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How to Write a Captivating Book Blurb

Meet Rachel D. Adams - A Book Blurb Specialist Crafting Irresistible Blurbs to Boost Your Book Sales


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Rachel D Adams is a book blurb specialist, leading strategic promotion campaigns and offering insightful manuscript evaluations to enhance your writing skills

Specializing in crafting irresistible book blurbs that boost sales, leading strategic promotion campaigns, and offering insightful manuscript evaluations to enhance your writing skills, Rachel D. Adams, a published author and experienced blog writer, brings expertise to help authors captivate readers, expand their reach, and refine their craft for success in the competitive world of publishing. We reached out to Rachel D. Adams, one of the authors behind the gripping paranormal fantasy prequel series The Life & Loves of a Dragon and The Dragon Tasker Series, to uncover the key to crafting a strategic and captivating book blurb that entices readers to dive into a story.



What initially drew you to the field of book blurb writing, and how did you develop your expertise in this area?



R: I have been in advertising since I was 19 years old. I worked for my father-in-law at his agency for years. When you work in the field of advertising, you have to find a way to squeeze descriptions and services into 30-second scripts or, if the ad is stationary, hit the important topics in a very small space while keeping in mind that your audience probably has a limited timeframe for reading it. Later, I worked with fundraising campaigns and then for the advertising department at a major McClatchy newspaper, The News and Observer in Raleigh, NC. While working there, I refined my art of saying a lot in a small space. Over the years, I've always enjoyed editing for other people. In college, I was the go-to person to help my classmates with synopsis writing. Now, here I am, looking over the work of other indie authors and being asked for help. I see the issues, and my mind automatically goes into trying to capture the important things in a novel without having to describe everything that happens.



 


The process of writing а book blurb



Can you walk us through your process for crafting compelling book blurbs? How do you ensure that the blurb captures the essence of the book while intriguing potential readers?



R: There is an art to it. There are also tried-and-true methods of including what's needed when it comes to genre. So it really depends on genre and also on length and tropes for me.


1

I usually only need to speak with the author or get them to give me their outline/summary. Then, I can set the stage for setting, characters, and conflict in a 500 words or less length.


2

I also will ask the author to try to tell me in one paragraph what should make their audience want to read the book. Usually that paragraph is easy for me to shrink into the confines of a tagline for the blurb. You want something that stands out.


3

I also suggest authors have either their tagline or a different elevator pitch ready for possible readers.




Tagline for the first book:


Being a dragon is a death sentence. Being a Tasker might be worse. Jean-Michel is BOTH.

My Elevator Pitch for the series:


Our dragon shifter is a secret agent working for the very organization that's out to kill him. Where better to hide than close to your enemy?

Notice that I use the keyword "dragon" in both. However, we are trying to make the audience wonder what a "Tasker" is - they have to read more to find out. So that was left in the tagline for the first book, which introduces all the characters. The book tagline always remains "in the world." But the elevator pitch allows you to use book and author terminology outside of the book world. So I can add the term "shifter" which is something readers recognize.



How do you approach writing blurbs for different genres or target audiences? Are there specific strategies you employ based on the type of book?


R: Yes. If there is a romance involved, I want to be sure and capture the two main characters in that romance, for instance. If it's a multi-character fantasy, you obviously can't mention all characters. So the focus is on the main character(s). In this case, you want to highlight the plot and the stakes involved in the adventure. For certain genres, it is best to allude to a target trope that's included. No matter which genre, your goal is to make your audience feel as much for your characters as you do.



What role do market research and reader feedback play in your blurb-writing process? How do you incorporate these insights into your work?


R: Always test your taglines and blurbs with readers of that genre, other authors of that genre, and your trusted beta readers. I've even suggested


using polls on your author pages or group pages or in your newsletter.
I've seen people run giveaways as an incentive.

This is going to help you, especially if you cannot decide on what you want to include.


As to the market research before the testing step - I use several methods


to find the proper keywords to try and include in
either the main blurb or the series blurb.

