Monday, February 13, 2012

Blurb is the Word with Guest Blogger: BJ Scott

Win a copy of Highland Legacy &
welcome featured author B.J. Scott
to the Book Boost today!

She's here to discuss crafting the perfect book cover blurb and here's what she had to say...

When selling an e-book, three things come to mind. A great cover, a catchy title and the perfect pitch/blurb.

If you have written a book, look at the blurb and be brutally honest with yourself. Would this make you sit up and take notice, would it make you buy the book?

E-books are even more dependent on a great cover, title and blurb. You usually have one shot at getting the customer to buy your book. After the reader looks at the title and the cover, an enticing blurb clenches whether they buy the book or not. A blurb must catch the reader’s interest, make them want to read more and NOT give away the story. Often we are tempted to tell far too much.

Ask yourself why a person would buy a book if they already know what is going to happen and why? Leave them guessing and wanting more.

Think of your book blurb as if it were a pitch to an editor or agent. You want to showcase your talent as a writer, dazzle them with your words, and hook them in a few short sentences. Three is ideal for a pitch. There is no difference between pitching to an editor or a reader. The end result is the same. You want them to contract/buy your book. If you get too wordy, include unnecessary details, colorful metaphors and bog it down with information that might be important in the book, but not the blurb, you will lose the reader in the first few lines.

Writing a pitch/blurb takes practice. Jot down the key events in your story as they occur, details that give the reader some insight as to the internal and external conflicts facing the hero and heroine. Incorporate an introduction to your hero and heroine in the information. Stick to the important details. Avoid repetition. Be sure to end with a hook. I can’t express enough that giving away the entire plot will lessen your chances of a sale.

Once you have written your pitch/blurb go over it again and eliminate things that are not needed. Then do it again. Your ultimate goal is a short concise description of your book and a hook to catch the reader’s attention. See if you can do it in three lines, four lines at most.

Once it is done, show it to a friend or your hubby or another writer to see if they would read your book based on the blurb. Take suggestions and use them to your advantage. Once you are certain you can make no more changes, it is time to submit it to the editor for their final okay.

If you have difficulty writing a pitch or blurb that meets the above criteria, consider taking an online workshop. They are out there and you will be amazed at the insight you gain. Your once lengthy, boring description, will be honed and polished, leaving the reader compelled to buy your book.

Happy writing!

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today, BJ. Congrats on your book's success and I'm glad you've nailed that brilliant blurb! Please show us the end results now...


Faced with an abhorrent betrothal, Cailin Macmillan flees her father’s castle and quickly learns that a woman traveling alone in Medieval Scotland is an easy target for ruthless English soldiers. When Highland patriot Connor Fraser comes to her aid, his steadfast dedication to king and country is challenged by his overwhelming desire to protect Cailin—even if he must marry her to do so.

Accused of murdering one of her attackers and determined to rely on her own resourcefulness, Cailin dresses as a lad, intent on seeking refuge at the camp of Robert the Bruce. Can she elude an enemy from her past—a vindictive English lord bent on her utter demise—or will she fall prey to his carnal intent and be execcuted for a crime she did not commit?

Want More B.J.?

With a passion for historical romance, history in general, and anything Celtic, B.J. always has an exciting work in progress. Each story offers a blend of romance, adventure, suspense, and, where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into each manuscript, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots, and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life.

Following a career in nursing and child and youth work, B.J. married her knight-in-shining-armor, and he whisked her away to his castle by the sea. In reality, they share their century-old home in a small Canadian town on the shore of Lake Erie with three dogs and a cat. When she is not working at her childcare job, on her small business, or writing, you will find her reading, camping, or antique hunting.

Visit her on the web here:

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.

Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for B.J. and be entered to win a copy of Highland Legacy.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**


Miriam Newman said...

Good blog. I can always tell when someone has done their blurb homework. Best of luck with your book!

Shelly Bell said...

Great advice B.J. I have an easier time writing a manuscript than writing a blurb!Now, I know who to call!

Ann Montclair said...

Wonderful advice from a terrific author. Thanks for the insightful summary; it should make drafting a selling blurb easier for those who take your words to heart.

Susan M said...

Super blog,B.J. You nailed it.

BJ Scott said...

Thanks for stopping in Miriam, and for your kind words.

BJ Scott said...

Thanks Shelly. Funny how the little things can have the biggest impact.

I know you are busy with your own blog tour. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

BJ Scott said...

As always, great to see you Ann. Your comments always make my day ;)

BJ Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by Susan.

A good blurb is so important when you only have one shot at hooking a customer.

I had an excellent teacher and am sure if anyone needs help, she is bound to have a workshop going on somewhere or soon. ;)

Mandi Casey said...

Great advice on pitches and blurbs. I try to find those peeps who will give me an honest take on it before submission :)

BJ Scott said...

Thanks for dropping by Mandi.

Being brutally honest is the only way to hone the pitch/blurb.

Callie said...

Hey, B. J. Good to 'see' you. Highland Legacy, a best seller, and one of my favorite of all time books.

Best of luck with it, and your future projects.

BJ Scott said...

Thanks Callie,

You are always so sweet and have some wonderful books of your own to be proud of ;)

Debby said...

Blurbs must be the hardest thing to write. You must capture someone's interest and not give anything away.
Debby236 at gmail dot com

BJ Scott said...

You're right, Debby. Getting the blurb right is so important. Once you do, you are well on your way to hooking your reader. Give away too much and you might lose them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bev Irwin / Kendra James said...

Great blurbing, Barb

BJ Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by Kendra!