As we discussed previously, the first selling point of your book will be its cover. The way your book looks will always lead the reader to grab it in the first place. With that being said, it is the synopsis that will likely be the selling point for the reader. I don’t know about you, but I have never purchased a book just because it was pretty.
How do you write a book synopsis for your back cover blurb, though? Many authors enlist the help of professional copy writers and of their editors, which isn’t a bad idea. What if you want to write your own synopsis though?
First, you need to establish the who, what, when, where, and why, just like you were writing the outline for your actual book. Who is the book about? – Don’t forget important secondary characters. What is the main experience of the book? Where is the story taking place? – This can be a location, or just a general setting. When is the story taking place? – Tie this in to the setting, once you are writing. As for the why, what is your character, or plot trying to achieve? – What is the message?
Remember, keep it simple, and avoid going too far into detail, or you will give your entire story away. While keeping it simple, also remember to keep it short. You aren’t trying to rewrite your book here. I’d suggest between 3-5 paragraphs, with 5 being the max.
The blurb should be incredibly captivating, and informative, and it should hook your reader in. When people are trying to get published, they are told that they need to create a hookline, which is a one line sentence that describes the book in great detail, and hooks the agent that is reading it. You know the old saying, hook, line and sinker? This is along the same idea.
A back cover blurb is an art form, and really is one of your most important marketing tools. I would always suggest enlisting the help of a professional, even if it is just to get feedback on the synopsis that you have written.
For more detailed information on how to write a great back cover blurb, check out this great article from WheatMark, or this one from eHow, and for information on writing a hookline, check out this article as well.