Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Dreaded Blurb: An IWSG post

Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking.If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

This month's optional question:
What's harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

The awesome co-hosts for the November 3 posting of the IWSG are Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery! Be sure to check out what they have to say, and visit other writers in the blog hop!

My title probably gave me away. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, do I struggle with writing a blurb. Even the word gives me the shivers. 

Sounds like the name of some kind of scourge from another planet that would show up to chase teenagers in a 1950s monster flick. 


The thing that fills me with dread about writing a blurb is trying to boil down my 80,000 plus word book baby into effective marketing text. It's a summary and a sales pitch at the same time, all in a few sentences and a good or bad one can make all the difference in the likelihood that someone will give your work a chance. There's so many things you're trying to get these two paragraphs to do for you. 

So, no pressure, right? No big whoop?


Like a lot of writers of my acquaintance, I LOVE writing, but hate selling . . . or at least hate being a salesperson. So, writing that back of the book blurb can feel like a nightmare and bring every insecurity you have screaming to the forefront. 

So, what do we do about it? Seek help! As you build your personal writing community, you can ask for help with this bit. That's definitely what I do. I draft something (no matter how bad--because you have to have something to use as a starting point) and I run it by writer and reader friends, soliciting feedback. Bit by painful bit, we build those paragraphs into something that does the job.

Then we send it off and begin the work of blocking the memory until we have to do it again for the next book! 

If you're a writer, what advice do you have to make blurb writing less painful? If you're a reader, does the blurb decide whether or not you'll read a book? What turns you on or off in a blurb? I'd love to read your comments! 


  1. That Willem Dafoe gif is so perfect for that situation, isn't it?

    I don't enjoy writing blurbs at all. The thing I've found that helps me is to write a summary of the story in haiku form. It really helps me figure out what's most important about the story itself. Then I go from there.

    1. I love this idea. It would really help you with brevity.

  2. A blurb without feedback is like a day without sunshine. I'm sorry about the cliché, but it fits.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  3. Oh. My. Gosh, Samantha! This is a great post. I love the gifs and images. Yes, I much prefer writing and know practically nothing about selling and marketing. Still don't know what I will do about that. All best to you!

  4. LOL at your images. Like anything else, practice helps. The more we do, the better we get at it. Good luck!