Back cover blurb is SO important. It’s usually the second thing people look at, after the front cover. It’s also terribly tricky to get right. You want to give people a ‘flavour’ of the story without giving too much away (spoilers!). Too long and people will stop reading. Too ‘out there’ and you might put them off. No blurb at all – well, how are readers supposed to know they’re going to love it?
Many blurbs are written by editors. But quite a lot of authors, including me, prefer to write their own. Below is the original blurb I sent to my editor. Underneath it is the one we finally agreed on, after making little changes and sending it back and forth. It’s a truly collaborative process – and I hope you can see how the one we ended up with is better than the original. You’ll also see that we ended with a question, which is how a LOT of blurbs end!
How many differences can you spot?
Angelica – nicknamed Jelly – is the life and soul of the classroom. She’s great at doing impressions of the teachers, and everyone loves how she pokes fun at herself – especially as she’s the biggest girl in the year.
But inside Jelly isn’t as confident as she pretends. At home, she writes down her deepest thoughts and feelings in a secret notebook. Not even her mum knows about it.
Then Lennon arrives, Mum’s new boyfriend. He’s sensitive and kind, and the first person to realise Jelly is playing a part. Can Jelly risk letting people see the real her underneath? But what if it all goes wrong…?
Angelica (nicknamed Jelly) is the comedy queen of the classroom. She has a personality as big as her size, and everyone loves her impressions.
But Jelly isn’t as confident as she pretends to be. No one knows her deepest thoughts and feelings, hidden in a secret notebook.
Then Lennon, Mum’s new boyfriend, arrives. He’s kind and perceptive – and the first person to realise Jelly is playing a part. Can Jelly risk letting people see the real version of her? What if it all goes wrong…?