There was an RWR article a while back that gave a lot of great information on how authors could go about asking for blurbs. But what happens when you’re the author/reviewer/bookseller who’s asked to provide an endorsement?
A few tips to writing a great blurb:
- Keep it fairly short. We don’t have a lot of room on the cover.
- Be specific. “A fantastic talent” or “A rising star” or “Lots of fun” are certainly short and all very nice, but will they really make a reader pick up the book? I love the quote that Lori Foster gave Lisa Cooke‘s TEXAS HOLD HIM: “Mega fun, fast-paced with a sexy, to-die-for hero–my favorite kind of historical romance.”
- Use comparisons. It’s a great shorthand way to convey the style of the book. My favorite example here is Erin Quinn‘s quote for Kathryne Kennedy‘s writing: “The imagination of J. K. Rowling and the romance of Julie Garwood all rolled up into one.” Or Allison Brennan‘s quote for STOLEN FURY by Elisabeth Naughton: “If you like Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone, you’ll love Naughton’s dazzling romantic adventure.” I truly think those comparisons helped sell books. Who doesn’t like J.K. Rowling? Who doesn’t like Indiana Jones? If accurate, comparisons can be really powerful.
A good blurb can help convey more than the cover art and the title do. It gives readers extra information, hopefully information that will help them decide to buy the book.
I remember when I was writing cover copy for Jennifer Ashley‘s MAD BAD DUKE, I had decided I needed some kind of cover line to help convey that it was sexy, had fairy-tale elements, and was Regency-set. But how could I get all that in a line or two in a catchy way that would lead into the title?
Then I found a Booklist review from super-pro reviewer John Charles for PENELOPE & PRINCE CHARMING, the previous book in the series: “Ashley’s latest sinfully sexy historical Regency will delight and charm readers with its enchanting mix of fantasy and fairy-tale romance.” Bingo!