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Banner - TypewriterI’ve written several hundred blurbs, for myself, for other authors, and for non-authors, mainly academics.

That’s right, there are blurbs in academia. They’re called abstracts, posters, or one-slide presentations, but if it works like a blurb, and functions like a blurb, it is a blurb.

That’s my view. Don’t tell it to any academics. Also, when I say “blurb,” I mean “back cover copy.” That’s the correct term. Nobody I know uses it (OK, some pundits in the self-publishing sphere do, but most of us just say “blurb”.) I’m going to say blurb. So there.

Anyhow, blurbing (which is five characters shorter than “blurb writing” and I’m a lazy bastard) is not a writing skill. It’s marketing, and while you use your keyboard for both, they’re essentially different skill sets. And no, one of them won’t leave a trail of slime on your pristine, artistic soul.

Let me explain why, and how you go about writing an effective* blurb.

(* Please note the “effective.” The key point of a blurb isn’t style, information capacity, or ego, it’s effect – unless you’re writing to stoke your own ego, in which case feel free to skip the rest of this post…)

Oh, and this is a bit longer than my usual posts. As in “about 1500% longer.” Yeah, it needs a table of contents: (more…)