Writing the Perfect Blurb

how to write a blurb
This guest post was written by Rayne Hall. Rayne has authored over sixty books and is an expert at crafting blurbs that grab readers and sell books. Visit her website raynehall.com, or follow her on Twitter  https://twitter.com/RayneHall for writing and publishing tips.

Why does your book not attract big sales? The problem may not lie with the book, but with the blurb. Once a reader’s interest has been whetted by the title and cover, they’ll glance at the book description, the so-called ‘blurb’ that decides what the potential reader clicks next. If they click ‘Buy Now’ you have an instant sale. If they click Download Free Sample, your book has a chance to dazzle them with its brilliance.  But if the blurb fails to hook them and they click ‘Back To Search Results’, your book never gets a chance.

Is your blurb the power tool your book deserves?

Here are four steps for writing a blurb to boost your books success: Simplify—Shorten—Sharpen—Stir.

1. Simplify

Show the premise, not the plot. Focus on the core dilemma the main character faces.

Keep the writing so simple the reader can understand it during a quick scan, without needing to think.  Leave out anything that might confuse the reader.

Where possible, delete unfamiliar place names, and refer to characters by their roles rather than their names.  (Examples: her father, the queen, a powerful warlord)

2. Shorten

Most readers who browse online in search of their next read decide within ten seconds whether they want to find out more about this book or not.  Your blurb needs to hook in those first few seconds, or they’ll click on to another book.

Keep the blurb so short that the reader can absorb it in a few seconds. Don’t give them time to get bored.

Don’t leave the reader satiated. Leave him wanting more. Then they’ll download the sample and start reading.

Model the blurb’s length after that of recent bestsellers in your genre. Most of the time, 100-300 words  are enough. Don’t go over 700.

Leave out subplots, backstory, world-building and explanations as well as all plot developments during the novel’s middle or end.

Don’t explain who the main character is. Simply give his first name, his role and one dominant characteristic. (Examples: shy art teacher Marius, rebellious debutante Amelia.)

Instead of:  “Dominic Wennering is a journalism student who is ambitious. When he discovers the dark secret of a senator’s past…”
Write:When ambitious journalism student Dominic discovers the dark secret of a senator’s past…” 

Delete endorsements, review excerpts, testimonials and whatever else is cluttering your current blurb.

Place essential information in ‘shorthand’ at the end. This does not need to be in complete sentences.  (Examples: British English. Contains graphic violence. Suitable for ages 8-11.)

3. Sharpen

Use a sharp, tight, pithy writing style.

Prune content-less words. (Examples: really, start to, begin to, realize, then, somehow.)

Instead of: Amelia begins to realize that she has no choice but to escape write before her captors start finding out who she really is.
Write: Amelia must escape before her captors find out who she is.

Change Passive Voice constructions to Active Voice.

Instead of: Her brother gets captured by enemy soldiers.
Write: Enemy soldiers capture her brother.

Use the most specific, vivid words you can think of to convey the meaning. Pay special attention to verbs.

Instead of: She goes to visit her mother in hospital.
Write: She rushes to visit her mother in hospital.

Use short words, avoiding any with more than three syllables.

4. Stir

People make book purchasing decisions based on their emotions. A blurb has to arouse emotion in the readers, otherwise they won’t buy the book.

For a novel, try to stir curiosity or excitement. For a biography. you could inspire sympathy or admiration, and for a self-help book aim for confidence or hope.

Plant a question in the reader’s mind, so he feels compelled to find out the answer and clicks the ‘Buy Now’ button.

Consider spelling out the question as part of the blurb. (Examples: How can Lila save her people without betraying her lover? How can Jon stop the serial killer from striking again?) You may be able to simply rephrase one of the sentences from your old blurb as a question.

Instead of: Mary doesn’t know whom she can trust.
Write: Whom can Mary trust?

Open questions work better than yes/no questions because they stir more emotions. The answer should not be obvious. If your old blurb has a question that can be answered with an obvious yes or no, simply add the word how before the question.

Change: Can Mary and John overcome their differences and find true love? (to which the obvious answer in the romance genre answer is yes)
To: How can Mary and John overcome their differences and find true love? (which stirs the reader’s curiosity).

As an indie author, you are in control of the book description text. Consider writing a blurb with pithy descriptions and watch the difference.

Rayne's cat Sulu enjoying "Writing Book Blurbs and Synopses"

THE GUIDE: WRITING BOOK BLURBS AND SYNOPSES 
Rayne Hall’s guide not only shows you step-by-step how to perfect your blurb but also shows you five other short forms that help sell your book.

Writing Book Blurbs and Synopses by Rayne Hall is available as a Kindle ebook and in paperback. Here’s the URL to the book’s page on Amazon: myBook.to/Syn. Click ‘Download Free Sample’ to read the first chapters for free. As you can see at left, even Rayne’s cat Sulu enjoys Writing Book Blurbs and Synopses 🙂

rayne-hall-author-photoRayne Hall is the author of over sixty books and has been both traditionally and indie published.

Her acclaimed Writer’s Craft series has 22 titles so far: Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, Writing About Villains,Writing Deep Point Of View, Writing Vivid Plots, Writing Vivid Settings, Writing Vivid Characters, Writing Vivid Settings, Why Does My book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes, Getting Book Reviews, Writing Book Blurbs And Synopses and more. These are guides for writers who have progressed beyond the basics and are ready to take their skills to the next level, and for indie authors who want to boost their books’ success.

She has worked as a museum guide, belly dancer, bilingual secretary, apple picker, development aid worker adult education teacher, magazine editor, literary agent,  publishing consultant and tarot reader, often in several roles at the same time. Now she writes full-time.

After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, Rayne has settled in a seaside town in England. She enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore, braving ferocious seagulls and British rain. Her black cat Sulu – adopted from the rescue shelter – likes to snuggle between her arms while she writes, purring happily.

Visit her website raynehall.com, or follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/RayneHall  for writing and publishing tips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

130 thoughts on “Writing the Perfect Blurb

  1. This is the kind of top notch advice that every writer should include in the check list for a book before it goes on sale. It’s also an excellent approach for explaining your book to someone who discovers you’re a writer and want to know what your story line is.

    • Hi Alex,
      Yes, I think a strong blurb should be included in any pre-publication checklist, and I think it should be one of the top items.
      For explaining the book to soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      “Sulu, get off my keyboard!”
      Oops, sorry, this was my cat. He obviously has strong opinions about this. Or maybe he just wishes to have his nose stroked. 🙂

      For explaining your book to acquaintances, many of the same principles apply, yes. Only I would make the explanation even shorter than the blurb. 🙂

  2. Rayne is so right. The blurb is the first thing I check out when I make the decision to buy a book, and often I’ve made up my mind in the first paragraph. Without a solid hook in the blurb, I won’t buy and a simple, short, sharp blurb that stirs my interest will at least get me to download the sample.

    • Hi Phillip,

      I think what you describe is how many (perhaps most?) people make book buying choices online. The blurb serves as a bridge between the initial attention (whetted by genre, cover, title) and the buying resolution (which typically happens while reading the sample).

      Do you know the old AIDA formula used for promotion, advertising and marketing? Attention-Interest-Desire-Action have to happen in this order. Despite huge changes in marketing, the old foruma still applies. In online book marketing, the cover typically gets the Attention, the blurb gets the Interest, the sample pages get the Desire, and the ‘Buy Now’ button the action. 🙂

      Rayne

  3. Great article. Here’s my blurb.
    Investigative reporter Cleo Morgan believes a successful tabloid needs is the ability to lie. Now that she’s one herself, she’s getting a lot of practice.

    She’s lying to everyone in her hometown, pretending she still works for a reputable paper. She’s lying to Alec Ramirez, the tabloid’s star reporter. He doesn’t know the high-profile-murder suspect in the story they’re covering is her mother. Or that Cleo is conspiring with her old boyfriend to steal that story out from under him to buy her way back into her old life.

    Perhaps worst of all, she’s lying to herself that she can leave Alec behind once she’s made everything right.

  4. Great and simple instructions!

    Here is my blurb for my upcoming novel Emotionless:

    Elias is a changeling, a man without hormones, emotionless.

    Emotional Modification Therapy has made logic and reason powerful, but new information questions the validity of the process. Elias has no desires. It wouldn’t be natural. Until a woman, Aloisa, walks into his lab at the hospital and unfamiliar cravings overpower him.

    Aloisa’s husband, Jordan, is convinced that the monetary reward for becoming a changeling will be enough for Aloisa to live lavishly. Against her wishes, he leaves. She knows why; she refuses to let him disappear. She would much prefer love to money.

    In pursuit of Jordan and freedom, Aloisa and Elias are both on the run from the government. Their paths intersect, and their true connection becomes clear; Elias’s emotions return with a vengeance. But will they be allowed to survive after all they’ve been through?

  5. Very useful and thought provoking article. Perfect timing too as I’m about to enhance the back cover. Where can I buy the paperback version of your book. Amazon only shows the e-book.

