Monday, July 27, 2015

Writing a Memoir Blurb

QUESTION: Your article on writing blurbs was good, but it doesn’t really help me with my travel memoir.  Any suggestions?

The blurb article was aimed at genre fiction so I'm not surprised.  

First, study the blurbs of books similar to yours.  Those by the big publishers are your best source since the back cover copy is written by professional editors whose specialty is this skill.  Amazon is a good place to find them.  

What is it about each blurb that calls to you or makes you yawn?  

Are there certain words they use that says travel memoir to you and other readers?  

Do you see a formula like my character goal/personality formula that carries through many of these blurbs?  If there is, that's what you should aim for.

Once you have an idea of what your blurb should say, write it in the voice you used in your book to give it intimacy and to tell readers what they'll find inside.  

Find some beta readers who read this type of book and ask their opinion.  

If you haven't already, find some online site or listserv or whatever where readers of this type of book hang out to find beta readers.  This will also be your first go-to site to announce your book coming out.  

Make absolutely sure that your blurb has been checked over for grammar and spelling because any errors will be an automatic no-sale for many readers.

I hope this helps.  Good luck!

NOTE:  For other types of nonfiction, particularly self-help books, the blurb should tell the reader what the book can do for him, not what the book is about.

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