Writing a Winning Book Blurb (I hate it!) by Stacy Hoff


I’ve recently finished off four manuscripts. Two are brand new, full-length, stand-alone contemporary romances. The third is a re-working of a manuscript I wrote a while back, a dark romance involving a love triangle. The forth manuscript is for a sequel I’ve got coming out January, 2016, an action/adventure/romance book. What was the one problem I had with all four of these books? Writing the book blurbs.

For those who are newbies to the publishing industry, a “book blurb” is the very short summary of a book that is typically found on the back of a book’s jacket. Blurbs are typically constructed like this:

  • A paragraph of no more than three or four sentences talking about the heroine and her problem.
  • A paragraph of no more than three or four sentences talking about the hero and his problem.
  • Optional sentence of how the two characters /problems entwine, if not already established.

Book blurbs are not to be confused with their equally evil cousin, the Synopsis. Synopses offer a much more detailed summary of the book, in a proscribed length anywhere from two to five pages long. The synopsis is to be written in the voice of the main character, and preferably will show that character’s POV.

Condensing an entire 50,000 to 70,000-word manuscript into a two or three paragraph book blurb is about as easy as turning a live elephant into a one-inch miniature. The blurb is a whole lot smaller than the real thing and leaves out some pretty crucial details. Worse, the blurb has to be salient enough to hook the reader into buying the book.

Oh, and you have to write all book blurbs while balancing an anvil on your head. Okay, not–but trust me, when a publishing deadline looms, it sure as heck feels that way.

I’m finally catching on to writing book blurbs for contemporary romances. But writing blurbs for my other stories is trickier. Take my dark romantic triangle story, for example. There really is no standard or easy way to set up a blurb for this. I found it had lots of points on which to highlight, all leading me off into different directions. The facts I had to play around with:

  • College senior heroine poses nude for her art professor, falls in love, has an affair with him.
  • Young, wealthy, sexy male professor has emotional hang-ups, is into kink as well as control/power.
  • heroine is not into control nor power-based relationships, but is nevertheless highly attracted to her professor.
  • College freshman learns of heroine’s affair, and is horrified. Worse, he wants heroine to himself.
  • Heroine and freshman are both enrolled in professor’s figure painting class.
  • Freshman and professor know they’re fighting for the same woman, and wind up wanting to fight each other.

Here’s the blurb I came up with:

College senior Bette Williams has always been “the good girl.” But when her sexy, young, and very wealthy art professor, Jon Hunter, asks her to model for their figure painting class—nude—her nice, comfortable world is thrown upside-down. But that’s only the beginning of what the professor will ask.

Does this blurb work? Is writing a book blurb something that works for you?

Hot Seduction cover




WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF: http://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff Twitter: twitter.com/authorStacyHoff Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com https://www.pinterest.com/authorstacyhoff/







Sol cover new




This entry was posted in romance, romance novels, Stacy Hoff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Writing a Winning Book Blurb (I hate it!) by Stacy Hoff

  1. Great blurb! You’ve captured my attention.

  2. drgrady says:

    Just went and bought one of your books! Thanks for the blurb writing help. It’s hard! (:

  3. stacyhoff says:

    Make that “drgrady.” I’ve got fat typing fingers today!!!!!

  4. maggiermundy says:

    Fantastic advice here.

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