Copywriters use a formula called AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. The ads go something like this...
Attention--an elderly woman lies on the floor and cries, "I've fallen and get up."
Interest--a narrator comes on and explains the benefits of medical alert systems.
Desire--the viewer/listener is presented with the reality of needing the alert system. Either be safe or lie on the floor helpless for hours, days, and maybe die.
Action--call a toll free number and get the system.
So I came up with my own version for a book blurb which is really an ad to buy your book. My system is CENA: Catchphrase, Essence, Need, Action.
Some memorable or catchy line to tag your book. Movies have always been good at this. Here are some favorites.
“In space, no one can hear you scream.” – Alien
“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” – Star Wars
gonna call?” – Ghostbusters ya
“Be Afraid. Be very afraid.” – The Fly
Capture the Essence of the Book
Basically, this is the summary. But here are some guidelines.
- Teaser summary
- A taste of the book's contents
- What it is about
- Conveys the genre or scope
- About characters (fiction) or information (nonfiction)
- Terse and to the point
Create a Need for the Book
This can be any real need or a tantalizing sentence to get the book. Even a "got to read" summary can do it. Here a few more thoughts.
- Summarizing statement
- Why read this book
Gottahave the book moment
- Desire to read the book
- Sink the hook
Bottom line: ask them to buy your book.
Here is the blurb for my book Penelope and Birthday Curse.
Sometimes birthdays can be deadly
An isolated mansion in the country... Stranded in a snowstorm... Someone is murdered on Penelope's birthday. But who did it? Her gangster uncle on from the law... Or the Broadway actress who's us husband… Don't forget about the mob hit man hiding in the woods behind the mansion.
A young fortune teller weaves a tale of a gypsy curse where three people will die. And it happens on Penelope's 13th birthday. While the adults bumble along, trying to discover the killer, Penelope sleuths with the help of her friends to find the culprit. It's a race against time before Penelope becomes the third victim. (Essence)
If you want to survive your next birthday, don't miss Penelope and The Birthday Curse!!!
Get your copy today!!!
While the Amazon description of your book is meant to inform a potential reader, it is your sales pitch. Do as the advertisers do. Use CENA to write your book blurb.