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My comprehensive guide for bloggers and those who want to become one.
130 exercises for creative writing
Creative exercises to exercise your writing muscles – alone or in a group.
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Relaxation and development through a simple method – explained very simply.
Elevator pitch for your book
A very small tip for motivation
Know your values?
Finally, your novel is ready, you’ve revised and edited it, and you’re ready to publish it as an e-book. Now there’s only one thing missing: you need to write a blurb.
Why write a blurb at all?
No sooner said than done. But it is not as simple as it sounds at first. Because your blurb is basically an advertising message, so it’s something completely different from the novel you’ve just finished. The blurb should inform your readers about the content of your novel, but of course not give too much away. The right groups of readers should feel addressed and they should feel like actually reading the book. This is done via a synopsis, excerpts or even press reviews of your text, if they already exist.
Furthermore, the blurb should not only inform about your book, but also about you as an author. A short biography also belongs on (or in) the book cover. The whole thing must not be longer than one page, of course, so that the text can fit in the back of the book. Of course, that’s not the only reason why less is more. Before a prospective customer becomes a reader, you must convince him that it will be worth his while to read your book. And the less time you ask them to spend reading your book, the more likely they are to read your blurb to the end. So limit everything to the relevant points and think not from the author’s point of view, but from the point of view of a reader who has to choose between hundreds of possible new books.
The following points can help you structure your blurb well and write it in a way that will appeal to the right readers.
Writing the perfect blurb: What’s involved?
No matter how flowery, exciting, thrilling you have written in your novel: the synopsis must remain factual. Write like for a newspaper or like for your synopsis. The content should not take up more than four or five sentences. And of course you must not give too much away. The description of the content includes a brief mention of the main character either by name or with a description, the basic setting, and a hint of possible development. You only need more if the content needs a lot of explanation, for example, if you want to explain a fantasy world in more detail. Then you can write a few introductory sentences about the setting in the blurb. So the following would already suffice as a table of contents:
Martha, in her mid-20s, searches for her father in the 1960s, who she previously believed had died in the war. The family is silent, a letter from her dead grandmother is Martha’s only clue. The trail leads her to Poland and into the past of her family.
Writing a blurb means promoting your book. This can directly follow the content. Again, don’t overdo it, it’s best to keep it factual. "You must buy this book!" probably leads to the opposite.
It’s helpful if you mention the genre of your novel here. A fan of the genre can then immediately recognize that your book is something for him. You could of course describe the genre, but then you are no longer sure that the reader will recognize it. Ggfs. you can also provide a text excerpt. This should be particularly concise and show your writing style.
So our blurb could go on like this:
This rousing mix of family and crime novel spans from the early days of the last century to our present day.
When you publish your first e-book, there will most likely be no press reviews yet. You should actively promote it (that’s a whole other topic, marketing for your book). A good way to get press reviews is through blogs, which you can provide with an advance copy of your book on request. When they review it, you can ask them if you can use a quote from their review for your blurb.
Realistically, however, this section will be left blank for your first publication. There’s nothing wrong with that either, everyone starts out small. Under no circumstances should you get carried away quoting yourself about the book, this is embarrassing at best and tends to discourage your readers from taking your book seriously.
An example of a press review would be:
"Rarely has anyone written more sensitively about the fragile relationships in families. A pleasure for every fan of exciting and at the same time highly emotional stories."(koffervollerbuecher.de)
Readers like to know who wrote the book they might buy. The short biography is there to build confidence in you as an author, and to give the reader some initial clues about how you might write. in the first place, of course, in the short biography belongs only what belongs to your writing activities. If you have another profession that demonstrates your expertise in your genre or your writing talent, you can add it as well. Otherwise, a few sentences will suffice for the short biography as well. In any case, name, year of birth and place or country of residence belong in the short biography. Also other publications (of course the most famous ones) can be mentioned here. Of course you can also write in the blurb if your books have already been translated or filmed.
In our sample blurb, the short biography might look like this:
Anne Muller was born in 1954. The author and genealogist lives and writes near Hamburg, Germany. The Prodigal Father is her third novel. She has also published the development novel Anything is possible (1997) and the agent thriller No goal (2001). Your works have been translated into more than 20 languages.
If you or your novel have won a prize, this should of course be mentioned in the blurb. If it pertains to the book itself, it fits the promotional message, otherwise you can add it to the short biography.
So our blurb could end up like this:
The author has already received several awards, including the Literature Scholarship of the City of Hagen and the Young Author Award of the State of Schleswig-Holstein.