The Self-Publishing Insider

Does your back cover need a book synopsis or blurb? Find out here from the self-publishing experts at Publish Pros.

Do You Need a Book Synopsis or Blurb for Your Back Cover?

Once you finish writing your book, you might feel like you’ve earned a break from writing. But an important part of selling your book is writing a compelling description to appeal to readers. So should you write a book synopsis or blurb for the back of your book, and what is the difference? Before you put down your pen, keep reading to learn about the best way to encourage readers to purchase your book.

What is a blurb?

A blurb is a short description of your book, usually 100 to 200 words, that briefly discusses the plot and characters of your book. It is an essential marketing tool, since it is usually included on the book’s back cover or online description to appeal to potential readers. Think of your blurb as your sales pitch—you only get a certain number of words to draw in readers, so make those words count.

What is a synopsis?

A synopsis differs from a blurb in that it’s more thorough. Rather than just touching on the main plot points and characters, it gives a brief description of the entire plot, setting, characters, and style. It contains spoilers for the book, and whoever reads it will know most of the twists and turns of the plot when they’re done reading the synopsis.

Do I want to use a book synopsis or blurb on the back cover?

A synopsis is mostly used when you are trying to get a literary agent interested in your book. A synopsis essentially tells the entire story, including the ending, and is used when trying to find an agent or get in with a traditional publisher; you don’t want this on the back of your book or as your description on Amazon. Agents don’t have time to read entire books they may not be interested in representing, so they ask for a synopsis first. Then they decide if the book is worth pursuing.

A blurb is best used for your back cover or as your book description on Amazon. You don’t want to give away your entire plot to potential readers like a synopsis would, so it’s best to leave them wanting to read more through a blurb. A blurb teases the story enough to get readers interested enough to buy the book and shouldn’t include any major plot spoilers. After the cover, it is the next thing potential readers look at, so make sure it’s compelling.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or need help writing your blurb, that’s where PublishPros comes in—we’re here to help you take those next steps, one of them being putting together a description that will help sell your book. We can help with writing your back cover text, designing a cover, editing, interior formatting, and almost anything else you need to get your book ready for publication. If you want to learn more about how PublishPros can help publish your book, contact us for a free consultation!