  6. Rayne, great advice here, and simple to follow, thanks.
    My blurbs are getting better, the more of them I write, but I’d love to win some advice on refreshing the one from my first book – I’ve used it for so long I’m a bit blind to how to alter it. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Here goes:

    Rustam Chalice, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is, so when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.
    And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.
    Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.
    They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.
    For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

    Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, has been described as ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ – a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

  7. Thanks for the advice! Here’s my blurb:

    Widower Luke longs to be married again. When his first love, Anna, of fifty years ago, reappears on the scene, he is enamored of her all over again. Neither can resist the wave of memories and emotion that washes over them. The problem is that she is happily married, and he is dating a woman he hopes to marry.

  8. Ah, man, I could have improved this blurb if I’d read your advice first! Not bad, but could have been better!

    “On the eve of her wedding, Lacey uncovers a problem too large for love to conquer: a family curse which could put her fiancé in danger. She vows to uncover the secrets of her lineage, even if it requires the loss of her marriage.

    Her search leads to the Smoky Mountain backwoods where the shotgun is more respected than the law, and family may not be what is expected–an area where hands of tobacco are used as currency, and moonshine stills explode.”

  9. I get so wrapped up in writing the actual novel that the blurb seems like an afterthought. Thanks for a much-needed education!

    • Hi Douglas,
      Consider thinking about the blurb while you’re writing the book. It can actually give you valuable insights about the story, drawing your attention to what is important and exciting to the readers.
      Rayne

  10. Thanks Rayne and CJ for this really useful content! Here is my blurb:

    Medico Jazz Bradley can’t afford to misplace her heart if she wants to guard her secrets. But how does she resist the men raining down on her hospital?

    The bad-boy President’s son risks his sexual scandals ruining his family’s political chances at the next election.

    His sweet, dependable wingman finds juggling industrial sabotage easier than handling his feelings.

    While the aristocratic playboy uses his roguish reputation to full advantage.

    Faced with conflicting emotions and a growing trail of lies and subterfuge, Jazz must figure out whether she truly wants love before she chooses her man. For Jazz, risking her life is easier than risking her heart. But can she untangle the corrupt lies and unmask the saboteur before time runs out for her?

  11. A really interesting guide to blurbs. I’m about to launch a non-fiction historical trivia book, so although not all of these rules apply I think I’ve been able to use the advice to rephrase mine and add a bit more intrigue. I’ve given it a go with this blurb:

    “Stretching from Ancient Rome to the World Wide Web and from the Danelaw to the Cold War, 366 Days is an engaging and entertaining chronicle of the highs and lows of world history. Whether it heralded a world-changing new discovery, the assassination of a leading politician, or a cow flying in an aeroplane, this collection of true stories and trivia from world history proves that there is always something to be remembered ‘on this day’. Each historical account has been painstakingly researched to clearly explain its causes, course and consequences.

    Scott Allsop is an award-winning history teacher and host of an iTunes Top-100 history podcast. He has drawn on over a decade’s worth of teaching experience in the UK, Egypt and Romania to compile this fascinating and accessible daily guide to some of the most compelling historical events that have shaped today’s world.”

  12. Hi Rayne,

    Here’s my blurb (translated to English from Dutch). I hope I’ll win a critique!

    Greets,
    Karen

    Since their first meeting, Kathryn knows prince Victor will get her in trouble. Stubbornly she refuses to risk her safety, not even for a way too attractive man with smouldering green eyes.
    When they grow closer, she has to make a heartbreaking decision. By refusing him she doesn’t only break hers, but also his heart. On the other hand, giving in to her feelings and allowing him into her world will put them both in danger.
    Whatever she does, at the end grief awaits. Because the evil that inexorably haunts her, will only stop when he has her in his claws again. And everyone she cares about can and will be used against her …

    Victor can’t believe his luck. The private detective hired to improve the safety of his family, turns out to be the woman he’s been seeking in vain for years. The lost Princess Kathryn of Saval. Finally, he can try to win her love!
    Determined, he decides not to waste this unique opportunity. He uses all his charms, without the hoped-for result. As time passes, he learns more about her and her past. However, every time he comes closer, she pulls back behind a wall of aloofness. To save their budding love, he must unravel her last mysteries: why did she flee seven years ago? And from whom?

    • Hi Karen,
      Thanks for entering. It’s quite a challenge to translate a blurb (or any literary text) from one language to another, and still retain the exact flavour. I know, because I’m bilingual and find it a struggle to hit the right note when translating my own work.
      Rayne

  13. Awesome article! I’ve always kinda hated questions in book blurbs, because if the answer is obvious, there’s no reason for me to read the book. So thanks especially for the tips on those. 🙂

    Here’s my blurb: After a humiliating Facebook post shreds the remains of his reputation, fourteen-year-old Elliot Sharpe gladly trades the drama at his current foster home for a temporary one across the city. His plan: stay at the new place long enough for everything at the old home to blow over, but not so long that anyone—particularly he—gets any crazy ideas about being a “forever family.” It’s not the easiest assignment of his life, but Elliot’s still confident he can manage… until life, and a little girl named Mileya, conspire to convince him that even the lowest of expectations can’t protect him from reality.

    • Hi Alexandria,
      I think you’re right. Many questions in blurbs don’t work at all. The ones I like least are the mystifying ones (which basically say “What is going on?”) and the ones which have obvious answers (“Will Sarah have the courage to follow her heart?”)
      But questions that make the reader want to know the answers are irresistible.
      Rayne

  14. Title: Mercedes Sosa – The Voice of Hope
    Subtitle: My life-transforming discovery of the mother of Latin America.
    Genre: Biography/Memoir:
    Author: Anette Christensen

    The world-famous Argentine folk singer and activist, Mercedes Sosa was an artist whose impact went far beyond the borders of music. She used her voice to fight South America’s dictators in the 1970s and became known as “The Voice of the Voiceless.” Her socially committed music and her outstanding authenticity made her a role model for millions of fans and a much-loved mother of Latin America.
    What is it that made her so loved and her music so powerful that she made oppressive governments tremble and what was the secret behind the “mystical presence” that captivated her audiences for decades?

    Mercedes Sosa, The Voice of Hope charts Sosa’s remarkable life and career and provides an insightful psychological profile that reveals how Sosa’s upbringing, the political environment of her time, and her personal afflictions shaped her character, her stance, and her music and led to her enormous impact.

    Besides being a personal profile of the singer and a chronicle of Latin American music, history, and politics, Christensen shares how her encounter with Mercedes Sosa transformed her life. Christensen immersed herself in Sosa’s music and life for years and recovered from emotional trauma while she connected with Mercedes Sosa as a mother figure. With research into neuroscience, Christensen explores how a positive interpersonal relationship, mindfulness, and music induce healing and increase well-being.

    The portrait of Mercedes Sosa and Christensen’s story of how her connection with Mercedes has reinvigorated her life is enthralling and shows how a person can rewrite her past and how the love of one person can touch the lives of many others. Mercedes Sosa – The Voice of Hope brings consolation and relief to everyone who suffers from stress, trauma, or a painful past and offers a balanced and practical approach to personal growth that can easily be accessed by anyone.

  15. Hello,
    Below is a posting for my blurb for my last book. Please let me know how to improve, so the next blurb will be successful (see below).

    “My Poetic Thesis: The Vocal Soul” is a collection of exuberant poems, written as captivating short stories that are compiled with continuous thrills. The mood is perfectly staged to entertain and captivate the intellect of the reader. The clever tone is intriguingly riveting and hurls ongoing excitement, expediting a renowned encore. Bravo! The poetic artistry manifested in each poem is well-orchestrated. With an essence of ornate life experiences intertwined with a nuance of comical skits, sultry lyrics and soul-reviving anthems, it is an enjoyable read. A gift to all readers that is sure to uplift the spirit. Heartfelt and inspirational-driven themes waiting to be explored. Get ready for a witty, magnificent, nail-biting, soul-searching, love-frolicking, mysterious and encouraging adventure. Electrifying poetry with unpredictable flare. Read, live, love and enjoy!

  16. Awesome tips! Here’s my blurb (163 words)(non-fiction):

    “Destiny Against All Odds chronicles the extraordinary, true journey of a self-destructive young man answering the Clarion call to conquer himself and become the Master of his destiny. Programmed for destruction, he wages war against the world, seeking revenge for his heavy hand in life. Through a series of mystical events he awakens to his programming, sees through the illusion of physical reality, and demands to know the truth.
    When an elusive Master Teacher guides him to the discovery that he dealt his own hand, he throws his cherished beliefs, dreams, and identity into the crucible. As his worst fears appear in his reality he has no choice but to walk straight into the lion’s mouth.
    A journey born from destruction unfolds into a wonder-full adventure of synchronicity and magic, demonstrating our potential to change regardless of our circumstances; that we can rise from the ashes of our past, transcend our perceived limitations and express the unique life we came here to live.”

    PS: The word “Master” is used in both instances above as a proper noun, and not as a verb. 😉

        • Couple quick notes – my target audience knows what ‘wonder-full’ means, and it will be made apparent in the content to others – that was another purposeful insertion.

