The back blurb

How to write a back blurb for your book

Now that you have worked out who your reader is, try writing your book-pitch. This is the written sales pitch on the back of your book, usually called the back blurb. It provides your potential reader with an insight into your book. The book blurb should arouse curiosity, rather than provide answers. You are looking to draw your reader to “Look Inside”, browse through the first few pages and make a purchase.

  • Read the blurbs of books you own; what attracted you to them?
  • What do you like or dislike about the way the blurb is presented?
  • Take the ones you like, what do they all have in common?
  • Take three books whose blurb hooks you in and model yours on theirs
  • Imagine if you had 15 seconds to sell your book, what would be in those vital seconds?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How will your book fulfill its promise?
  • Is this the first of its kind?

Practice writing your blurb

  • Write three versions of your blurb. Try them from different perspectives or starting points
  • Read each of them aloud; what needs to change?
  • Have you repeated any words?
  • Have you covered the senses of seeing, feeling and hearing (if relevant)?
  • See: We will show you how to….
  • Feel: We will touch on….
  • Hear: If you like the sound of x, then you will….
  • These may not all be relevant. Most blurbs use visual words – “we will show you”
  • Leave them for a few days for reflection

Letter to

Imagine that you are writing a letter to your friend, who knows you and your subject matter well; describe your book. Now do the same thing for someone you don’t know. What considerations did you have to make for the person that you know for and the stranger?

Now rewrite your blurb.

Blurbs SWA.pdf