What should be included in the "Back of the Book Blurb?"

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, that's true, but remember a book's cover includes the "stuff" on the back. That stuff, also known as a blurb, typically goes a long way in determining a potential reader's likelihood of purchasing and reading your book. And let's face it, we all do it: we pick a book off the shelf at the bookstore or library, look at the cover, and then almost instinctively turn the book over to peruse the "back of the book blurb." Most of us utilize that one-handed reverse flip motion of our dominant hand's wrist.

In business and academia, the back of the book blurb would be considered an Executive Summary. It's the ultra-condensed version, a promo of sorts, of your work. It should be approximately 150 words long, because that's about all that fits legibly on a book's back cover. Its primary purpose is to enable the reader to establish an essential grasp of what's inside, pique their interest in reading further, and ultimately (and maybe most importantly) making the decision to plunk down their hard-earned cash to buy your book. Hey, that's no small task for 150, even 150 well-crafted words.

Always write this copy in the third person. It should read like someone else has written it about you and your book. Research into how other authors have written their "back of the book blurbs" will be time well spent. Doing so will give you a great feel for how to accomplish this task efficiently and effectively. Some time spent in any of the on-line bookstores will provide you with numerous examples of how authors within your book's genre attacked their blurb.

Your book promo should tell the reader what your book is about, maybe how it can help them solve a problem or provide them with a level of confidence that you, the author, are worthy of their trust (and their money!). In addition to what your book is about, you can use lists, with or without bullet points, and even ask provocative questions for the reader's consideration and contemplation.

This process is important and unquestionably deserving of your time and attention. While it may appear to be a daunting task, be assured that your thoughtful attention to the process will yield satisfying and profitable results.

Good luck with your Blurbbage! (Is that a word?)


Steuben Press

Roger is a co-founder of Steuben Press along with his son, Adam. Roger also founded R&R Graphics, a promotional products and graphics design business in 2001 and loves graphic design, typography and photography. He retired as a school psychologist with over thirty years of service in 2008.

If i was a rainbow

I can't say enough about everyone at Steuben Press and their help in bringing If I Was A Rainbow to life. Their dedication and artistic insights have helped me realize a life long dream.

– Timothy Imbriaco, Colorado

Learn more about If I Was a Rainbow and purchase your very own copy at www.ifiwasarainbow.com