          Just changed the word ‘extraordinary’ in the first paragraph to ‘unprecedented’ – and now I will leave this be and not micro-edit on here 😉

          “Destiny Against All Odds chronicles the unprecedented true journey of a self-destructive young man answering the Clarion call to conquer himself and become the Master of his destiny. Programmed for destruction, he wages war against the world, seeking revenge for his heavy hand in life. Through a series of mystical events he awakens to his programming, sees through the illusion of physical reality, and demands to know the truth.
          .
          When an elusive Master Teacher guides him to the discovery that he dealt his own hand, he throws his cherished beliefs, dreams, and identity into the crucible. As his worst fears appear in his reality he has no choice but to walk straight into the lion’s mouth.
          .
          A journey born from destruction unfolds into a wonder-full adventure of synchronicity and magic, demonstrating our potential to change regardless of our circumstances; that we can rise from the ashes of our past, transcend our perceived limitations and express the unique life we came here to live.”

  17. Here goes my blurb:

    “What happens when a fallen angel forbidden to love defies the Gods and falls for a mortal girl?

    Trained from a young age to take part in the ancient tradition of the Fallen, sixteen year old Bailey is instructed to guard and protect his mortal charge Celeste. When his mission’s completed, like all Fallen he’ll be recalled to serve one of two Arch Angels – Thorus or the Lightbringer. It’s been that way for millennia, or so his Guardian, Ganor says.

    What he’s not supposed to do is fall in love.

    Warned from getting romantically involved with Celeste by an ex-angel, Bailey decides to ignore advice and follow his heart instead. But when he defies the laws of the Unseen Gods and tastes love with a mortal, he sets a chain of disastrous events in motion, placing himself and Celeste in danger. On a mission to protect her, Bailey uncovers a dark secret – Thorus was overthrown by the Lightbringer long ago. Now the Lightbringer reigns supreme and intends to use the Fallen to bring a reign of terror upon earth.

    When the only item allowing Bailey to exist in the earth realm disappears, he must race against time to protect Celeste and save a world on the brink of crisis. Bailey wants to rescue humanity and ensure the safety of the girl he loves, but how can he unless he makes the greatest sacrifice of all – his own life?”

  18. Nice article Rayne,

    Thanks for highlighting the importance of blurb. I am not a creative writer by profession, but I do read and at times I judge a book by its cover. Other than the reviews, blurb play an importance role in post purchase decision. A small snippet or title that can stimulate the curiosity or interest among readers can lead to a successful sale.

    Here is my blurb

    Blurb: He walked through the alley searching. Clouded with thoughts and concern’s. He felt alone and lost. Still her voice keeps calling him. Lot has changed in the past, or is he still living in the past. Is it a dream.

    • Hi Nishant,
      I think it’s important that authors consider how they themselves choose books, and how they respond to blurbs. Many authors don’t think to put themselves into the perspective of book-buying readers. It’s good to see that you do. 🙂
      Rayne

  19. Hi Rayne! Thanks for the wonderful advice! Here is the blurb to my Romantic Suspense that is set to release in March!

    Kaylee has a dark past that has come back to haunt her. She thought she had her PTSD under control until her abuser came back to terrorize her. One night and one accident turn her entire life upside-down.
    Griffin has been living with guilt for a long time. After he left the military, he devoted his life to helping people like Kaylee. He never thought the girl he had wronged so many years ago would come back into his life again, but he had hoped she would. He finally gets his chance to make amends for his horrible behavior, but is it too late?
    Neither one of them expected the attraction between them would be so great. Now the only thing Griffin wants more than Kaylee in his bed, is her safe from the man who wants to take her away and torture her.

  20. Very helpful article! Here’s one of my blurbs, for A Perfumer’s Secret:

    The quest for a stolen perfume formula awakens passion, rivalry and family secrets in the fragrant flower fields of the South of France…

    Perfumer Zoe Flore travels to Grasse, perfume capital of the world, to collect a formula: her inheritance from the family she never knew existed. The scent matches the one worn by her mother, who passed away when Zoe was a teenager. Zoe, competing to create a new fragrance for prestigious designer Cherone, believes this scent could win the contract—and lead her to the reason her mother fled Grasse for New York City. Before Zoe can discover the truth, the formula is stolen. Philippe Chevrefeuille, the enigmatic competitor who makes her heart race, is the only one who can help her find it. But Zoe is in no mood for romance, or at least that’s what she tries telling herself.

    Philippe knows that winning the Cherone fragrance contract is the way out of his mid-level perfumery job. And he has the ambition and ego to make it happen. Until Zoe enters the picture. In an instant, he’s under her spell and losing his grip on his own creativity. If Philippe hopes to win, he must keep Zoe from finding the missing formula. But can he betray his own heart?

    The pursuit transforms into a journey of self-discovery as each struggles to understand the complexities of love, the force of pride and the meaning of family.

  21. Thanks for offering this giveaway! Here’s another one of my blurbs, for Bayou My Love:

    Escape to the beautiful bayous of Louisiana in this tale of romance, secrets and suspense from Family Circle Award Winning Author Lauren Faulkenberry.

    Thirty-year-old Enza Parker is at a crossroads. To prove to her overbearing father she can flip a house on her own, she takes on an ambitious project that brings back painful memories—and puts her in the path of the most alluring man she’s ever met.

    Enza plans to flip the house she inherited from her estranged grandmother in Bayou Sabine, Louisiana. As a child, she spent summers there until the day her mother inexplicably left. Since then, Enza hasn’t let anyone get close to her.

    Arriving in Bayou Sabine, Enza finds her house occupied by bedeviling firefighter Jack Mayronne. Enza wants to kick him out, but Jack convinces her to let him stay in exchange for helping with repairs. With only six weeks to fix the house and sell, she’s determined to prove her father wrong, but she didn’t count on Bayou Sabine and Jack capturing her heart.

    When Enza’s fling with Jack intensifies, she finds herself entangled with a vengeful arsonist from Jack’s past. As she reaches her breaking point, she must decide: Should she sell the house and leave her past in Bayou Sabine behind for good, or can she overcome her fears and build a new life there with Jack?

  22. Rayne,
    For valuable input, thanks. Although my book is already published I could use an update for the ebook side. Here is my blurb:

    A Christian life devotional in the form of new, fresh, and original Psalms. These are for tuning the soul and preparing the heart to catch a glimpse of the glory of the Almighty. Through them you will hear whispers of God and the greatness of His love toward you. These Psalms will entice the reader to ponder, reflect, and spiritually engage in the practice of high praise and heart-felt devotion. This book will show you how to; hear God’s love in a fresh way, discover the dynamic power of the risen Lord and experience the Spirit’s leading for your life.

    Thanks again for your generosity.

  23. Wish me luck! Would be great to hear Rayne Hall’s opinion of my blurb for U Got to Have U Some Fun currently published on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Got-Have-Some-Fun-ebook/dp/B00O4EJ1M6/

    Whether you are one of the 20 million people who cruise each year or someone who rarely even takes a vacation, this vivid work of fiction feels like the real thing.
    John Smith, recently divorced and as average as his name implies, arrives home from his job at a rubber band factory to find a ticket for a cruise ship vacation in his mailbox. He assumes the ticket is from his son, because Carson made him promise to break free of his boring life and, for once, travel and have some fun.

    The mysterious note with the ticket simply says, “It’s Time.”

    John is puzzled because his only child was killed six months before while serving in the US Army in Afghanistan. To fulfill the promise, and though filled with anxiety about leaving his routines and comfort zone, he goes on the cruise.

    During seven days of various Caribbean destinations and sea days, John meets a diverse blend of passengers and crew who influence his life in monumental ways. Each new day brings new experiences, pleasures, a new challenge to overcome, and information about the source of the ticket.

    As John begins to emerge from his shell—less and less average, more and more adventurous, and destined for a new and richer life—the question still looms:

    Who bought John’s ticket?

    Ordinary and typical John Smith’s life-changing vacation where the average baggage is anything but, challenges you to take stock of your own life. U Got to Have U Some Fun will have you crying, laughing, crying while laughing, angry, rooting, and ultimately saying yes to one question: Would I do anything for my children, even change?

  24. Becoming pregnant and raising a child are among the most exciting times of our lives. There is nothing that is more important than giving children the best start in life and now, in this new book which is described as ‘a gem’, many of the secrets are revealed to you.
    Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets: A Prenatal Teaching Guide is a pregnancy handbook, packed full of excellent advice and the most up to date scientific evidence available and includes information on;
    • Birthing choices
    • Building a confident start for the whole family
    • The ‘business’ of childbirth
    • Development stages
    • A guide to breastfeeding
    Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets is the ultimate guide for new parents when it comes to raising baby. With pregnancy tips, ideas for having a natural birth and lots more besides, this fabulous pregnancy handbook will be your friend all the way through, from conception to giving birth at a place of your choosing.
    Get your copy of Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets today and take the time to prepare yourself and your family for your new addition.

