Today I have a guest post by Ben Galley
A good cover can make a reader swipe it off the shelf, but a bad blurb can have it thrown straight back again.
There are two sides to every book cover, and I don’t just mean the front and the back. I mean the art and the words, the blurb. The combination of the two is a bit like those infamous “Golf Sale” signs you see being held aloft in the centre of every busy shopping hub across the lands. The signs are usually painted a luminous, ungodly yellow to grab your attention. You look up, squinting at the brightness, mystified and curious, until you see the words splayed across its cardboard face – “Golf Sale!” I do not golf. I have no need for a golf sale. I walk on, sign ignored.
Book covers are like these signs. The cover attracts the browser’s eyes, whether by art or by colour or both, and leaves the blurb to handle the task of the information. It’s a symbiotic relationship, one that needs to be perfectly balanced. It’s an important one too. Getting it right can mean the difference between your books being taken home or downloaded, or being snubbed.
There are three rules to writing a blurb: