Book Blurbs

Book Blurbs

One of our duties or jobs as a writer, especially if we are self-published, is writing blurbs for our books. This can be more complicated than it seems.

If you are a voracious reader like me, you have read thousands of blurbs. Some were intriguing, some not so much. Some inspired you to snatch a book up and buy it, but others only urged you to put the book back. (I confess, I have put very few books back. 😉 ) I have seen enough book blurbs to know how they should go, and so writing them has rarely been a difficult task for me.

My first blurb

However, as a full-time author who must examine every area of her writing business with an eye to improving sales, I have discovered that, as good as I think my first blurbs were, they needed improvement if they were going to entice readers to buy my books in a market that is far more crowded than it was three years ago, when I published my first book.

But what to do? How was I to improve upon an area that I felt I really had a handle on? For starters, I listened to some podcasts about it. There are several podcasters who devote air time to helping other writers. Joanna Penn (who writes thrillers as JF Penn) and Mark Dawson (another author of thrillers) are my two favorites. Both are British, so I get to hear the accent, and both give excellent information. I don’t remember who I learned about blurbs from now, but I’m pretty sure it was one of them.

The Blurb for Darcy’s Race to Love

You’re probably wondering what improvements I made to my blurbs. To be honest, I mainly kept the summary part the same. I focused a bit more on how I presented each main character, and devoted one short paragraph to Lizzy and one to Darcy. The biggest change came in the form of additional paragraphs. The blurbs on my newest books now have a short paragraph stating the book title, series name, and my name, but in a catchy way. Then, there is a paragraph that gives three or four adjectives that describe my book, along with the genre. I generally use “sweet” as one of the descriptors, because that’s part of my branding and accurately describes my books.

A Blurb from Amazon’s site

I add one final paragraph to my blurb when I upload the e-books. Because of Amazon’s policy of cutting page numbers in half (a policy I have described here before to no avail and that is a dead horse that I refuse to continue beating) I add a short, one or two sentence paragraph to the end of my blurb, stating the word count and the page count in print. Even if buyers refuse to pay attention to it, I feel better knowing that I have been honest and transparent with them by adding that bit. If they ignore it and criticize me for page count later, they are the ones who look like fools, not I.

That being said, here’s the blurb for my new release, Caroline’s Censure, which is due to hit retailers in the next week or so:

One newly married couple plus one troublemaking best friend’s sister equals a challenge to face.

Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy have already dealt with plenty of people who object to their marriage. Now they are faced with one more.

Caroline Bingley, Darcy’s best friend’s sister, has always wanted Darcy for herself. Now that he is married and can no longer be hers, she resents the new Mrs. Darcy and will stop at nothing to cause discord between the newly-wedded couple. When she hires someone to make it appear that Darcy is unfaithful, will Elizabeth believe his claims of innocence, or will she turn away from him and live a life of mistrust and heartbreak?

Caroline’s Censure is the third book in Zoe Burton’s Darcy Marriage Series. If you like catty villains, devoted heroes, and sweet romance, you’ll love this Pride and Prejudice novella variation. Purchase Caroline’s Censure to read the Darcys’ latest adventure today.


Can you identify the parts I described? 🙂


Look for Caroline’s Censure to arrive very soon at all major e-retailers.



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12 Responses to Book Blurbs

  1. I always check out the blurb to decide if I want to read and if so, rely on them along with reviews to decide which books are at the top of my TBR list. If the blurb is not well-written, the book goes to the bottom of the list if it makes it at all. I typically pass if there is a spelling or obvious grammar mistake as I feel that is usually a sign that the whole work is riddled with these types of mistakes.

    • I agree that lots of mistakes in a blurb indicate an entire book of them! I tend to skip those. That being said, I have to remind myself to proofread my blurbs. I often forget, to my eternal shame! blush

  2. I too check the blurbs before I then read the reviews. I thank you for your dedication on the page numbers and word count. That is really nice of you and as a reader, I appreciate it. I look forward to reading this next in the series.

  3. I think we’ll written blurbs are a must too! I usually know if I want to read the book of not by the blurb. I too am a voracious reader and there are very few books I put back as well! LOL

  4. Well, you know from my little “arghhhh” messages that you receive before a book goes out that blurbs are not my favourite things to do. Oh, and then there is the tagline (of only 15 or less words)! 😀 Both Joanna Penn and Mark Dawson have had Brian Cohen on their podcasts, and he is an expert on such things being both an author and copywriter. It is his instructions that I have recently been putting into practice when writing the blurb. So, yeah, you likely got it from one of them 🙂

    Best wishes on your upcoming release. 🙂 Hoping to hang out on the “Hot New Releases” board with you!

  5. As a reader, well-written blurbs are a must! They definitely entice or repel me from even opening the book to read the first pages. After that, good proofreading (or lack thereof) is my pet peeve. I read a lot of different genres, and if the proofreading is terrible the story better be great to counteract it and keep me reading, otherwise, my rating drops and I may not come back to read any more by that author. (btw, if you would like a final proofreader for any of your stories, let me know.:)

    • I agree about the proofreading. I find that I fluctuate in my tolerance of bad grammar, usage, and mechanics. The longer I write, the more glaring the errors become, and to re-read a book or story with lots of errors requires me to shut down a portion of my brain. 🙂

  6. Boy howdy, are blurbs tough! I will admit, not doing the writing of a back cover blurb and/or synopsis is one perk of being traditionally published! Having a professional do it, someone who writes such short encapsulations all the time, is a big load off the shoulders. As writers of novels, we all tend to be “wordy” to some degree or another (it is the nature of the game) so reining that in to a brief economy of power words is much harder than folks realize.

    Thanks for the interesting insight into the process, Zoe! Good luck on the new release!

    • They are tough, even for me at times! I have this issue with giving up control, though, so even if I had the extra funds, I’m not sure I’d be willing to hire someone. LOL I will admit, too, that I have had to shorten a couple blurbs so they’d fit in places. 😉

      Thanks, Sharon! I hope to spend the rest of the week editing and formatting and have it out very soon! <3

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