  25. Thanks for all the great advice, here’s my blurb;

    Having too much time on your hands can be a bad thing, even for a young elf like Soren Obscura. Still too young to be on his own, he desperately awaits the day when he’s finally old enough to travel the world. Spending off much of his time fighting bouts of boredom with actual fights at the nearest tavern. When he picks a fight with the wrong person however, his life is forever changed. Now his wish has come true, in a way, as he journey’s across the vast landscape of LyAshe in order to remedy the mistake he has made. With a few trusted companions at his side, battles many enemies and is pulled into a battle of good and evil spanning a millennium.

    • Hi Ashley,
      Your entry has been picked by the random selector – hurray! I’ve studied your blurb draft and will write a critique soon, with suggestions how you can give it real power. I’ll post my suggestions here.
      Rayne

      • Hi Ashley,

        Here’s my critique with some thoughts and suggestions. Bear in mind that these are just suggestions, not changes you must make. Use my ideas if they suit your vision for your story, and discard them if they don’t. I’m merely the consultant – you are the CEO. I advise, you decide. 🙂

        Your draft blurb is good in that it gives potential readers an idea what kind of story to expect, and who the main character is in whose company they will spend many hours.

        The main thing I would change is the references to the main character’s boredom: ‘having too much time on your hands’, ‘fighting bouts of boredom’. If the main character is bored, then readers expect to share in his boredom – and that’s the opposite of what fantasy readers are looking for.

        I suggest simply changing the wording. Instead of saying that the MC feels bored, say that he craves adventure or that he yearns for excitement. The meaning is almost the same, but the wording has more reader appeal.

        Next, I suggest leaving out generalities, like the general statement ‘Having too much time on your hands can be a bad thing,”

        Instead, zoom in on the main character right away: ‘Soren craves excitement.’ or ‘Young elf, Soren Obscura, yearns for adventure.’

        I would also avoid phrases that don’t add any content (such as ‘in order’), place names the reader isn’t familiar with (‘LyAshe’), words that not conjure up a specific image in the reader’s mind (landscape), vaguenesses (‘in a way’, ‘many enemies’) and Passive Voice (‘is pulled into’).

        I would craft the blurb like this:

        Young elf, Soren Obscura craves excitement. Tavern brawls thrill him – until he picks a fight with the wrong man. Unless he remedies his mistake, [insert terrible consequence]. Soren has just [insert number of days or months] to gain [goal] and [protect others from the price of his mistake]. [Add a sentence about the journey, mentioning specifics, e.g. desert plans, raging rivers, fighting bandits]. How can Soren [achieve goal] without [insert dilemma/inner conflict]?

        I hope these suggestions help. Feel free to use and tweak them in any way you like.

        Best wishes for your book,

        Rayne

        • Hi Rayne,

          Sorry it’s taken me so long to let you know I received your critiques. I really appreciate the input and actually like your version a lot better. So again thank you so very much.

          Ashley

  26. Thanks for all the tips!
    Here’s my blurb:
    A race against time to decipher a menacing archaeological mystery before it destroys them all.

    Archaeologist Angela Hunter unearths an ancient codex from a Native American burial mound. But how could an illiterate society have produced such complex writing?

    Seven hundred years ago, a thriving civilization suddenly vanished. As Angela deciphers the mysterious codex symbols, she unravels one of archaeology’s greatest mysteries.

    Despite forces trying to stop her from learning the chronicle’s secrets, Angela discovers the horrifying truth. Can she prevent the tragedies of the past from happening again today?

  27. Thank you for the article. Good advice.

    Here is my blurb for the second edition of the New Testament: Breakthrough Version that is due out at the beginning of the year.

    A Better Bible
    This is not your grandpa’s traditional Bible, nor your mom’s nonliteral contemporary Bible. This is something completely new, something that is long overdue: a direct translation of the original Greek text in today’s words.
    The Breakthrough Version starts with a better set of words:

    • a more accurate rendering of Greek words
    • words that everyone knows
    • no traditional words
    • a thorough overhaul

    Adhering to strict standards and using advanced procedures developed in over three decades of training and study, Ray Geide (a former missionary and pastor) has produced a better translation with a better set of words.

    • more literal than your Bible
    • more detailed than your Bible
    • a more uniform translation than your Bible
    • more accurate than your Bible

    The Breakthrough Version is a closer rendition of the sacred Greek words spoken by Jesus and written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by Paul and the other authors.

    More Accurate and Nontraditional
    Because the Bible should be Correct
    Because the Bible should be for Everyone

  28. Wonderfully informative and helpful article, thanks so much Rayne & CJ. Here is the blurb for my post-apocalyptic thriller, Dark of Dawn: 4Horsemen…

    Follow the fortunes of a small group of survivors as they come to terms with the harsh new world in which they live. Things are not always as they seem and whilst the Armstrong’s are forced to battle the undead on a near daily basis in order to protect their compound, they have much more madness to contend with.

    When a tough, uncompromising Irish girl is discovered in the city, everything changes. Siobhan’s appearance has a dramatic and immediate effect on the group, changing everything. Every day they are forced to manage power struggles, greed and lust, along with fanatical religious beliefs from other pockets of deeply disturbed survivors who threaten their very existence.

    This is a story of hope, humanity, family, love and the age old battle between good and evil. As each of the characters discovers their true plight, deciding who is good and who is evil becomes as difficult as deciding who should live and who should die.

  29. The Bloodline Artifacts – Howie Erickson

    He wanted some father-son time. What he got instead could change mankind…

    Kurt Sigurdson just wants to be a good father. The back office Canadian intelligence officer takes his son, Robby, on a dune buggy adventure for some quality time together. In the middle of the desert, they discover something incredible: an alien spacecraft. What’s even stranger is that there’s some kind of link between Robby and the ship.

    After encountering a team made up of the U.S. military and a priest, Kurt makes an unbelievable discovery. There’s a connection between the Tower of London, the Great San Francisco fire, the First Apostle, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence… and his son. When an attempt is made on Robby’s life, the devoted father must pair with unlikely allies to solve the greatest mystery of all. If he fails, Kurt may lose his son for good.

    The Bloodline Artifacts is the first book in a series of sci-fi adventure novels. If you like alien conspiracies, gripping suspense, and intricately-woven plots, then you’ll love the first installment in Howie Erickson’s Bloodline Series.

    Buy The Bloodline Artifacts to solve the alien enigma today!

  30. Three forces are fighting for world domination. Trapped in the crossfire is a rock band called Forbidden Fruitcake. All they want to do is make peace, make love, and make music. But the conflict rages out of control. It all culminates with a crowd of naked men set against a monstrous regiment of women inside a bawdyhouse full of robots and exotic entertainments.
    Nevertheless, this is a story about love.

    Warning: This work includes science fiction, political satire, mad scientists, romance, nudity, and some very personal robots.
    Offensive Language: The z-word is used.

  31. ‘It was the last day of school before the semester was over, and I,
    Brad Finkley, was going to have the most awesome Christmas Break ever!’ (not)

    Meet 11-year-old Brad Finkley during his Worst Christmas Break Ever. Find out why he woke up next to a big white mixing bowl, why he had to leave giraffe crackers for Santa, and why the new Pocket Gamer Deluxe was the only thing on his Christmas list.

    A laugh-out-loud book for the whole family!
    (be prepared to laugh your guts out)

  32. Thank you for the article! Here’s my blurb:

    Slighted by the infidelity of Mr Grimm, Mrs. Grimm wants to have her day in court.

    But there’s a catch. She does not want to sue her husband. She wants to punish the mistress and get her life back. Portia Porter and her faithful legal team are up to the task. As always, Portia explain the tricks and secrets of the courtroom. The Raccoon explains high fashion.

  33. Blurb for Sky Walkers Code Name Operation Starlight.

    Identical twins Joe and Frank Hunter – a paraplegic and a New Jersey detective – discover in youth that their father died in a secret military operation—But, did he?

    Fate takes their lives in different directions, until two government agents visited the Hunter home years later.

    A promise to walk again to run, to even fly, is too good for Joe to refuse, and Frank, in time, with super-hero like skills akin to Joe’s, joins the adventure.

    As the military operation escalates, the twin’s skills increase—now following in their father, Captain Jon Hunter’s footsteps.

    The secret mission blasts open the door to a confrontation with alien beings, and Earthly adversaries to a final battle for possession of ancient flying machine.
    Who will be victorious?
    The fate of humankind is now threatened.

  34. What if you were thrown into a foreign society, never to see home again? What would you do and could you survive?

    Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco to Chicago to attend a national chemistry meeting. He would never set foot on Earth again.

    On planet Anyar, Joe is found unconscious on a beach of a large island inhabited by humans where the level of technology is similar to Earth circa 1700. He awakes amidst strangers speaking an unintelligible language, and struggles to accept losing his previous life and finding a place in a society with different customs, needing a way to support himself, and not knowing a single soul. His worry about finding a place is assuaged when he finds ways to apply his knowledge of chemistry—as long as he is circumspect in introducing new knowledge not too far in advance of the planet’s technology and being labelled a demon.

    As he adjusts, Joe finds that he has be dropped into a developing clash between the people who cared for him, and for whom he develops an affinity, and a military power from elsewhere on the planet, a power with designs on conquest.

    Unaware, Joseph Colsco has been poured into a crucible, where time and trials will transform him in ways he could never have imagined.

  35. Hi Rayne! Great blurb advice, thank you. My blurb follows:
    Book Title: Remedy Maker
    Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

    Man by day, Centaur by night, Rhycious is a remedy maker who needs his own healing.

    He’s the royal physician, famous for his cures. War and posttraumatic stress disorder have broken his spirit, preventing him from finding true happiness. Then a direct order from the queen to investigate an uprising forces him out of his secluded cabin at the edge of the Boronda forest.

    Patience is an optimistic, good-natured Wood Nymph who works as a mediator to ensure harmony within the Nymph sector.

    Environmental pollution in the aquifer stream that feeds the taproot tree of her heart is slowly killing her. Resigned to the fact she will not live long, she sets out to discover the mysterious disappearance of her sister. Experience has taught her to deny herself the love of a male, but the gruff Centaur is different. He doesn’t push his expectations on her, only his healing nature.

    When Rhycious loses his grip on reality, he believes his inability to control his disorder will drive Patience away. Nevertheless, desire flares, and Patience draws him close. Kidnapping and betrayal turn their mythic joint venture into a deadly bout.

    Will their love endure when survival hinges on trusting each other?

  36. Hi, I just published this book on Amazon Kindle.

    Inspired by true events of ET encounters, The Blonde Snow White, Road Trip to Hollywood, is the first installation in a six-novel series that blends Sci-fi, LGBT, Romance, and Spirituality. In this daring novel the author, Kelly e. Keough, explores Pleiadian ET contact through the character of Sicily Snow, who dances her way into the dark side of love while becoming aware of living in a multi-dimensional world, a place where her ET guides are watching her.

    The story begins with Sicily Snow and her best friend Ruby in the southwestern desert. Being followed by the guiding lights of a Pleiadian spaceship, the girls unknowingly trip into the dark side of Juarez, Mexico. With no money or connections, they are determined to “make it” in Hollywood on sheer talent, which fuels the fire of their desires as they make their way to Los Angeles.

    Traversing the impactful lifetimes of Sicily Snow through eyes of her ET Pleiadian contacts, Sicily struggles to unlock the key to her unfulfilled desires, one of which is coming true, falling in love Ruby. Moving between the shadows and lights of her soul, Sicily’s burning desires forces her to question her beauty, love, and sexuality.

  37. A precious letter holds the key to something you’ve been missing yet longing for. It’s addressed to you, so pull back the covering and take a peek inside. Find the key to the gold tried in the fire, who the missing piece of the puzzle may be, where the search party should be focused, and who owns the amazing inheritance.
    Greet Paul’s helpers and join with them in spreading the good news of the gospel. Are you ready to receive God’s message to you?
    Published by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan

  38. Hello there!

    Please don’t consider me for eh sale of the contest. I wanted only to come and thank you for such a helpful article! CJ seems to find the most helpful people to bring to the attention of new authors, and you are certainly no exception!

    Thanks again,

    Russell

    • Auto-correct… my old nemesis… we meet again! (Really should be called Auto-Mangle, shouldn’t it?) eh sale = the sake

  39. Dana Waterfield’s well-organized life gets tipped upside down when the brutal murder of her twin sister Danielle threatens to unravel everything she’s worked so hard to achieve. Having found herself the sole guardian of her sister’s newborn lovechild, Jeremy, and at the receiving end of her ex-brother-in-law’s unchecked rage, Dana flees to the safety of Dixon Ranch and the strong, muscled arms of Brock Dixon. In order to protect the baby from the wrath of Danielle’s husband and murderer, Dana must assimilate into the daily routine of ranch life, and rethink who she really is. When the wrath of a madman threatens the life of her nephew and everything she holds dear, will Dana put her trust in Brock or let the winds of change tear her family apart?

    Falling for her sister’s lover was never part of the plan, but there’s something about a cowboy that no woman can resist. After all, the safest place to be is in a cowboy’s arms…

  40. A Song For Liam

    Liam Taylor is the Simon Cowell of country music, and has built a magnificent hillside home in the small sleepy town of Apple Valley.
    Summer Brown, an aspiring singer, learns the famous star-maker has moved into town and is determined to audition. She manipulates her way into his house pretending to look for work.

    Attracted to the bright, bubbly blonde, the famous Svengali hires her, and as the days become weeks their simmering attraction grows…then Liam discovers her deception

    Believing she’ll never see him again, heartbroken she leaves.

    But unexpectedly mother nature’s fury throws them back together, and they find themselves in a bone-chilling blizzard battling to survive. Fighting through the icy elements, the smoldering erotic cinders continue to spark, but after her dreadful lie and tearful exit, how will those embers ignite?

    Strap on your skis and get ready for this white-knuckle ride. From the first two words this surprise-filled sizzling romance from Maggie Carpenter will have you in its warm-gloved grip, keeping you there to the very last page.

  41. “Cash You Control: 100 Practical Ways To Start Your Own Business Today.
    Create Your Own Self-Sustainable Economy”

    Have the economy left you broke? Don’t let the government control the future of your family. Discover how to create your own cash…no matter your age, education, or location.
    Whether you work for a university, a restaurant or for N.A.S.A. itself, every time the economy takes a tumble or when policies and sources of funding change, employers [whether public or private] adjust accordingly in order to stay profitable. One of such adjustments is laying off employees. Look at the space program in the United States! Decimated almost completely! Nobody is safe.
    Break away from any and all employers today by simply applying what you already know; starting with the resources you have right now-in your current location-regardless of your age, nationality, income level, gender, language, education or origin.
    Learn ten good reasons why working for others is never a good idea. Let me show you the secrets to financial independence.
    Examine one-hundred proven strategies to shift direction and start earning cash on your own today; that’s income you can control.
    Let me show you how you can be your own boss and decide your level of earnings and start making money today!

  42. I’m a first time writer, my book Thoughts on Love is on Amazon under my Dating Dave pseudonym. Articles like this one are really helpful for us new authors. I appreciate the time spent to educate us on book publishing best practice!

  43. The blurb for my book, The Third Realm, Book One, Order of the Crow:

    David discovers his ancient lineage to cosmic guardians known as the Third Realm. His premature calling into the Order of the Crow, a member tribe of the Third Realm, harbings the chaos about to unfold. Can this youth unlock his innate powers in time to battle the encroaching darkness? (Teen occult novel, ages 12 and up.)

  44. Thanks to both Rayne and CJ for this wonderful opportunity. Here’s one of my blurbs which needs help:

    Some lies can’t be forgiven. Some secrets can’t be hidden.

    Welcome to glitzy, ritzy, glam-filled 1985 and a world of secrets, lies and family ties. Maixent, heir to Europe’s most glamorous throne, is as cool as stone-washed jeans. Charley, heir to America’s premier political family, is as hot as neon sweatbands.

    But will their hearts find love or will they be collateral damage as family secrets threaten to rip apart a royal dynasty and one of America’s greatest political families?

    History, suspense, romance! What more could you want? Royalty, politics and lust! Heirs is a red-hot, black-tie romance with scheming bluebloods and sizzling characters, told from the perspective of two families, two generations.

  45. Orphan. Homeless. Half-breed.

    For fourteen years Jedda’s home has been in the shadows and alleys of Tatak Rhe- city of the wealthy, powerful, and corrupt. He scrounges for survival, in dirty clothes that don’t keep him warm. Buried in his blood lies the gift of magic: an invisible hand guiding his life. Mostly he relies on his nimble fingers to keep himself fed.

    Cold and hungry, he nicks the coin purse of the wrong man. Karrahk, one of the city’s powerful rulers, looks into the bright green eyes of the tawny-skinned waif and sees Jedda’s hidden heritage. He makes a decision that will change a hungry boy’s life forever.

    Jedda gets drawn into the service of a man that most people fear. He learns the deepest and darkest secrets from all over the city. But then his magic awakens, changing everything, as he sees the deeper truth about this lord he has served so well. He was grateful to the Karrahk for saving his life. But he realizes his life is in more danger from his saviour than on the streets. Karrahk plays a ruthless game where power is more important than lives. Now he is afraid because he knows too much; his life and the lives of his friends are in danger.

  46. MY BOOK IS CALLED ‘DOUBLE TAKE’ – HERE’S MY PLANNED BLURB:

    Will the truth be known?

    After taking photographs on the night of the general election, Freelance photographer Nick Sharpe is reviewing his work when he notices a familiar face in the crowd. He’s photographed this woman before … then she was murdered.

    Nick doesn’t believe in ghosts, he doesn’t believe in coincidences and so wants to know the real answers … like why was the woman intently watching the new Prime Minister?

  47. Here is my blurb for Fall of Zona Nox:

    James, a young thief and legendary gangster, is faced with violence every day in Galis City, but is he prepared for what is to come?

    His homeworld is under siege by a mysterious alien empire.

    The iron will of humanity has stood strong, but even iron eventually bends.

    With everything at stake, can James save his world?

    Fall of Zona Nox is a thrilling action sci-fi set in the gritty arena of humanity’s future. In this dark tale of vengeance, violence and survival, can hope be fought for through the barrel of a gun?

