News room: How to write an effective blurb

How to write an effective blurb by Sarah Juckes

Last week, The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) published our top ten tips for an effective blurb, on their self-publishing advice blog. As the article proved so popular, we thought we’d share a few different blurb styles, to help you choose which blurb is right for you. You can read the top tips over on the ALLi blog.

Here are the three most common types of blurb, and how to map your synopsis to fit. Which one do you prefer?

  • The ‘Three Point’ blurb – City of Lies by R. J. Ellory
  • This blurb has condensed its story into three paragraphs, using powerful verbs and adjectives to set the ‘Stakes’.
    The first paragraph introduces us to the protagonist and sets up a series of questions – why are his childhood memories painful? He couldn’t prepare himself for what truth?

    The second paragraph reveals a second ‘Stake’ – that he is now involved in an underworld of crime.
    The blurb ends with an ellipsis and a series of unanswered questions the reader will want to read the to find out the answers to.
    This blurb type is perhaps the most common, and is ideal for novels with more than one main ‘Stake’. It is important to keep this kind of blurb as short as possible. In this example, the first paragraph could work very well as a blurb on its own, meaning it will still encourage readers to read the book, even if they stop reading after the first paragraph.

  • The ‘Stake & Wrap’ – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • This blurb type not only sounds delicious, but does everything the last blurb did in one paragraph. By setting the place (The Republic of Gilead), the reader has an idea that this book is science fiction. The language is literary (‘deviates’, ‘obliterate’), which suggests the reader can expect the same from the book.

    In only three sentences, the stakes are set and the reader wants to know more.

    The second paragraph ‘wraps’ up the book in third person. This is quite common in blurb writing and can be useful if you don’t yet have a review or endorsement to pop on your cover. If you struggle to sing your own praises, then ask a friend to help describe your writing. Be careful not to use too many adjectives.

  • The ‘Snippet’ blurb – Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • This blurb example is only three short sentences written by the protagonist himself. At first glance, it doesn’t seem to give much away, but in these words we know the character (August), know the Stakes (he ‘looks worse’ than we could imagine), and we get a feel for the voice of the book.

    This type of blurb is perfect if you have an unusual voice or POV that you think is a main hook for readers. If so, choose a snippet from your book and use it!

    For more on blurb-writing and cover design, read our cover advice page.

    Learn how your blurb can help your Metadata (it’s important!)

    Have your own blurb advice? Post your tips below!

    6 Posts

    Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Latest response Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Most popular response


      04 Jun 23:33

      William Pilkington a widower leaves his home in Hatfield to go South to Newmarket accompanied by his family. Meeting at match races in the late 1770 with Champion riders John and Samuel Arnull,all with riding in their blood. Ride horses for Lords of the land. When claiming brides they join racing families together to reside in a town in Suffolk,The Headquarters of Horseracing Newmarket.East Anglia England. All are Kings of the saddle. Their families united. Will she produce a great jockey for the Arnull family? When failure takes them down it’s straight back in the saddle again. While menfolk ride, the women rule. But what secret does this story hold for grand-daughter Louisa who took it to the grave. Did she deserve to be banished away from her family for 20 years.

      Joe  Echols


      22 Jun 07:53

      In order to Write An Effective Blurb, you need to be very creative. At Yell Assignmentmasters the writers are really creative, I have tried them and also recommend others too.

      rizah collin


      16 Nov 10:48

      Thank you so much for sharing the information here as it helped me to collect some major points that we need to take care while writing the blurb. I think these tips will help my writing skills. click this link here now

      Angela Maria


      16 Dec 11:14

      The information here helps everyone to identify the points easily. Actually write such documents are not an easy task as it seems like. You need to work hard in order to complete it properly. Thanks for the share. paris latin quarter

      jiya joseph

      jiya - Most popular response

      16 Jan 07:08

      Do you know to write a blurb? You have shared an effective article based on the different points that you should take into consideration in order to write a proper blurb. Follow the points that are mentioned here and try to write one. clipping path company

      Alex Paul


      18 Jan 05:19

      Well, this would be of great help to people who are new to this and is trying to get established in this sector. Th help that is being provided here is really great and I appreciate it very much.
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    Written by
    Sarah Juckes
    Published on
    Self publishing, Advice, Tips, Effective, Blurb, and Help