How To Write An Irresistible Book Blurb In 5 Easy Steps


I’ve come up with this easy acronym to help you create a blurb. I call it SCOPE. Follow these five pointers and see if it works for you.

Setting
Conflict
Objective
Possible Solution
Emotional Promise

  1. Setting: All stories involve characters who are in a certain setting at a certain time.
  2. Conflict: A good story places these characters in a situation where they have to act or react. A good way to start this part of your blurb is with the words: But, However, Until
  3. Objective: What do your characters need to do?
  4. Possible Solution: Offer the reader hope here. Show them how the protagonist can overcome. Give them a reason to pick up the book. Use the word ‘If’ here.
  5. Emotional Promise: Tell them how the book will make them feel. This sets the mood for your reader.

I saw The Edge of Tomorrow today, and I decided to write a blurb using this formula.

Example:

  1. London. The near future. Aliens have invaded Earth and colonised Europe. Major William Cage is a PR expert for the US Army, which is working with the British to prevent the invaders from crossing the English Channel. Battle after battle is lost until an unexpected victory gives humanity hope.
  2. But the enemy is invincible. A planned push into Europe fails and Cage finds himself in a war he has no way to fight, and he is killed. However, he wakes up, rebooted back a day every time he dies.
  3. He lives through hellish day after day, until he finds another soldier, Sergeant Rita Vrataski, who understands what he can do to fight the enemy. Cage and Vrataski have to take the fight to the aliens, learning more after each repeated encounter.
  4. If they succeed, they will destroy the enemy, and save Earth.
  5. This thrilling action-packed science fiction war story will show you how heroes are made and wars can be won. Against the odds.

SCOPE will work for any blurb. Why don’t you try it on a book you’ve read or a film you’ve seen recently?

If you enjoyed this article, you will enjoy:

  1. How to write a query letter in 12 easy steps
  2. How to write a one-page synopsis

If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.

by Amanda Patterson

© Amanda Patterson

This article has 4 comments

  1. Tarl

    Great advice. I am using SCOPE to polish up my back cover blurb for one of my novels that’s getting a new cover. How is this for series setting?

    The Hidden History of Oz – The Celtic roots of Oz go back more than one thousand years. Oz is a land powered by human dreams. Whimsy and wonder, courage and adventure await in this prequel series to L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz novel.

    And then the specific novel blurb begins. I can see a few places where I can make some positive changes. Thanks for the advice.

  2. Writers Write

    We’re glad it helped.

  3. Sfiso Mabena

    Thanks for the inspiration, and i really appreciate it

  4. bob szczech

    The example you give is far too long for a book blurb.

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