  48. Hi Rayne

    Here is my blurb for my book: “Falling in love with you job – How to create more excitement and fulfilment in your career”:

    “How do you feel when your alarm goes off on a Monday morning? Do you hit the snooze button and curse the cruelty of your daily grind? Life is too short to waste it in a job you don’t enjoy. Be among the growing number of people discovering that their working lives can be a source of worthwhile growth and fulfilment.

    Whether you are determined to make a radical career change or simply wish for more day-to-day satisfaction in your job, in this book you will find inspiration and a wide range of practical exercises to help you create more fulfilment and excitement in your career. Among other things you will:

    – Explore what matters most to you in life

    – Create an inspiring personal mission statement

    – Change your perception of your working life

    – Explore what your Dream Job could look like

    – Build your professional brand

    – Learn how to manage yourself more effectively

    – Decide what a healthy life balance looks like for you

    This book will be for you if you are struggling to find meaning in a job you do not enjoy. It could be that you are simply working against your natural flow and have lost track of what is really important to you beyond the immediate financial gains.”

    • Hi Hans,
      Good news: your entry has been picked by the random selector. I’ve already jotted down some ideas for powering up your blurb draft and will post my suggestions soon.
      Rayne

      • Hi Hans,

        Here are my thoughts and suggestions. These are just suggestions, not things you must do or change. The decision which of my suggestions to apply and how is yours. You’re the CEO, I’m merely the consultant. 🙂

        I think the overall structure works well, especially with the bullet-point (or dash) list which is great for a non-fiction book of this type.

        My main suggestion is to make the blurb tighter. Although it’s not excessively long, a shorter version may lead to more sales.

        This is because readers just spend a few seconds (some experts estimate it’s just 10 seconds) glancing at a non-fiction blurb before they make up their mind whether this book offers what they want. Typically, the reader in search of a non-fiction book has a problem they want to solve, and the question on their mind is ‘Will this book solve my problem?’ If yes, the reader buys the book. If the question isn’t answered definitely in those ten or so seconds, you’ll probably have lost that reader, unless there is no good competing book available.

        If you can answer the reader’s question within 10 seconds, so it leaves a resounding ‘yes’ in their mind, you’ve practically made the sale.

        Present your content in such a tight, to-the-point manner that the reader can absorb the whole blurb in seconds.

        For example, I would tighten this rather long sentence
        ‘Whether you are determined to make a radical career change or simply wish for more day-to-day satisfaction in your job, in this book you will find inspiration and a wide range of practical exercises to help you create more fulfilment and excitement in your career.’ (45 words)
        to
        ‘Whether you want more satisfaction in your current job or a radical career change, the practical exercises will help you create exciting fulfilment.’ (22 words)

        Bullet point (or dash) lists are great to convey several key points fast – but keep to five points, otherwise the fast-skimming reader will skip points. Either choose the five most important points (the ones the target reader is most interested in) or merge two items into a single one.

        For example, instead of
        ‘– Explore what matters most to you in life’ and ‘- Decide what a healthy life balance looks like for you’ (20 words)

        you could write
        ‘-Explore what matters most to you and design a healthy life balance.’ (12 words)

        No doubt these are separate topics in your book, each with plenty of words devoted to it, but in the blurb you can combine them into a single item.

        Avoid repeating keywords. Although words like ‘fulfilment’, ‘explore’ and ‘life’ are great triggers for this kind of book, using each just once is enough.

        I like that you start the blurb with a question to make the reader feel that you understand them. But the two questions you’ve chosen aren’t ideal.

        “How do you feel when your alarm goes off on a Monday morning? Do you hit the snooze button and curse the cruelty of your daily grind?”

        This creates the feeling “The author understands the situation I’m in.” That’s nice. But it’s not as effective as “This author understands what I want.”

        “Life is too short to waste it in a job you don’t enjoy. ”

        This sentence states the obvious. A reader who considers buying this kind of book knows this already. So you can delete this sentence.

        “Be among the growing number of people discovering that their working lives can be a source of worthwhile growth and fulfilment.”

        I’m not keen on this sentence. It sounds a bit patronising, and the growing number of other people is irrelevant. Your prospective reader isn’t very interested in what other people are discovering. He or she wants to know what *they* will learn.

        I would leave out the ‘growing number of people’ and rephrase this sentence as the opening question:

        “Do you want your working life to be a source of worthwhile growth and fulfilment?”

        This gets to the point right away, and the target reader’s reaction will be, ‘The author knows what I want. This book can probably help me get it.”

        At this stage, you’ve almost made the sale. Follow this with just a few more words, perhaps in the form of a brief bullet point list.

        End with, ‘To see how this book can help you, click the Download Free Sample button.’

        I hope these suggestions help. Use what suits, and discard the rest.

        With best wishes for the success of your book,

        Rayne

  49. Freedom of the Few book blurb:

    Thirteen-year-old Ray Lawinger certainly thought he could. He was still young enough to believe that he could attain the coveted freedom of the few—still naïve enough to think he could live on the edge. He was wrong.

    For most of the next 28 years, Ray spent his days in and out of some of the most notorious prisons in Canada, including the infamous Millhaven Maximum Security and Collins Bay, also known as the Gladiator School. He wasn’t big and strong at first, but he was crafty and survived his days spent in these gladiator arenas only to emerge smarter and more savvy. From a foiled and folly of an escape attempt to being stabbed and stitching himself back up, his luck ran the gamut.

    In an endearingly funny but unapologetically gritty tale of the many fantastic adventures of Canada’s most prolific bank robber, Ray takes us on his journey of freedom, loss, and new hope as he struggles to reconcile his own values with the sometimes equally crooked interests of an indifferent justice system. Will he be able to leave the convoluted and complex system relatively unscathed? Can he escape the trap of the freedom of the few, beat the odds and finally survive on the outside? As the final survivor, a happy ending may finally be in store for him.

  50. Blurb for: Us: An Intimacy Innovation
    Genres: College-age romance / relationship advice

    Kiel’s unconventional ideas on how to achieve a perfect romance are put to the test when he is introduced to Alexsia.

    Shy, deep-thinking Kiel has just one goal for his romantic relationship: Sustained Togetherness. To that end he has formulated the Theory of ‘Us’, which encompasses his ponderings on how to insulate romantic relationships from the struggles, issues, and drama often experienced as two individuals become a couple.

    Popular, pretty, and underachieving Alexsia, tired of attracting all the wrong guys for all the wrong reasons, is drawn to Kiel. After learning from him that he can only be interested in a girl that knows who she is and what she wants out of life, Alexsia undertakes to find herself.

    Guided by Kiel, Alexsia struggles to let go of accustomed dating practices and embrace the Theory of ‘Us’ that is gradually revealed to her. Even as their mutual attraction grows, an impetuous blunder threatens Kiel’s hope of a reciprocated All-In commitment to their ‘Us’.

    US: An Intimacy Innovation is practical fiction, offering a reasoned, but nontraditional, approach to realizing true love. Along with the ‘how to’, the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of its principles are encased in and illustrated through the entertaining story of Kiel and Alexsia.

  51. Great article and fantastic tips. I ‘ve just added this to my bookmark folder.

    Below is the proposed blurb for the manuscript I am finalising or an editor.

    Disillusioned from fighting abroad, an Australian soldier returns home to Queensland. He heads westward to a new job. On the quiet, dark highway, he becomes ensnared in a dimensional rift. His car falls through the rift and crashes on an alternate earth vastly different from his own. The ex-soldier finds himself trapped in a world recovering from an apocalyptic war against the Galactic Roman Empire. He must now fight for his life. Manoeuvre his way through Nomadic tribes, treacherous Roman overlords and a corrupt militant police force. All of which lead him to a showdown and his chance at personal redemption.

  52. Good morning Rayne,

    After reading your article I revised my blurb (the original is still up on my author’s website if you want to compare). I did have a question about blurb structure though. I’ve seen recommendations about making the first sentence a summary and then following with paragraphs that expand/expound upon it. I find the repetition jarring (probably because I think time-line linearly) and to counteract this I put the first sentence in a different type (italicize it and/or use a different font-face). Any thoughts on the recommended structure, my concerns, and my approach?

    Blurb for: The Superior Arsenal
    Genre: Thriller

    Armed with only ones and zeros, computer wizard Terrance Tucker goes after revenge for the murder of his wife by the corporation that hired him – but he makes one mistake.

    After the death of his wife in an automobile crash, incorrigibly non-conformist and impudent Terrance yields to recruitment pressure from a company located in a small town on the other side of the country.

    Initially disregarding whispered rumors from co-workers and distrustful townspeople that the company is more than it appears to be, he surreptitiously pokes around in the corporate computer and discovers that his wife Maya’s death was not an accident.

    Concluding that it’s up to him to avenge her, Terrance ignores that little warning voice in his head turning his programming expertise against the firm. Captured in the act by the company’s security force and up against his wife’s murderer face to face, bruised and bloody Terrance must pit his brain against the firm’s guns and muscle to bring about justice for Maya while struggling to survive the efforts coercing him to shut down his digital attack.

