How to formulate a powerful blurb

The blurb only has a few lines. After you've written a novel with hundreds of pages, that shouldn't be too hard, right? But be careful: you shouldn't underestimate the blurb for your book. After the cover, it's the first thing your readers will see before they decide to buy your book - or not.

What is a blurb?

The first few seconds a reader sees your book will determine whether they want to read it. And next to the cover the blurb is an important figurehead for your book. Originally, the blurb was the summary inside the dust jacket flap. For books without a dust jacket, you'll find the blurb on the back of a book. Sometimes also on the back of the Dirty title.

The blurb briefly summarizes the content of the book and arouses the reader's curiosity. This is how you convince him to buy your book. It serves as a promotional text and should therefore not be underestimated.

How is a blurb constructed?

Contrary to your descriptions and subplots in the novel, when it comes to the blurb, keep it short. Within 100 to 200 words, you should outline the main plot, introduce your protagonist, and describe your Genre make it clear. No matter for which Narrative perspective you have decided in your book, the blurb should be written in the third person singular in the present tense. Usually, the blurb is formatted in justified type and, of course, must be free of spelling or grammatical errors. If a reader finds such errors already on the outside of the book, he will immediately get a bad impression and in the worst case put it right back or scroll to the next title.

What does the blurb say?

The blurb is one of the most important figureheads of your novel. It's not just a summary of the book's content. In fact, you shouldn't give too much away at the same time, but rather arouse your reader's curiosity. You can do this not only with a catchy description, but also, for example, with a small excerpt from the book or positive press reviews. The point here is not to draft a text according to a set pattern. Rather, you can be creative here too and perhaps find your own way of captivating potential readers. But be careful not to make false promises. Stick to the truth, otherwise the book may be bought but receive negative reviews afterwards.


However you craft your blurb, the synopsis remains the most important part of it. In it, you briefly outline the main plot. But be careful: don't get lost in subplots and details. Side characters have no place here, rather highlight what is special about the novel. The point here is to arouse curiosity with a short and easy-to-understand text. Just like in a teaser, only the most necessary questions should be clarified. Who is your protagonist and what conflict does he have to resolve in your book? As a guide, it helps to outline the first three chapters succinctly and end with a cliffhanger.

More info

A short excerpt from the text before the short summary can already draw readers directly into the mood of the book. Have you already gathered meaningful reviews or press commentaries before publication? Then don't be afraid to include them in your blurb. But be careful: no quotes from friends or family. For book series, it doesn't hurt to advertise other titles in the series. And don't forget to mention any successes or awards you've already achieved with the text in the blurb.

How do you write a blurb?

Imagine you're browsing through your favorite bookstore. A particular book cover catches your eye and you reach for the title. You flip it over and read the blurb and - it's boring, complicated or just plain meaningless. Immediately you lose interest, don't even want to browse the first few pages, but reach straight for the next book.

Crisp, emotional and arousing curiosity - that's how your blurb should be designed if you want to attract readers with it. Write it as concretely as possible, you only have about 200 words of space. Basically, in the blurb, you introduce the protagonist and their conflict and end with a cliffhanger. The rule is absolutely: Don't spoil. As an approximate guideline, you can give a brief summary of the first three chapters and encourage readers to browse through them with ellipsis points or a question.

Every word counts

Make sure that the tone in which you write the blurb also fits the rest of the book. You can do this with keywords, for example. If the word "romantic" is in the first sentence, it's clear that it's a romance novel, and if someone is "killed," it's probably a romance novel. Thriller or crime novel. Use expressive adjectives without exaggerating. The same applies to the blurb as to the novel: the very first sentence must fit. Avoid nested sentences and like on the blog Writing Barn made it clear: "Place each single Word on the test bench and consider youwhether or not really need. To clarify what I mean: In this sentence, for example, you could start by deleting the following words: single, you, really."

Get support

Feel free to test the blurb on friends and acquaintances and ask them for a critical opinion. Think about how you would tell them about your book in a nutshell, highlighting what's special about it and where you end to pique their interest. Also, feel free to get inspiration from titles on the bestseller list or in your genre to get a feel for what blurb appeals to many readers. Also, a Blurb Generator be useful to put together a first draft.

If you're happy with your blurb, leave it for a few days and look at it again with some distance. Maybe you still find one or the other ambiguity, an unnecessary filler word or the cliffhanger is not strong enough?


In your blurb, you introduce the main character and his or her initial situation, describe the event that upsets the character's life, and conclude with an intriguing question or end with a promising cliffhanger. It sounds simple, but you shouldn't underestimate it. After all, the blurb is usually the first thing a potential reader sees after the cover. Draw them into the story with the first sentence and captivate them with a text that makes them curious about your story authentically and without exaggeration.


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