Growing Pains…Blurbs, Again!

This is the third post in a row discussing blurbs, but I am beginning to realize they are unavoidable and the difference between book sales and going back to waitressing. I love waitressing, but I would rather sell books.

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Vania Margene Rheault commented on my last post about Libbie Hawker’s blurb tips. I took notes and went through the exercises. After I completed both of Libbie Hawker’s YouTube video’s (both about 13 minutes long, first one here), I reread my blurbs.

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Wow! I do need the practice. I might have been better off leaving some blurbs blank (I’m aware that’s ridiculous). I did a complete overhaul of my e-books. Well, I ‘reblurbed’ my novelette series. For now, I will keep the children’s books as they are. I would like to experiment for a bit. See if the books that are ‘reblurbed’ sell any better than non-revised blurbs.

While I was completing the YouTube exercises, I came across Joanna Penn’s video on Back Book Blurbs. This video is only about five minutes long and gives an insight on what to say for the print version of your synopsis.

Both videos shared have two things I felt that are very important. A target audience and words that are relevant to the genre. I am probably always discussing simple tips to everyone, but to me, they are such common sense, and I don’t think of them. Almost as if when you walk in a room a thousand times, and someone asks what was on the mantle, you can’t answer. It’s always overlooked.

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The target audience of my books is in their thirties and forties. The books are set in the 1990s to early 2000s so they will identify with my main characters. If I said JNCO jeans, most (if not all) of my target audience would understand this detail. Many probably wore them in their teen years. If my target audience were six-year-olds, they would have no idea, JNCOs went out of business years ago.

Then again, JNCOs shouldn’t be in the blurb to begin with. That is a detail. It is vital to stick with the four or five (depending on which article you are reading/ watching) key points and stick to the ‘meat’ (Libbie’s comment) without taking away from your key points.

According to Reedsy’s How to Write a Book Blurb: A Guide for Novelists, using keywords in your blurb will help your Amazon book sales if you write the correct word strings or phrase. For example, if I were to write my synopsis to a mystery or thriller, I would make sure I used the phrase ‘murder victim’ (if there was one in the story). The phrase murder victim will become an Amazon keyword that book.

Both Joanna Penn and Reedsy point out a blurb should be very short. Joanna Penn says 100-150 words for the back of a  print book, Reedsy claims 150-200 words. I didn’t catch if Libbie Hawker gave a word count, but she agrees that the synopsis should not be bogged down with details.

Last post I was curious if I could have a review from Sammy in San Diego (or any regular Joe). Reedsy answered this question. If I have a raving review from an editorial or a reader, I can use it in the blurb. I only have one or two reviews for my books, but this is good news for me.

A few of my books only have five-star reviews with no comments. The readers will see this, so I see no need in wasting my word count by saying ‘five stars’ unless I have nothing more to say.

In any event, I am happy I continued on the quest for influential blurbs. I would never have been able to utilize the content just by ‘researching examples.’ I think I missed the mark. It seems I am researching a bit backward. Maybe I should investigate how to succeed in whatever task it is, then look at examples.

I need to make a mental note of this. At this rate, my one-year goal may need to be pushed back a few months. It is still early, we shall see. Sticking to the plan is essential for success, no?

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Next post will be Friday, I don’t know what I will be blogging about yet, but it will definitely be on writing and not marketing. I am going back to that side of things for a while. A good friend told me it is good to change things up a bit, to keep things from getting stale. Besides, we are writers, that’s the part of the job we like best.

Happy writing and stay fabulous.

Robyn Branick


Robbie Ellie




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