    THE SUPERIOR ARSENAL fits in the thriller genre but it isn’t dark – it actually has strains of humor, not comedic but rather in a smart-alecky way.

  53. Albert Einstein proved that nothing can travel through space faster than light.

    Bill Axon is a lecturer at the University of Southern Arkansas. He shares man’s dream of going to the stars.

    That dream seems to be almost impossible because of Einstein’s speed limit of 186,000 miles per second.
    However, the discoveries of a colleague, a Professor of Quantum Physics, are set to make that dream a reality. Read how that reality progresses and follow Bill Axon to the stars. Discover what and who he finds there.

    The author believes that all verifiable facts in a story should be correct, even in Science Fiction, making for a more believable and enjoyable tale.

  54. Thank you for the very useful information. Your article is very helpful!!!
    And I am sure it could help many to be, and existing, authors.
    Awesome – thanks!

    My book is about enabling babies to fall asleep in an emotionally safe manner. Other books deal with falling asleep method, yet this book also adds the healthy emotional side of baby development.

    So here’s my blurb:
    “How do I get my baby to fall asleep in an emotionally healthy manner, unassisted and remain asleep throughout the night?” This question should continually be asked by new parents; maybe the most often asked question about a baby’s needs. And it is no wonder because healthy emotional development and sleep are some of the most concerning issues that parents, and grandparents, deal with daily.
    The Sleeping Baby Book offers tired and busy parents, who are also highly concerned bout their baby’s emotional development, a short and concise step-by-step method to help them teach their baby how to fall asleep independently and remain asleep throughout the night!
    You will have immediate access to specific knowledge you need without the overload of unnecessary information.

  55. Great article, and thanks for the opportunity! Here is my blurb:
    The youngest of three siblings, Shelly’s childhood tragically ended when her family disappeared under cryptic circumstances. Shelly and her sister embark on an epic journey to find them, only to face more hardship.

    Witnessing the death of her only sister’s hardened Shelly more, and she was left with facing the bleak reality of continuing the mission alone. It affected her deeper than she imagined, and fueled her every move. It made her become the pirate captain whose name would eventually be feared everywhere. She gathered a crew and despite all odds always managed to come unscathed from any of her crazy exploits.

    Along the way, she bumps into her brother who is now charged with arresting her, reconciles with her father who is hiding his own secrets, and frees her mother from the clutches of a power hungry Admiral of the English Navy. Will the fearless Captain Shelly Manhar manage to evade the hangman’s noose, or be forever lost in Davy Jones’ Locker?

  56. Have you had just about enough? Are you emotionally beaten to a soft pulp? Maybe you feel cornered with no escape route in sight? Do you see a need to start over?Well, help is on its way! First time author Carol Genier will explain how to acheive a dramatic and complete transformation in seven easy steps in her book titled “Do It Yourself Reinvention.”

  57. In reading your helpful article with blurb writing tips and examples, I suddenly realized that I’m just in time to enter my blurb before your submission deadline…so here’s the blurb for my new book, Flowers in December:

    A man goes home to bury his mother but finds himself.

    Connor Norton returns to his hometown, following the death of his mother, knowing that he will have to confront personal feelings of guilt and regret. It is a place he has barely set foot in for the past 20 years. Caught in the period of his life where the vibrancy of youth has diminished and the prospect of becoming middle-aged is looming, Connor finds that he is suddenly alone in the world and must somehow reshape his future and face his own mortality.

    With only Tom, the family’s orange tabby cat, as his constant companion, he considers new possibilities and new directions. But will Connor be able to lay the ghosts of his past to rest? And will his return later, to the place he once called home, be enough to let him break free from the remorse which he has carried since he was 18?

    In this tender, heartwarming portrait of a man who finds himself trapped between his past, his present and the future, where will this new journey lead Connor and what will the future hold when he gets there?

  58. This is so exciting! My book isn’t a novel, it’s a How-To. It’s called “No More Boring Weddings: How to Use Adventure, Travel, and Culture to Create an Epic Experience…Not Just Another Wedding.” Thank you Rayne for this exciting opportunity 🙂

    Here’s my blurb:

    Do you dream about having the most amazing wedding, full of adventure, excitement, and love? Does the thought of having your wedding in another country feel overwhelming, or like it would require a huge budget?

    Throw your old ideas of how a wedding is supposed to look out the window. Get married on the beach, in the jungle, at a Mayan temple, the Swiss Alps, on Safari…the opportunities are limitless and endless.  Why plan a normal wedding, when you can have a mind-blowing experience with memories to last a lifetime for you and your guests?  

    Jam-packed with everything you need to organize your own adventure destination wedding; this book is the go-to guide for planning your magical day.

    Having led, planned and marketed hundreds of group programs in over 15 countries (including their own week-long adventure wedding in Belize), the authors are experts in breaking down cultural barriers and creating lasting experiences.  They also believe strongly in the power of love and one of its greatest expressions: Marriage.  These two have been making a global impact individually and together for over 15 years, and now they’re using their experience to help you create the wedding of your dreams.

  59. Thank you Rayne, for the article and offering to do this. My blurb begins below.

    The world is a less safe place today than it was eight years ago, and many Americans believe we are on the wrong track. Why? We’ve lost our way; we’ve left behind the principles that brought us success. Because we no longer follow them, we are making serious mistakes.

    One area is the Middle East. Our policies have been bad. Simply look at the results. There is widespread conflict, turmoil, and massive numbers of people attempting to flee the area. While many are good people, they adhere to an ideology that is not only contrary to ours, but incompatible with it.

    We need to understand what it is. This requires openness and honesty. It requires truth. We cannot depend on our media or public education to provide it. Our government for the last eight years has stifled the discussion. We need to educate ourselves. What is Islam? Is it just a religion or something more? What are its basic tenets? Is Allah the same as Christianity’s God? What is Islam’s history and culture?

    A War For God pulls together relevant source material to both answer the questions above, and make some inferences to address the threat this ideology poses. It is not my wish to offend, but we cannot communicate effectively unless we are both open and honest. This book presents just the facts. The answers to these questions are simply too important to ignore. Our society, as we know it, literally hangs in the balance. As always truth must be presented honestly, but also with love.

  60. Here’s the blurb for the novella, “ReEmergence:”
    Anise is strong, but not invincible. She awakens from a long sleep and finds everything has changed. Driven by her need to rejoin the world she knew, it requires every ounce of her energy, motivation and perseverance to find her way back to reality. She hopes and prays that her husband and sons are among the survivors of the cataclysm that engulfed the planet.
    Follow Anise across just a few days that could defeat her completely, or open unimagined future possibilities. Your reward for reading is the transformation you make while drawing from her strength.
    It’s new adult suspense, and speculative fiction – not quite science fiction, more like distinct possibility. It’s a fascinating and wild ride. You’ve met these characters, they are that real. They draw you in. You root for them, laugh with them, cry with them.
    And, the ending is astounding, right to the last paragraph.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration,
    Bill MISKELL

  61. Below is a new Horror/suspense novel that I’m anticipating. I’m a poetry writer, so not sure if this is a good avenue for me to adventure.

    Brief Synopsis:
    Late Friday evening at 10:41 p.m., David Maloney methodically positioned himself behind the rustic dilapidated dumpster in the scenic alley near Kors de Mars French restaurant. Although poorly lite, the alley is a popular shortcut to the parking garage randomly used by the locals. As closing time at Kors de Mars draws near, Alexis Derbies quickly grabs her black leather gold trimmed Channel handbag with a gold tassel and rush towards the copper brass door of the front entrance. David quirkily rubs his anxious childlike hands together and waits for his childhood fantasy to materialize. Craving with anticipation, his breathing rapidly increase and his blood shot red eyes stare at the edge of the introductory pathway adjoining the French restaurant. A shadowy figure emerges and he nippily lowers his oddly small disfigured head behind the rustic dumpster. He smiles boldly to himself and grinds his yellowish green stained teeth together and softly whispers, “A treat for a treat.” As Alexis turns toward the dim alley off the restaurant, she drops her keys and bends swiftly to pick them up. She looked down the dim alley and an eerie feeling stunned her, as if someone was watching her. She dismissed the thought and continued to walk hurriedly towards the parking garage. As the sole of her black Manolo Blahnik heels clicked across the cemented pavement near the dumpster, she pause and wonders to herself if she should continue down the path of least resistance.

  62. Here’s my blurb from “A Serving Leader’s Devotional”:

    Jesus influenced thousands of people during his three-year stint of ministry. But more importantly, he focused on developing a handful of disciples who turned his vision into a global movement. How did Jesus do it without position or title? Why was his leadership point of view largely informed by serving and self-denial? How did Jesus infuse his passion and purpose into the hearts of his followers? In A Serving Leader’s Devotional, Luke Kuepfer helps you discover some answers by closely examining both the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.

    As founder and former field director of a non-profit organization, Luke learned leadership through experience and the pursuit of his greatest leadership role model ever—Jesus Christ. Looking at the Gospel of Matthew through the lens of serving leadership, he shares profound and practical insights that will help you discover how Jesus:

    • Ultimately served his Audience of One
    • Focused on a few to impact the many
    • Stayed aligned with his mission
    • Developed and empowered new leaders
    • Dealt with temptation, opposition, and rejection

  63. My blurb for my book, Love On Purpose: The convoluted subject of love has many confused and blindly searching for their purpose. Clarity and direction are found when we return to love’s true foundation.

  64. Book Title: Not My Daughter – Blurb Critique –
    Samone has strong feelings towards love and relationships and occasionally it blocks her judgment. When she became a mother it changed her whole perspective. Raising a daughter on her own has been a challenge but it has given her absolute focus and a deeper meaning of life. Now and then darkness falls upon us and everything in you may be tested to keep your family alive and finding the strength was something Samone was not ready for. How will she overcome this face off with life in hopes of being victorious in the end?

  65. Hi! I enjoy both adazing and Rayne Hall tweets and blogs 🙂

    My blurb for We Can’t Be Broken:
    Always the youngest and tired of being called the baby, nine year old Casey was thrilled when her little sister, Anna, arrived in the winter of 1986.  Once Anna was born everything changed for the better; a new sister, a new house and a perfect life. It was as if nothing could go wrong, until Anna got cancer.
    In the wake of seemingly never-ending hospital stays and chemo, Casey and her older siblings, Kelly and Sam, were suddenly forced to fend for themselves while constantly adapting to a new normal, that was anything but. Now growing up in the shadow of their sister’s cancer, Casey and her siblings try to survive as well as figure out their own place in the world.
    With the family they once had no longer in existence, Casey finds herself wondering, what’s next? Will they ever again find peace, happiness or each other?

  66. Blurb for Fairly Safe by Deborah Ann Davis:

    What happens when mistaken identity collides with secret identity?
    Form foster kid to biz wiz, Jacob has come a long way. A dream job…a great mentor…and he has finally fallen in love. Granted, she mistook him for a stalker when they first met, but every relationship has its little problems.

    Casey is on the run. This is not the time for a relationship. If they find her, she will have to disappear…again. But this time Casey will be stealing away with Jacob’s heart, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.

  67. Blurb for Fairly Certain by Deborah Ann Davis:

    What happens when a Computer Geek challenges a Medieval Outlaw?

    Petir takes a rough tumble in the Connecticut woods, and awakens in old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow…and arrow. Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. But when she is captured by the enemy, a geek with no ability to defend himself must rescue the fair maiden.

  68. Hello, I found a few errors on my last entry and decided to revamp for better clarity. I’m new at this, so I hope that I’m one of the very fortunate candidates that will be considered for Blurb Critique.

    Here it is:
    It was a late humid Friday evening in southern Texas, after the ninth annual Oktoberfest, when five feet seven and a half inches tall David Maloney methodically positioned himself behind a brown rustic dilapidated dumpster in the scenic alley near Kors de Mars French restaurant. Although poorly lite, the alley is a popular shortcut to the parking garage that is randomly used by the locals. As closing time at Kors de Mars draws near, twenty three year old Alexis Derbies quickly grabs her black leather tasseled Chanel handbag trimmed in fringe and rush towards the copper brass doors of the restaurant’s front entrance. David quirkily rubs his anxious childlike hands together and anticipates to satisfy his long awaited childhood illusions. Thirsting with an unnatural heighten desire, he rapidly inhales and exhales as the palms of his sweaty firm chafed hands began to shake. His piercing dark eyes stare at the edge of the introductory pathway that adjoins the alley near the French restaurant. A shadowy figure emerges toward the alley and he nippily lowers his oddly disfigured head behind the rustic dumpster. He smiles boldly to himself and grinds his stained yellow crooked teeth together and softly whispers, “A treat for a treat.” As Alexis turns toward the dim alley off the restaurant, she innocently drops her keys and bends swiftly to pick them up. She looked down the dim alley and an eerie feeling stuns her, as if someone is watching her. She casually dismisses the thought and continued to walk hurriedly towards the parking garage. As the sole of her black Manolo Blahnik heels clicked across the dry concrete pavement, she pause and wonders if she should continue….

  69. Below is the condensed blurb for the horror/suspense novel I’m working on.
    I reread the Do’s and Don’ts for a blurb and hopefully this will be critiqued and better prepare me to enhance a more conducive writing technique.

    Blurb shorter version:
    Unhinged David Maloney has been teased for better part of his life. After he is released from the local mental institution, his world is more than even saturated with sadistic desires. When David cross paths with his first victim Alexis Derbies, his demented thoughts are brought to life and the slayings begin. How can his next impending targets elude the crazed lunatic uneventful world of rage and torture before the inevitable killing cycle escalates?

  70. Hi everyone,
    It’s been fun to read all these blurbs, with their varied genres and styles. What a great diversity of exciting books!
    C.J. McDaniel tells me the randomly selected winners have been picked –
    Ashley Miller and Hans – so congrats to you too. I’ve studied your blurb drafts and will post my suggestions soon.
    Everyone else, although you didn’t win a personal critique, I hope you gleaned lots of interesting tips and useful pointers from this article, and I hope your book becomes a big success.
    Rayne

  71. I’ve updated the blurb in an attempt to heighten the plot for my Horror/Suspense novel entitled, “The Secret Asylum”.
    I’m hoping that Ms. Rayne Hall will critique this synopsis and help me improve the blurb as it relates to horror/suspense readers.

    Here it is:
    Despondent traveler David Maloney has been teased for better part of his life. Hunted by a heinous past filled with childhood torment, deceit and betrayal, after sixteen years, he is released from a local mental asylum. Five years after his release, his mental state gradually deteriorates and is heightening with sadistic desires. When David cross paths with his first victim, his demented thoughts are brought to life and potential slayings become ominous. How can the last impending target escape the uneventful rage and torment of these inevitable killings as the salacious crimes escalate?

  72. It’s so interesting that I read this article now when I was thinking about the same thing literally two nights ago. I had no idea it was called a blurb though. I’m happy I learnt that bit; way easier than calling it “the thing to hook the readers.” Excellent advice as usual Rayne! I figured it should be short and interesting, but these guidelines gave me a much clearer view of exactly what I should be trying to accomplish with my blurb.

    • It’s also called ‘book description’, ‘product description’, ‘back cover copy’ or ‘jacket copy’. The term ‘back cover copy’ refers to paperbacks, while ‘jacket copy’ is about hardbacks. ‘Product description’ is a term used in relation to the Amazon site.
      ‘Blurb’ has the advantage that it encompasses all book formats, and it’s short.
      On the other hand, blurb can also mean ‘product endorsement’ and that’s where people can get confused.

  73. Rayne’s writing tips are always so precise. There is no general blurry advice, indistinct suggestions. No, it’s always to the point, concrete and I’m sure helpful for so many people. And not only for professional writers. Most of us write so much during the day, emails, text messages.
    And who said that those texts shouldn’t be nicely written ?
    Rayne’s experience and smart advice will help with that too I’m sure 🙂

  74. I’m sharing my blurb. What do you think about it?

    “Do you know that there is a 10% chance that a woman will carry a male chromosome in her body. The “y-chromosome” novel tells the fantastic story about the scars left by the beloved men. A fictional disease – The alien syndrome interweaves the protagonist’s destiny and gives a new look at love, abandonment, marriage, family, and motherhood. How do we save someone for whom food is an unnecessary obligation? How do we make him stay when he’s incapable of building a relationship? What gives meaning to the world saturated with communication and hungry for sharing?”

  75. Rayne,

    I think your pointers are absolutely on-point! Thank you for sharing these! I have no doubt that these will help me with my writing style and stepping into my active voice more powerfully. I have been told recently that I use my passive voice too often, and as such have been more active in scrutinizing my writings in order to further grow in my writing skills and understanding. I am feeling quite equipped for whenever I choose to write my own fictional piece. Would you say that the ‘blurb’ is similar to the conclusion or introduction? In that, you find the most concise and dense way to describe the piece as a whole, but also while being as vague as possible so as to not give anything away? Thank you for all the advice! Cheers.

  76. I’m so excited that I stumbled upon this post! I plan on starting to write an ebook soon and this will be so helpful. I will be saving this to come back and read again soon! Thank you so much for writing this post!

  77. The best tip for me is to shorten the blurb. I rarely read a book with a blurb that did not hook my attention right from the first sentence! I hope many writers listen to you Rayne, they will definitely get better!

  78. In our contemporary world, where attention is deficient commodity, a tight, engaging blurb is essential.
    How liberal can we be when writing the blurb? Can we directly engage the readers with questions or in conversation in order to provoke them? Can we use metafiction?
    For instance:
    Have you ever considered killing someone you hate? How would you do it? Have you thought of ways to get rid of the body?
    These kinds of questions also plagued the mind of John, our friendly psychopathic librarian….

    Granted, there isn’t much information about the book, but it’s an interesting way to present the narrative and to spark the reader’s interest…i think…. 🙂

  79. Simplify, Shorten, Sharpen, Stir. My motto from now on, I will never forget. Thanks for these great pointers. I hope every growing and grown writer gets to read your posts, their writings would improve tremendously in a very short time. Great post.