I know what people expect for my genres when it comes to blurbs and tagline and even reading...and I want to be sure it's mentioned in the blurb and tagline. 



 


common mistakes to avoid when creating a book blurb

Common mistakes to avoid



In your experience, what elements are essential for a successful book blurb? How to avoid common mistakes?


» Avoid Overloading with Details


R: The most frequent mistake I see authors make when writing a book blurb is leaving in too much. Do not use the outline of your book and every major action the main character will take as your blurb. It's too much. You want to

tease the reader into wanting to know more.

If they pretty much know everything that is going to happen after reading the blurb, why should they purchase your book? 


» Maintain Emotional Engagement


Start with emotionally evocative lines to create an immediate connection with the reader. This helps in hooking the reader right from the beginning.


»  Keep It Focused


Mention the inciting incident, that's fine, but don't mention how it will be resolved. You want to make your reader question if the character will resolve the problem made by the inciting inciden, and whether they can overcome internal scars and obstacles. Maybe tease those, create a hook to intice them, not a roadmap. You can even talk about what would happen if the character doesn't achieve their goal. It's all about what is at stake if the character(s) do not achieve the goal.  

»  Create Suspense and Mystery


Use abstract mentions of danger and betrayal to maintain a sense of mystery. This encourages readers to pick up the book to learn more.


»  Pose Intriguing Questions


End the blurb with open-ended questions that spark curiosity. Avoid revealing too much, and let the book itself provide the answers.


When it comes to non-fiction, be sure to

present the readers with the problems your book will solve.

Talk about how the information in your book can help them. 



 


less is more - how to find the balance when writing a book blurb

How to find the balance



How do you balance providing enough information about the book without giving away too much in the blurb?


You need to decide what would make your audience curious about your characters.

What would make a potential reader decide to not just read the blurb, but take the time to read the book.

R: It's very important to let them know what they are about to get into without telling them the entire story.


You may want to mention the important personality traits or scars for your character - especially if they are part of a well-loved trope. You probably want to mention the outside conflict the character is facing up to and including the inciting incident. But, then, I'd say you want to ask - how do they solve this conflict, considering their circumstances? What might happen if they don't solve the problem?


You don't want to tell the readers all the steps the character
is taking to solve the conflict - that's the part you leave off,

because they should want to read about that in the book. Leave them with the cliffhanger there.

And don't forget emotion. If there is emotion to be had, use it. Touching on the scars and struggles your character has faced in the past while also presenting the trouble they are about to deal with and the possible dreaded consequences of failing should bring about emotion in your possible reader to get them to want to know more.  



Lastly, what advice would you give to authors or publishers who are seeking to enhance the effectiveness of their book blurbs?


Make sure you are leaving the possible audience
with a question about the fate of the characters.

R: Present the possible consequences of actions in the book - the stakes your characters will face, without giving away what happens.


On a practical note, see if you can fit in some keywords without taking away from your blurb. This can only help. But this is the place for those keywords. 


If you've already gone through my Aggressively Helpful Writing Advice and you've gotten your blurb down to a manageable word count that you feel will make the reader want to find out what happens to your characters and world, it's time to do the dirty work.



 

Too much vs Less is more


Let's take a look at two different versions of the same book blurb for The Vampire's Dragon, Book Two in The Love & Lives of a Dragon series. We'll compare these blurbs to understand how too many details can overwhelm the reader and how a more concise approach can enhance clarity and impact.



» First Draft


Senias is a dragon on the run.


Hunters want all dragons dead and rather than protect the supernatural beings, the Crimson Council blacklisted all dragons as too dangerous to live. Fearing for his dragon lover, Sebastian let him go through the giant portals to the other world to save his life. After years alone, the vampire wonders if that was the correct path. His heart aches to have his dragon back.


The world turned against dragons and to stay hidden and safe, Senias made deals... dangerous deals. Then, he and his lover became hunted by the organization that was supposed to protect them! Leaving his old life behind, he went to the other world with his mate to find friends and then get involved in war. He's been used as a weapon but has come back to find the love he left behind and make new allies. 


