Writing a Blurb

In the past, I was told that publishers write the blurbs because authors cannot seem to get them right.

Well, from advice on Jennie Ruesch’s website on writing query letters, I now believe we need to write the blurb. Why? Because it is used in the query letter. And the writer has to write the query letter.

We also use it to get the wording for the Book Trailer.

So, to write a blurb we only use the first 30-50 pages of our novel. We write one paragraph on the Protagonist. We write a second paragraph on the Romantic Interest or Antagonist or problem caused by the antagonist to the protagonist.

Use questions, a powerful or atmospheric opening statement, emotion, and a payoff or promise. All this is to make the reader want to purchase the book and read it to find out how the problems were solved.

Do not tell how the story ends. Use emotion and promises to make the reader want to find out what happens by buying the book.

Read the blurb of similar genre books to the one we are writing to see how other writers (or publishers) wrote the blurb for those books. Get the feel of the blurbs on published books and use the same style. (I have seen the previous two sentences written in quite a few places.)

Following is an example of a query letter from Jeannie Ruesch’s site and I noted where the blurb fits in the query letter. Also note the story sentence (hook) as taught by Holly Lisle is the first sentence in the first paragraph.

Agent Address

Dear Agent name

Paragraph 1) Story sentence (hook) + word count, & genre

Paragraph 2) Blurb char 1- initial problem and first action

Paragraph 3) Blurb char 2 – initial problem and first action

Based on the first 30-50 pages of the story state: (These two paragraphs are the teaser and these are the blurb.)

Paragraph 4) Something about the writer

Paragraph 5) Advise novel is finished and ready to send.


Writer Name

This week, I will practice writing blurbs so I can improve the words needed for a better attempt at a book trailer.


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