Should book blurbs be revised as often as the novels themselves?

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Thread: Should book blurbs be revised as often as the novels themselves?

  1. #1

    Should book blurbs be revised as often as the novels themselves?

    In October, I republished my first series installment as a second edition through Amazon KDP (I had changed my mind not long prior to re-publication). It has sold much better than before (nearly 200 copies have sold since mid-October) and has gotten much better reviews. I made some improvements while keeping the same storyline.
    The problem is that I have to keep changing blurbs because each one was quite weak. While sales peaked during holiday season, this month they went down. I figured that the blurb from the beginning of this month (as well as previous ones) had too much backstory. So I cut that out and used a guide on how to write a great blurb. Sadly, that blurb resulted in only one sale after nearly a week of no sales. After that sale, there haven't been any.
    Someone helped me investigate why my book wasn't selling, despite the constant advertising, good cover, and good reviews. He found out that it was my blurb and he pointed out why. He also made me watch a couple videos on how to write a killer-book description. I discovered some techniques that I never knew before. While using the necessary details for writing a great blurb, I also used the format of a certain bestselling book's description, similar to my book, but used my own words as well as story details. I only updated the blurb last night. So I figured that maybe it's kind of early to see if this blurb would work. There have been no sales today, but I still feel this new blurb needs some time before seeing if I need to update it again.
    I also had this blurb critiqued on a special Facebook page for self-published authors. Not many people reacted or commented. But one liked it (just by the like button) and the one who critiqued only pointed out a small grammatical issue. So I fixed that.
    Now I am wondering if book blurbs should be as revised as often as the novel itself. I know many people say query letters should be revised as often as the novels. But I am finding it extremely hard to write a super-strong book blurb and knowing if it will work or not. I don't know about others, but I always find my blurbs fine, until others say that they are weak. It is so difficult for me to identify my book description as weak or strong. I can, however, identify if my books are weak or strong.
    I couldn't find a book blurb critique service through a Google search. So I've always figured that I was on my own to critique and judge it. If you self-publish, what do you do to see if your book description is weak or strong?
    Children's Fantasy Author
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  2. #2
    Would you also recommend hiring someone to write your blurb, like how it's recommended to hire someone to design your book cover rather than do it yourself?
    Children's Fantasy Author
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  3. #3
    The idea of changing the blurb frequently, almost as a marketing tactic, is interesting and not something I'd have considered. If sales are stagnant, tweaking the blurb certainly seems worth trying, as long as one isn't over-tweaking to skew it into a market where it doesn't belong.

    I would suggest getting blurb feedback from beta readers and/or by posting it for critique on a forum such as this. I definitely would not consider paying for it. Cover design is a completely different skill to writing, but blurb writing is still writing, and I believe it's a skill one can learn. Plus you know your novel best.

  4. #4
    All right. Now why are you recommending against hiring someone to write your blurb? I know the author doesn't pay for that in traditional publishing, but there, they have a copywriter write the blurb.

  5. #5
    While writing a blurb is certainly a skill in itself, it is still a writing skill and I believe I could hone that skill by studying good examples. I hesitate to pay for anything I can do myself.

    But hey that's me. If you think it's a good idea, then perhaps you could pursue it further. Just be careful to thoroughly check out whoever you consider engaging. Perhaps also calculate the number of additional book sales you would need to make to cover the cost of such engagement.

  6. #6
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    "From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it." - Groucho Marx

  7. #7
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    Oct 2018
    I try to learn all the skills, but I pay in time. Someday I will be monetizing my time for enough that it is worthwhile to subcontract them out. Log how many hours it takes for you to do a task - not counting the one time investments of researching stuff, etc - and if a task is slow for you to get to a passable level and cheap to contract, contract it out. I want to know the entire process anyways so that I can tell if a contractor is giving me good value if nothing else. That's why it's valuable to me to learn about typography, margins, bleed lines, tracking eye patterns in cover design, how to find duplicate words, how to structure, and so on.


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