A Marketing Handbook for Writers: Part Fourteen - More About Blurbs

To sell your books, you need to make maximum use of the idea of incompleteness.

Firstly, you need to reduce your story or novel down to one sentence.

Try to craft a sentence which contains a contrast between a settled, ordered state and a messy, disordered alternative. You need to begin with familiarity and then swiftly introduce obstacles or threats to that familiarity.

A very basic one sentence pitch is:

‘When a big threat of incompleteness happens to a particular character, they have to overcome that obstacle to restore completeness.’

You are after a one sentence description of the plot - not the idea behind your novel. Your theme might be ‘the wrongness of racism’; your plot is 'what racist thing happens to an individual character that he or she has to deal with to achieve an end to racism'.

Try to add an element of flavour by introducing a couple of key details that give a sense of the character of your novel.

Here are some initial examples from famous books and films: