The Back of the Book – Continued

I spent a good portion of the day playing Farmville 2 and reading self-help articles for indie authors on how to write the book blurb.  Yes, I’m still researching this topic.  I have ok blurbs, but they aren’t fantastic or great or any other adjective you’d like to insert.  It’s a skill I need to master (because paying outrageous fees for it is still highway robbery).

I’m going to sum up what I’ve learned in a few bullet points:

  • Too few adjectives makes your writing sound uncultured.  Too many adjectives makes it sound childish.  Depending on where you get your information the magic “few” can be anywhere between 3 and 10.
  • Blurbs should be less than 250 words… or they should be less than 400 words… or they should be between 100 and 150 words… or they should be less than 100 words…  or they should be less than 3 paragraphs… I’d like a definition for 3 paragraphs.  I once had a writer tell me that she managed to make an entire paragraph last four pages.  I don’t think that will fit.  So do I pick a magic number and aim for it each time I write a blurb?
  • Use “power words.”  These include words like “terrifying,” “romantically,” and “awe-inspiring.”  They also include “terrified,” “survival,” and “heart-break.”  But I have a question.  Do “power words” count against my “adjectives word count?”  If so, how many “power adjectives” should I use and how many “power verbs” should I use?  And are there “power nouns?”  I ask because is “serial killer” or “Russian Mob” power words?  And again, there seems to be no consensus on “how many” to use.  Some say 3, some say 9, some say no more than 15…
  • Don’t overuse verbs.  Don’t overuse nouns.  Don’t overuse adjectives. – So I need to write a 250 word blurb with 5 verbs, 5 nouns and 5 adjectives.  What the hell do I use for the other 235 words?  Oh, I know… Adverbs and prepositions!
  • And my favorite: Get a professional review to add to your blurb.  Really?  That’s a requirement for writing a good blurb?

Good grief…  I still think $100 or more is madness to do the work.  Especially since most of them seem to be templates with different keywords (oh yeah, I did a lot of research today).


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1 Comment

  1. Maria D.

     /  December 22, 2013

    i just remembered that Ilona Andrews did a series on her blog helping others (aspiring authors) on how to write the blurbs, hooks and stuff …you might want to check out what they recommend



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