You may find this hard to believe, but writing blurbs — the information on the book that tells what it’s about — is harder than writing the story itself. At least it is for me. First of all, a good blurb is crucial to sales. It’s the next thing readers look at after the cover. That’s a lot of pressure! Second, you have to fit the plot of the story into a few lines of text. But it’s not just the plot that needs to be explained. You also have to convey they tone of the story and the personality of the characters.
Example of a bad blurb…
Tess left Washington, D.C. after a betrayal. She’s rebuilt her life and her law career in a small central Virginia town. All is well until she is invited to a dinner party where her date abandons her, a man from her past, Jack Valentine, shows up and the host ends up dead. Tess doesn’t like seeing Jack, but she doesn’t think he’s a killer and so she agrees to represent him. As they investigate the crime, they learn about a 30-year old crime and grow closer together. But when her life and career are threatened, will Tess take a chance on Jack.
That’s the basic story of Deadly Valentine, but it doesn’t give you any information about whether or not the story is noir, funny, or serious, or any clue to what the characters are like.
Below is blurb I eventually pulled together..
Tess Madison walked away from her two-timing fiancé, a multi-million dollar trust fund and a cushy corporate law job to pursue the single life indulging in chocolate and fancy French underwear. But her newly reordered life comes unraveled when she reluctantly accepts an invitation to a dinner party and stumbles upon the host’s dead body. Now Tess is the middle of a murder investigation pitting her wannabe-boyfriend police detective against Jack Valentine, a man from her past with blue-green eyes and sinful smile that causes her to rethink her self-imposed celibacy. Tess has many reasons to avoid Jack including the fact that he’s the prime suspect in murder. But Tess doesn’t believe Jack’s the murderer and with an honest attempt to keep her hormones in check, she agrees to represent him. With Jack’s help, she uncovers a 30-year-old secret someone is killing to keep hidden and discovers sensual delights that don’t include chocolate or French underwear. But when her professional and personal relationship with Jack threatens to ruin her career and end her life, Tess has to decide if Jack is worth the risk.
Professional authors/publishers would probably have critiques of the better blurb, but you can’t deny it’s better than the first.
So now I’m working on the blurb for Endangered and I’m stuck. I’ve got a bad version, but am having a heck of a time beefing it up. As I work on it, I realize that I’m going to have to write a blurb for every book I publish and I couldn’t help but wonder if the mega-authors write their own blurbs. And would I have to be a mega-author to get someone else to write my blurbs?