In the last decade, self-publishing has grown exponentially with the emergence of platforms such as Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace – that have made publishing a book an easy and accessible process. Numerous independent authors have been able to leverage different marketing techniques to boost their sales and build sustainable self-publishing businesses. A key tool for sales, branding and marketing your book is a book blurb.
What is a book blurb?
A book blurb is a brief description of a book written for promotional purposes. It gives the reader a sense of the content of the book and proposes the value that the reader is likely to derive from reading it.
Imagine your book was a person on a dating website.
The cover page is like the profile picture, and the book blurb is the part of your profile that describes you. Therefore, while a good profile picture will attract a potential suitor, your description is what will motivate them to engage. Consequently, you want your description to stand out and convince. You want the book blurb to make marketing your book a walk in the park.
While the front cover of the book serves the primary purpose of branding, the blurb is like the “pitch” which persuades a potential reader to buy and read your book.
What A Book Blurb Is Not.
The book blurb is neither a detailed summary or outline of your book nor an overly promotional sales pitch. It is also not a detailed review of your book, although you may opt to include a sentence or two summarizing a reader’s review of the book.
Where Is the Book Blurb Positioned?
Traditionally, the blurb was placed on the inside of the back cover. However, as online publishing gained popularity, and people opted for digital books, most writers chose to place the blurb on the back cover to make it easily accessible to the reader.
Components of a book blurb
The content of a book blurb may vary depending on the author’s preference and whether a book is fictional or non-fictional. That said, the most common components of a book blurb include:
- A summary of the plot (for fiction books).
- Thesis statement or main ideas presented in the book (for a non-fiction book).
- A brief introduction of the characters-mainly the antagonist and protagonist (for fiction books, biographies, autobiographies and memoirs).
- A few quotes picked from the book.
- A short biography of the author.
- Praises of the book by other authors.
- Reader’s reviews.
- A value proposition to the reader.
You may include some or all these components.
Using the Book Blurb for Sales and Marketing, And Branding
You can use your book blurb for branding, sales and marketing your book across the various platforms. To do so effectively, ensure that it is strong and well written.
As is the case for most online content, most of the readers will not read through your blurb word for word; rather they will scan through it. To improve conversion, make the content easy to scan in the following ways:
- Begin the first paragraph with an attention-grabbing sentence.
- Write short, succinct paragraphs (2-3 sentences).
- Incorporate quotes, e.g., excerpts from the book or what a reviewer said about the book.
- Incorporates text in different font styles but do not overdo it. For instance, you could bold the value proposition or a subheading, or italicize quoted text.
- Keep in mind that for a book blurb you have less than 150 words to intrigue and persuade a potential reader into buying.
Online Marketing Strategies Using a Book Blurb
You can display the blurb on:
- Amazon/CreateSpace book description box: Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace provide a description box that is meant for the author to write a short description of your book. You can use this space to publish your book blurb.
- On your social media pages. Convert the back page to a JPG or PNG image and upload it on your social media pages. You could also run a promotional campaign for the book whereby you pick a segment of the blurb and paste it on your pages.
- Your website. When promoting the upcoming launch of the book and throughout its sales promotion phase, ensure to publish the blurb on your website.
- Marketing email. When sending out your marketing emails to boost sales for the book, you may include the book’s blurb as part the email content to provide a potential reader with the overview of the book and persuade them to buy.
A book blurb is a crucial tool for marketing your book. Its purpose has transitioned from the traditional back cover that provides the reader with an overview of the book, to serve as a powerful sales tool for marketing your book across the various online platforms.