Writing the Book Jacket Blurb

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Writing the Book Jacket Blurb

Today is the day. It’s the stand and deliver moment. My editor requested the Transfixion blurb, which I hadn’t written, of course. I dread all things marketing. I don’t actually like reading blurbs, synopses, TV Guide summaries or any of that sort of stuff.

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Immediately I called up a number of articles on how to do it. The Internet is wonderful for guides to doing just about anything, from tantric sex to … uh, where was I headed?

So – I read a few of them and also grabbed some pointers on writing the feared Bio, also requested. Also overdue. 

After tribulations, heavy thesaurus use, major rewriting about a dozen times, here’s what I came up with:

It’s nothing short of the end of the world.

Someone has weaponized the broadcast spectrum – gazing upon the transmission is enough to steal your mind.

Kaylee Colton faces a technological Armageddon when suburbia shatters into civil war. Unable to speak, Kaylee will need to fight to survive and transcend her own fears if she is to stand against these enigmatic forces of destruction.

Transfixion is an action-laced rush that will burrow straight into your brain…

So whether that ends up being a first draft or the final, only time can say. Is it too much? Too little? Over the top?

Do you people have some magic formula that only the secret society is privy to?


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41 thoughts on “Writing the Book Jacket Blurb

  1. I have not written a book jacket blurb. Other blurbs, yes. Synopses of class descriptions, product summaries, etc. It sounds good to me- really appealing, being a fan of Armageddon, a foe of television especially, and media in general.
    Looking forward to more.

  2. Over that past three months, I’ve had to write simple pitches, three line hooks, jacket infos and biographies and I’m certain that it will vary with each book you write. I think you’ve done a good job with what you have above! Best of luck!

  3. It’s the worst job for an author–having to write the blurb for their own book. You’re too close to it. Sounds intriguing, but I’d be sure to run it by some beta readers for their take. I actually hired someone to do mine (and I’m still not crazy about it). Best of luck!

  4. I think you’ve done a good job with the blurb. I too am not a fan of marketing, and dread having to do it. But it is an essential part of novel writing, and is something we all have to get through. Your story sounds very intriguing to me, so i’ve added it to my list.

    • Thank you. It’s being edited now, and may take up to a couple more months. I’ll be sure to let everyone know. Thanks to everyone for coming by. I’ve never had so many comments before.

  5. I like it! I so can commiserate with you about the blurb. I remember having to write it and doing exactly what you did and being distracted a million times with all the things I found online. It was hard work. Because you basically have to brag about your book and make it sound a little more exciting than it might actually be, but of course you want to be realistic. But you also have to make it suspenseful. I think you really hit on all of that and it’s also short and sweet, so well done!

      • Not really. I was living in South Africa at the time, but my book is about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with my teenage son just for one week (and about the planning during the 7 preceding months). The book about South Africa is still in the back of my mind. I’ll somehow have to distill my blog down to book length:-)

  6. Even if this isn’t the final version of the blurb, I’m already intrigued & ready to read the story. It seems to take a different perspective on the popular dystopian genre, which makes it interesting.

  7. Hell, I think that’s a pretty spiffy blurb. I’d pick it up based on that, most likely. I mean, I’d open it up and browse the writing first :P, but the blurb would get me to do that!

  8. I don’t know. It’s good at portraying the tone of the story, but the second paragraph is very vague. She has to overcome her fears to survive — what fears? Is the book just about her struggling to survive in suburbia, or is she trying to get somewhere? Why should I care about Kaylee Colton?

    The blurb would have to answer at least one of those questions to distinguish itself from any other technology-apocalypse on my bookshelf.

      • Ach, I’m sorry for being harsh — I was just annoyed because the blurb made me curious, and the book isn’t going to come out for a few months. Like I said, this is my genre, so I’m definitely going to read it. Hopefully all the answers will be there ;)

    • Sorry, my email’s been on the fritz lately and almost all of the messages aren’t getting through. Can you send it to this comment’s address instead, please?

  9. By now, you may have answered all your questions about your blurb and bio issues, but I thought I’d chime in, anyway. I like the blurb, though the opening and ending are the strongest bits. I especially like the first line (in bold). And the concept makes me want to read the book, though I’m not sure the second sentence about Kaylee does what you want it to do. But you have my complete sympathy. Writing blurbs and bios is not my favorite thing to do, either. I’m hoping to get much better at it. And don’t even get me started on all the marketing involved when you self-publish! Best of luck to you, though, and I’ll be checking back often. Thanks for following my blog, too!

  10. Hello Giambrone,
    Maybe you have your answers already, but thought I would jump in for a bit.
    You certainly got my attention with the blurb so it will probably work the magic. Kaylee Colton seems like quite an interesting character, she can’t speak and there is this technology mind-control civil war going on in suburbia.

    My issue is, what fears are we talking about? I mean I would browse through the book to find out if its the regular not-getting mind-controled storyline or if there is something specifical and “perculia”; something which draws me to Kaylee unconditionally as she goes thru surviving in this appocalyptic world.

    Btw, thx for the follow at Sphinx-Phoenix Creative. I’m waiting for your book to be released. It’s a sure read.

  11. It’s probably a little late for this, but I’m so far behind in emails. I don’t see how anyone can manage a thousand! Anyone, the wording you have is excellent. I have only one book out at present, so I’m no expert, but I know what I like as a reader. Your cover is good.
    I had the hardest time coming up with the jacket blurb for the first one, and this second one is not any easier. The cover is great on my book, “Dana’s Dilemma.” People would pick it up, excited by the cover, and just as quickly put it down when they opened it up. You need a magnifier to read it. I plan to revise it and have it reprinted with my next book.
    Thanks for the follow.

  12. I am terrible at summarizing things that I’m trying not to spoil, and not at all sure that I’ll be able to write a blurb as good as this when the time comes.

  13. Writing a blurb is an art in itself. You have to make the reader curious while not giving too much away at the same time. I’d say the blurb here fits that bill. When reviewing books, I try to do that, and it’s not easy.

  14. I like the design as well as the grabbing “It’s nothing short of the end of the world” quote. It would definitely pull in dystopia audiences, which has been an ever-growing genre the last years. The end of the blurb is a tad off-kilter. Perhaps play around with words a bit more. “Burrow into your brain” is an interesting, attention-grabbing image but I’m not quite sure if it’s an effective marketing phrase.

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