All writers, whether self-published or going the traditional route through a publisher, must practice the tagline aka logline aka elevator pitch (called an “elevator pitch” because your entire book is condensed into about twenty-five words–the amount of time it takes to travel between floors in an elevator). Writers must also prepare a back cover copy blurb, a slightly longer version of the logline, in which you summarize your book with an exciting advertisement consisting of no more than 125 words.
If you haven’t practiced writing a logline, I encourage you to go to Rachelle Gardner’s blog at rachellegardner.com, where you can read more about how to craft this fun and aggravatingly demented little one-liner of no more than 25 words.
So, about that back cover blurb, I find it just as challenging to condense my entire book into 125 words as 25. Oh, and the hook is not part of that blurb, by the way. If you look at the back cover of most books, you’ll read a catchy, enticing header or hook at the very top (which is typically around 8-10 words), followed by the blurb.
Here’s the result of my back cover copy blurb practice session after writing and rewriting no less than twenty times (and it will most likely undergo more revisions before I’m satisfied with it):
Two wrongs don’t make a right.
To avoid a scandal, seventeen-year-old Victoria Garrett is forced to annul her hasty elopement and sent out West to Etna Mills, California in 1893.
Lonely, frightened, and living in a small town far from home, things go from bad to worse when Victoria discovers she is with child. Determined to establish a reputation amongst the gossiping townspeople, she knows she cannot survive as a single mother with no family support. The only way to provide a decent future for her unborn child is to remarry.
In a race against the clock, Victoria sets aside her fears and morals. Employing her charm and intelligence, she will stop at nothing to find an eligible bachelor who will marry her before her secret is discovered—before Christmas, if possible.
Still struggling to write your blurb? The following websites may be of help to you:
Author Jami Gold’s website: http://jamigold.com/2012/04/tips-for-writing-back-cover-copy-guest-roz-morris/
Book cover from Suzanne Collins’ book, The Hunger Games