Being reunited does not necessarily mean they are safe. Making friends of demons and enjoying life in the 1830s city of Paris, is distracting for an adventurous bunch of supernatural friends. Unfortunately, danger is still all around them. 


An ambitious Crimson agent is on Sen’s tail while the heir of the very family who originally enslaved him has begun hunting him down. Should they trust the demonic twins they have made new deals with? Specially when one twin is enjoying the agent on the side? 


While Sebastian opens his heart completely  to Senias for the first time, will his dragon return his passion turned to love? Or is Senias still very much polyamorous, finding too much pleasure in the succubus they both enjoy? Is it true love or is it an obsession? 


Will the reunited couple overlook the dangers closing in around them? Can they keep each other and their new friends safe? What will happen when Senias must face an enemy nearly forgotten to his past? Will he ever escape the curse of his own vows?


***


Follow Senias of Morias in this prequel story as he finds himself enmeshed in the drama of a chorus of supernatural characters who may all end up being part of his future in The Dragon Tasker Series.




» Final Version




No matter how far apart we are, I am always with you.

No matter where you are, I will come to you.


Hunters want all dragons dead. Rather than protect the supernatural beings, the Crimson Council blacklisted all dragons. Imagine being told you’re too dangerous to live.


To escape with his life, Senias made deals... dangerous deals.


He had to leave his home and his love. He was used as a weapon in another world. But now, he’s back…


Senias is a dragon on the run. Sebastian helped him escape. Being reunited does not mean they are safe. 


Will he find the love he left behind and make new allies? Or will he find nothing but danger and betrayal? What new mischief will he get up to? 


Will Senias ever escape Crimson or the curse of his own vows? 


***


Follow Senias of Morias in this prequel story as he finds himself entangled in the drama of a chorus of supernatural characters who may all end up being part of his future in The Dragon Tasker Series.




R: You could say I almost cut too much from this blurb, but when I ran it past my beta readers, this shorter, no-nonsense version was the blurb chosen. They especially liked a quote from the vow made between the two main characters as the hooking tagline. They had an emotional response to it. Then, of course, we went on to explain the situation, the stakes, and questioned what might happen. We cut more details about the setting and other characters. We felt that due to the series blurb, readers would infer there to be more characters in the book. 

In this case, this is a series, so we also have added the shortened series blurb here to make sure readers understand there is more waiting for them. 



 

Formatting the book blurb



R: Make sure you are formatting the blurb correctly.


» Are the spaces in the proper place?

» Do you have the tagline set apart from the rest?

» Should you add a series blurb at the end?

» Are you asking your audience the questions they should keep in mind?



Then - test it. Test your different blurbs and taglines on beta readers, on other comp authors willing to give you an opinion, on readers within the genre. But please test them. I never would have thought to use the tagline you see above for our first book. But I provided reader after reader with three different taglines and that was always the favorite. They told me it made them want to know what a "tasker" was. It told them there was a dragon (probably a shifter) involved. It made them wonder why being such a powerful creature could be so dangerous. 


Most important:

Make sure your taglines and blurbs make your audience
want to read more.


 

Challenges when writing blurbs



Have you ever faced challenges when writing blurbs for particularly complex or unconventional books? How do you overcome such challenges?


R: Yes - particularly when a book might fall into several genres or sub-genres. What do I do? I research their genres and list out the things that are most important in each. Then, I read over successful blurbs within those genres, adding notations to my notes about any repeated styles. Then, I create a template for what I want to see in the blurb for that particular combination of genres/sub-genres. The template must include all of the information that most readers of that genre expect to see.  



 

Rachel D Adams - book blurb writing services, manuscript evaluation, book promotion




More to explore from Rachel D. Adams


Check out her blog post on Medium about writing a book blurb Aggressively Helpful Writing Advice


Want to give your book sales a boost? Partnering up with Rachel D. Adams could be just the ticket. Her talent for crafting captivating blurbs is sure to draw readers in!






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