My 4-Step Process for Writing a Nonfiction Book Blurb That Sells
Most writers I know have an extreme dislike for writing nonfiction book blurbs, but the process doesn’t have to be that difficult. In fact, I’ve broken it down into four simple steps that will make the process easier for nonfiction writers.
But first, let’s talk about the key elements that should be a part of your book. These elements are essential and without them, it will be difficult to make nonfiction book sales—no matter how good your book blurb is.
· Credibility. When someone buys a nonfiction book, they expect the author to have enough knowledge about the topic that they will learn something from it. If you’ve written a few books on the topic, that automatically gives you credibility, but if you haven’t yet built up a following, you should make a reference to your expertise in the About the Author section of the page.
· Solutions. Most people buy nonfiction books to solve a problem. For example, most people buy dieting books to help them lose weight, and entrepreneurial books to help them open or run a business better. Make sure your book offers solutions to whatever problem the reader has. I feel this is becoming increasingly important. Too many people are publishing books that are nothing more than veiled attempts to sell another product or service and readers are becoming more and more resistant to these types of books. If you say you’re going to solve a problem in your book, you should do it and do it well. Otherwise, people will stop buying your books and your reputation will suffer greatly in the reviews.
· Cover. You need a good cover to sell books, period. But that doesn’t mean you need to pay thousands of dollars to get one. If you have an eye for design, you can create your own like I did for the book we use as an example in this post. If you don’t, you can buy a premade cover or hire an inexpensive book cover designer.
If your book offers these three important elements, you’re on the right track. Whether you’ve already published your book and the blurb isn’t causing shoppers to push the Buy button, or you’re about to publish your first book, follow along as I outline the four steps I take every time I publish a new book.
I’m going to use the blurb for my book The Weekend Writer to illustrate my points for the remainder of the article.
Most writers I know have an extreme dislike for writing nonfiction book blurbs, but the process doesn’t have to be that difficult. Click to Tweet!
1. Define your audience. This is the foundation of a good book blurb, because if you appeal to the wrong audience, your book will never sell. You need to understand who your potential readers are and then write the blurb for them. For example, when I wrote The Weekend Writer, I knew my perfect reader was the person who desperately wanted to write a book, but couldn’t find the time to do it. That’s why the book blurb begins with the line,
“Is a lack of time preventing you from writing a book?”
I knew that this line would resonate with the people who would benefit the most from the book.
Think about your audience and come up with one sentence that will catch their attention and make them want to keep reading. That’s your opening sentence.
2. Expand on the promise to keep their attention. Granted one line isn’t going to sell a book, so the next few short paragraphs should give them just enough information that they’ll want to keep reading to find out more. Here, you should emphasize the problem (not enough time in this instance) and tell them that you have the solution. Here is how I did this in my blurb (Example nonfiction book blurb):
“Let me guess—you’re a writer, but so far, the book you know will be a big hit is stuck inside your head because you simply don’t have the time to sit down and write it. You’ve probably been told that it takes years to write a quality book, but I’m here to tell you that’s just not true.
It’s possible to write a quality book in a month—writing only on the weekends—using my REALISTIC step-by-step plan.
I’m not talking about putting out some of the junk that passes for eBooks these days. Too many would-be authors have bought into the idea that they can publish any hastily written book and make a killing. But that’s simply not true. My easy-to-implement plan will teach you how to write a book you’ll be proud to put your name on. (And if you feel as if you want more help and personalized guidance, check out my PDF fillable workbook here.)
“Writing books can enable you to earn passive income, promote your business, or you can start a second career as an author.”
3. Now, give them some solid information. Now that the reader knows you truly understand their problem and believe that you might have a solution for it, it’s time to tell them how you plan to help them solve it. This is where nonfiction book blurbs should make use of bullet points. You need to offer the reader a list of the ways you’re going to help them solve their problems. Here’s how I did it in my blurb:
“Here’s what you’ll find in this revolutionary book:
· How to get in the right mindset to write on a limited schedule
· How to choose a book topic that sells
· How to outline your book in a way that makes writing it easier
· How to set up a no-fail writing schedule so you can meet your deadline
· How to use productivity hacks that will help you stay on track and accomplish your goal
· How to edit quickly and efficiently
· A weekend-by-weekend blueprint that shows you the exact steps you need to take to have a finished book in just one month—only writing on the weekends.”
4. Finally, ask them to take action. The reader knows that you understand the problem, and you’ve shown them exactly how you are going to help them solve it. All that’s left for them to do is press the buy button and start reading. But did you know that unless you specifically ask them to buy the book they may not do it?
I know, weird, huh?
But it’s true. A call to action at the bottom of your blurb will help you sell more books. Your call to action should be simple and straightforward. Here’s the one I used in this blurb:
“Are you ready to begin writing your book? Download this book and begin NOW!”
There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? Writing nonfiction book blurbs doesn’t have to be difficult. You have to know the book, understand the reader, tell them exactly how you’re going to solve their problem, and then ask them to buy the book.
And if you want a step-by-step action plan, be sure to download Write Your Book Blurb Tonight: A Step-by-Step Interactive Workbook.
Now, let’s address some of the most frequent questions I get about writing a great nonfiction book blurb.
1. What is a blurb of a book?
A book blurb is a short, condensed summary of the entire book. It explains to the reader what they will learn by reading the book. In other words, when writing a nonfiction book blurb, you will have to condense your entire book down into a few, short paragraphs.
2. How long should a book blurb be?
Another question I get asked frequently is, how many words are in a blurb? And the answer is: it depends. The ideal word count for a book blurb is 200 words, but here are exceptions. I’ve seen nonfiction book blurbs with as few a 100 words, and some with more than 500 words.
The truth is, it depends on your book and it’s topic. To determine your perfect book blurb word count, you need to first analyze the purpose of the book and then think about what information the shopper needs before deciding it’s right for them.
3. What do you put on the back of a book?
Some people confuse the terms “back of the book content” and “book blurb,” but the truth is that they are the same thing. Mostly. When you publish an eBook, you will have to write a book for the sales page. For instance, if you publish a book on Amazon, you will have to write the content that tells the reader what the book is about.
And if you publish a paperback book, you will use that same content for the back of the book. So, the back of the book content and a nonfiction book blurb are the same things. they’re just used in different places.
4. How do you write a blurb?
Writing a nonfiction book blurb isn’t as difficult as some people make it out to be, but to write one that will sell your book, you must follow a proven system. And while I’ve outlined the basic premise of book blurbs above, I also offer a more in-depth, PDF fillable workbook for those who need more guidance.
What about you? Do you love or hate writing nonfiction book blurbs? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!