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Writing a Blurb that Leads to a Sale

One of the major challenges for a children’s book author is reaching buyers beyond their immediate circle. The main reason for this is the need to convince potential readers that your book is exactly what they’re looking for. If you're not selling your books in person and are relying on word of mouth, you must persuade them through the text on your back cover, also known as the blurb. Think of your blurb as your virtual salesperson.


Lack of Clarity


Many authors struggle to write a good blurb because they don't know what makes one effective. A blurb needs to provide enough information to interest readers without giving away too much. It's like a teaser that makes people want to read more.


Authors often don't realize how important a blurb is for getting people to buy their book. This lack of understanding can lead to blurbs that don't grab readers' attention, which can hurt book sales.


This week, I’ll show you how to write an effective and efficient blurb.


Here's a framework with an example from Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall:


Step 1: Introduce the Character & Their World


Briefly introduce the main character, their age, and a hint about their world.

This should be 1-2 sentences long.


Example: Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board.


Step 2: Describe the Problem/Challenge


Briefly mention the central conflict or challenge the character faces.

This should also be 1-2 sentences long.


Example: He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns.


Step 3: Resolution & Uniqueness


Briefly hint at how the character overcomes the challenge, emphasizing the fun or heartwarming aspects. Mention what makes the book unique, such as humor or a valuable lesson.

Keep it 1-2 sentences long.


Example: But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board.


Step 4: Call to Action


In one sentence, encourage young readers or parents to pick up the book, mentioning the benefit they get (e.g. laughter, a new friend).


Example: In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.


Now you're ready to create your own captivating blurb!


That’s it for this week.





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