So you've written your first book. And you've decided to self-publish it. So now you're faced with the question of what to write on the cover. Or maybe you're a freelance writer and you've scored a gig to write cover copy.
Where do you start?
Well if it's your own book you're in luck. You see the place to start is with the problem your book is solving. You are solving a problem in your book aren't you? And you did create a reader profile before you wrote it didn't you? That profile and the problem are now the key to your writing of the blurb. They will guide you in writing that cover copy.
You see there are two purposes of having the blurb.
The first and most important purpose is the same as the title. Simply put, it is to get the potential reader to read your book. After all, if your potential reader doesn't pick up your book, they won't buy it. If your potential reader doesn't open the book, they won't buy it. If the potential reader doesn't read the first paragraph, they won't buy it. And so on. You need to get the reader to pick up the book and crack it open to the first paragraph.
That's the first and most important task of the cover copy (aka blurb). Like most purchases the process has been studied. What the time & motion studies have revealed is important. You see, when a potential reader picks up a book the decision process goes like this. See a cover and be attracted by the cover. Pick up the book and look at the title. If the title interests you read the blurb. If the blurb interests you open the book and read the inside blurb. If the inside blurb interests you read the first paragraph. If the first paragraph interests you read the last paragraph. Buy the book.
So the blurb is the second most important writing on the cover of the book following the title and sub-title.
The second purpose is much less important. However, as any copywriter will tell you it is deceptive in its importance. What is the second cover blurb? It is the introduction of the writer. It is there to introduce the writer and prove their justification for writing the book. Think of it as a statement of social proof. Why should you believe the writer? You'll find the answer in this section.
Generally these are two different blurbs. However, they can be combined or the writer introduction blurb can be moved to the inside of the book.
One mistake that is occasionally found is when the only blurb on the book cover is the introduction blurb. The main cover blurb describing the book is moved inside. The concept is that you need to open the book in order to learn what the book is about. And because you've opened the book you are one step closer to reading the first paragraph. Unfortunately, there is no incentive given to open the book in the first place.
So how do you write a blurb?
There are many ways but the best is to focus on your reader's problem. You start with your reader's problem. Describe it. Try to evoke the emotions that the reader feels around the problem. Give them some form of justification for feeling that way.
Then promise them a solution which can be found inside the book. If necessary give them some proof that the solution works. Try to avoid actually stating the solution but if necessary that can be done to increase social proof.
Use the information that you discovered regarding their motivations to help you motivate your reader to continue.
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Glen Ford is an accomplished consultant, trainer and writer. He has far too many years experience as a trainer and facilitator to willingly admit.