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Sandra Harris on Why Blurbs Are Important!

We have author Sandra Harris under the spotlight and she's got a giveaway of her Alien, Mine to one commenter!
Sandra Harris on the web:

Why Blurbs Are Important

I always had this rather na├»ve idea that the publisher wrote the blurb for the book. Ah, how wrong I was and it wasn’t until I had to write the blurb for ‘Alien, Mine’ did I realise just how important this promotional paragraph is. It really isn’t something you want to palm off on to someone who isn’t as invested in the book as you. This short enticement is what will hook a potential reader into buying your book – or not.

Yes, that’s it in a nutshell. This is one tool that will help you hear the cha-ching of cash registers or the deafening silence of ‘no sale’.

These few sentences have to carry the power of your book. They have to ring a chord with a reader, lure them into wanting to immerse themselves in your world and come to know and care for your characters, to sympathise with their troubles and cheer them on. 

So, how do you go about it? Well I scrounged around on my bookshelves (virtual and real), picked out my favourite books and read their blurbs. Then I got out my analytical left brain and dissected them into what attracted me.

  • Is it the hero who chases the heroine and won’t give up?
  • Is it the conflict between them?
  • Is it the threat of danger?
  • Is it the location?

So when you have to write a blurb:

  1. Be grateful you have to write a blurb because that means you’re taking your next step in your writing career.
  2. Think long and hard about what makes you buy a book.
  3. Research your favourite books’ blurbs and see what structure was used to create them.

 

Covers attract me to pick up a book, but it’s the blurb that decides if I’ll buy it or not.

Alien, Mine

Back Blurb

THE BLUTHEN HAVE ONE CONSUMING PASSION: THEMSELVES.

IN THEIR EXPANSION ACROSS THE GALAXY, THEY WILL GO TO ANY LENGTHS TO DOMINATE SPECIES THEY ENCOUNTER.

Torn from modern day Earth and stranded on the far side of the Galaxy, Sandrea Fairbairn must use every particle of courage she possesses to adjust to her new life and live for tomorrow/a new day.

Eugen Mhartak, a general in the Tri-Race Alliance Army, refuses to bow to the merciless Bluthen. Haunted by the loss of far too many innocent lives he has vowed to drive the ruthless invaders from Alliance space.
The strength and valour of Eugen Mhartak attracts Sandrea as no man ever has, but she struggles to read the enigmatic general’s heart. Determined to help him triumph over the Bluthen she uncovers a diabolical plot against the Alliance.
Drawn by the courage and exotic beauty of Sandrea, Mhartak battles to overcome the barriers of cross-cultural differences that separate them and claim her ardent interest. He must conquer his deepest fears to be the man she needs. When his principles are betrayed by his own government and he is faced with the impossible prospect of taking Sandrea’s life in order to save his home planet, Mhartak desperately searches for a way to keep safe both his world and the magnificent woman who has stolen his heart.

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21 comments:

  1. You're absolutely right. A good-looking cover can catch a reader's eye, but if the blurb is only "blah", she isn't likely to buy. A good blurb is almost as hard to write as a good synopsis. Maybe even harder, because potential readers never see the synopsis, but often pass judgement based on that blurb.

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    1. Hi, Susan, writing a good blurb is certainly a tough nut to crack!

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  2. A friend of mine who had a book published gave me the honor of writing her back blurb, and I think I sweated over that even more than over my master's thesis!

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  3. Great post. :)

    Worse than a blah blurb is a blurb with obvious spelling or grammar errors. If the author/publisher can't be bothered to proof and polish the book's description, why should I think the book will be any better?

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    1. Right, Melissa, a dead giveaway not to buy the book. It's bad enough when we come across such things within a published manuscript.

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  4. Sandra,
    You're so right about blurbs. Very important but also very hard to write.

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    1. Suzi! Hellooooo! Yes, their difficulty to write is proportional to their importance. Dang things.

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  5. Very true, Sandra. Blurbs can make or break the sale, along with covers. Lucky for you, yours are both great! :)

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    1. Thank you, Pk! I was very happy with my cover when I received it from Soul Mate Publishing. The blurb I can testify I sweated over. :)

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  6. Great advice! I know when I'm choosing books, the blurb is the first thing I look at in order to decide if the book I'm holding is one I really want to read.

    Have a nice weekend. ☺

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    1. Thanks, Dana, it wasn't until I was face to face with having to write one that the importance of it hit me. Hope your weekend is great too. :)

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  7. Can you believe that I'm at the point where I have to write my blurb right now? And I 'm freaked out! But I certainly appreciate your tips and know they'll help. Thanks! :-)

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    1. Congratulations, Lexa! Good luck with that blurb. :)

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  8. Blurbs are really important - and they can be a real challenge to write!

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    1. Ain't it the truth, Sherry. :) But worth the effort the ensure you write a good one!

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  9. I agree that blurbs can be challenging. And they are critical to the book's success. I always read the blurb first.

    Thanks for the excellent post, Sandy. Best of luck with Alien, Mine. BTW...I loved the blurb :)

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  10. Hi Sandy .. I struggle with my blog blurb - not there yet after 4+ years ... and I definitely pick a book for its subject, the cover and reconfirm it all via the blurb - to buy or not to buy ...

    All the best for Alien, Mine ... cheers Hilary

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  11. Thanks, Hilary! :) And good luck with that blog blurb, I'm sure you'll tame it in the end.

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  12. Hi Sandra,

    I often think my reviews sound like blurbs. I actually think I'd like to write blurbs as they are a challenge - how to pique people's interest to pick up a book.

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