3 questions your book blurb must answer for a reader to buy

by | 18 Jul 2021

Your blurb is another stage in selling the book. No more, no less.

The back cover or book description copy, called a blurb, is sales copy. It comes after your title, after your cover, and is the next step to get your potential reader to buy. If the reader likes the blurb, they will buy, so make sure you answer the questions in their head.

The blurb needs to answer three questions:

1. Is this book for me?

The first thing a reader wants to know: is it for them? “Are you new to complexity theory?” “Are you a middle manager in a bank?” “Have you been asked to find out about the viable systems model by your boss?” Think about a question that points between the eyes of the reader and asks, “Is this you?”

2. What is this book about?

Here is where you can trip up. Don’t try to rewrite the book in the blurb. Three to five sentences describing the topic of the book is plenty. Try to keep it relevant to the reader, and bear in mind the next question.

3. What problem does this book solve for me?

This question, together with question 1, will determine whether the reader buys the book. Describe what problem they have but don’t want, or the result they want but don’t have. Then show them that by reading the book they will be on their way to solving it. Then the next action is clicking the buy now button.

Remember, focus on getting 1 and 3 right, include something for 2 but keep it succinct. The reader cares about them and their problem. Either your book is for them or it isn’t. Show them it is.

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