treachery and ultimate betrayal.

Dare they believe in a second chance at love, or will their rocky past get in the way of the help Cate so desperately needs?

Dare To Believe is the stunning introduction of the Kahuna Group Series blending spine-tingling suspense and breathtaking romance. Be prepared for adventure as you meet the first members of a team of elite private investigators who fight for truth, love, and above all, family. Get your copy today. (This is only on the sales page, not the back blurb)

6. Rewrite Each Section

The hook, how about 15+ times? Yep, that’s what I said.

Remember that each time your write this it gets leaner and meaner and maybe your brain comes up with new ideas you hadn’t thought of the first 10 times. You have about 30 words before Amazon cuts you off and the reader has to scroll. Make them count.

  • Tip:  Remember you can use these other attempts in your promotions, it’s never wasted time.

The paragraphs? How about each sentence 3 or 4 times?

Again, none of this effort is wasted…remember your ads, use those that you’ve created but decided against in the blurb in your ads. I use a lot of these when I’m creating ads in Book Brush.

Remember, we have limited time to capture our potential buyer’s interest. Take the time to write and rewrite, then pass it off (all of it, tries and finished sentences) to that group of trusted people and see what they think.

Final Words

Just as we’re painting with imagery when we create ads, we’re painting images in our reader’s mind with evocative words that will keep them interested and then entice them to click that buy button or take that book to the register. Let your imagination flow, have fun and enjoy the process.


Leslie Sartor photoArticle by L.A. Sartor

I started writing as a child, really. A few things happened on the way to becoming a published author … specifically, a junior high school teacher who told me I couldn’t write because I didn’t want to study … urk … grammar… That English teacher stopped my writing for years.

But the muse couldn’t be denied, and eventually I wrote, a lot. I learned a litany of new things and published my first novel. My second book became a bestseller, and I’m absolutely on the right course in my life.

Please come visit me at www.lasartor.com, see my books, find my social media links, and sign up for my mailing list. I have a gift I’ve specifically created for my new email subscribers.

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