Jacket copy will never capture everything you want readers to know about your book or your achievements as an author. Just accept the fact that a book description is supposed to be a teaser.
I’m helping some friends write marketing copy for a new product they’ve developed, and it got me thinking about book descriptions (by which I mean the jacket copy, or the back-of-book description, or what some people call the blurb*).
* These terms are often mixed up, since “blurb” can also mean the quotes of praise that appear on the back of the book from other writers or critics.
You see, there’s a lot I could try to squeeze into the short description of my friends’ new product: how it’s made, who it’s for, how much it costs, what problems it solves, why that’s important, etc.
But they want one or two catchy sentences. Maybe fewer. And that means reducing things to their most essential and (hopefully) enticing — which, again, is why I started thinking about book descriptions.
If you’re trying to come up with a killer book description for your latest work, here are a few tips:
- Throw your hands in the air (for brevity’s sake)
Jacket copy is never going to be “perfect.” It’ll never capture everything you want readers to know about your book or your achievements as an author. So give up on trying to pack it all in and just accept the fact that this is supposed to be, much like the descriptions on a menu, a teaser. First throw your hands in the air, and then use them to karate chop all the extraneous elements into submission. What’s left over will be in fighting trim.