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Writing a blurb to sell: Editor's Notes #137
January 15, 2013

To speak and to speak well are two things.
A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.

--Ben Jonson

In this issue:

1. Writing a blurb to sell
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site

1. Writing a blurb to sell
You've read blurbs, probably hundreds, or even thousands, of them. The blurb is the sales pitch on the back of a book. You see the book on the shelf, take it in your hand, and flip it over to read the back, often before you've opened the book at all.

The blurb sells the book.

For fiction, the blurb entices the reader with an overview of the story's beginning, including the main problem, and leaves the reader drooling for more.

For non-fiction, the blurb lists features (the what) and benefits (the so what) to help the reader decide if this is the right treatment of the subject to meet his or her needs.

Digital products have blurbs, too, and their blurbs serve the same purposes as do blurbs for hard copies. Like some human workers, a blurb has to its get its job done in a confined space. It takes special skill to get that work done.

In traditional publishing, few writers write their own blurbs. The marketing arm of the publishing company does that because although there are few words in a blurb, the writing must be extremely tight and irresistible.

My first writing/editing job was to write a blurb.

I still write blurbs.

If I've edited a book, writing the blurb is relatively easy for me. I already know the book. A few questions of the author, and I create text that lures the potential purchaser at least to open the book and at best to head for the check-out.

If I have not read the book, writing the blurb becomes more difficult, but still doable. There are more questions of the author and usually more drafts of the blurb, so the cost of the blurb is higher.

When you are ready for a professional blurb, contact me for a quote on your project.

PS. I do great author bios, too. My own was recently included in an article as a good example of a bio. You can see that by following the link in #3 below.


2.Tickled my funnybone
Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam. 


3. Interesting Web site
The page below gives examples of good bios and some advice on how to write your own.

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