The writing of blurbs is a bit of an art form. It is also an art form I’ve never come close to mastering. The blurb, that little smattering of text on the back of a book is supposed to do several things at once.

  • Entice a casual browser’s eye
  • Give a sense of what the book is about
  • Give some incline as to the plot
  • Give nothing away
  • Encourage the casual browser to buy the book

In a world of ebooks and internet purchasing the back of a book may not seem as important as it once was, but everything that goes into writing that blurb, every thought, consideration and nuance, are exactly the same as the ones that apply to the blurb for an E-books Amazon listing or any other ebook outlet. Writing a blurb, therefore, is its own dark art and one I have always suspected was best undertaken by someone other than the writer of the book itself. For authors are a precious bunch when it comes to there children.

Despite this, there is no such thing as a professional blurb writing service for indie writers. Or indeed a professional amazon blurb writing service. Which is odd, because normally people are queuing up to sell a writer their services, but then again the writing of blurbs is more dark art than science…

As I had to compile ‘A Spider in the Eye’ fully, cover et al, in order to get a proof copy I found myself needing to write a blurb. And yes before someone mentions it, I could have printed it myself on loose sheets of paper for a readthrough proofing, but there is something particularly satisfying and real about holding a book in your hand. So I am getting a load of tag post-it’s and a new highlighter pen and once the proof copy arrives (it’s due Friday) I will read it through properly on the sofa, with the fire on and a glass of something or other, and doing it in book form will stop me writing whole chapters by mistake… (the curse of editing is sometimes the urge to keep editing).

So back to blurbs… As I said I had to throw one together for the proof copy, though by the time I was happy with the compiling and read to set the proof I had written, and rewritten half a dozen of them before I finally committed myself to the one that adorns the back of the proof copy. Which will probably change again before publication, but will at least stop me fretting about it for the next week or so…

So, until it is entirely reworked, rewritten, scrapped and started over, shortened, lengthened, rethought, and completely redone… Which it will be.

This is the blurb on the back of ‘A Spider In The Eye.’

back blurb

See, that’s why there should be a professional blurb writing service somewhere out there in the ether…


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2 Responses to Blurbing…

  1. There are people who will write blurbs for you… although they usually want just a short synopsis to base the blurb on, and if you can write that, the blurb isn’t really any more difficult (or any more pleasant) to come up with. The problems with letting a stranger write the blurb for your book are 1) they may totally miss the point of the story and emphasize something trivial as if it were the story’s main focus, 2) some people mistakenly think blurbs must be over-the-top hyperbole, and 3) if you don’t at least participate in writing the blurb, it won’t be written in your voice.

    I rather like the blurb you’ve shared here. It needs a little bit of polish (a comma after insurrections in the first paragraph, for example), but for the most part, it’s solid. What’s more, it has personality.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Blurbing: Reduxed | The Passing Place

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