Blurbs, Taglines, Teasers and Ads
(No, this is not a law firm)

Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved



Just like synopses and query letters, you need to learn how to write book blurbs, taglines, teasers and ads that will sell your romance to your potential readers. 

At first you might be inclined to think these are easy since they are short, snappy bits of writing. But it’s just this brevity that makes them much harder to write, in my opinion, than writing the whole novel. 

Let me preface here again with the fact that I am published by small, independent presses. The experience with a larger, "New York" style publishing house may be different. But with a smaller press, the author takes on a larger role in the sale and promotion of his or her book. One of the expectations is that the author will provide book blurbs. 

The book blurb is what you’ll find on the back of any book you pick up. In general it is two or three paragraphs that sum up the story without giving away the whole plot. It’s the little taste of the treat that you hope will entice the reader to devour the whole thing. In your blurb you want to introduce the hero and heroine and give a simple plot setup. You will then want to touch on some of what they must go through in the story, and what it is they each have to lose. Finish up with a snappy summation that could include your tagline. 

It would be worth it to make a trip to the library and sit down with a selection of books in your genre. Study the blurbs on the back and ask yourself these questions: How did the author introduce the hero and heroine? How much of the plot did the author reveal? What buzz words did the author use to grab the readers attention? How did the author establish the tone of the book in the blurb? 

The following is my book blurb for my novel, Big Fat Lies. 

"Teacher Sofie Peterson, a big beautiful woman, embarks on a Caribbean cruise with her best friend Libby Washington. Together they are celebrating Sofie’s divorce from a man who left her—for another man! Without Sofie's knowledge, Libby spins a lie about them to impress businessman Simon Landrich and worse yet, sets Sofie up with Simon's associate Wallace Henderson.

Also on board is Finn Baxter, an ex-cop private eye hot on the trail of a con man with whom he has a personal vendetta. He has plans for the con man—which he keeps under wraps—but he didn’t plan on meeting a feisty red-head and losing his heart. Sofie and Finn try to resist their growing attraction, while Wallace ardently pursues Sofie.

When accidents begin to happen to Sofie, it isn't clear who is the perpetrator. Finn, who always seems to be on the scene of the accidents? Wallace, who may be trying to scare Sofie into his arms? Or fellow passenger Barbara Shulman, with her unexplained but obvious hatred of Sofie?

What is clear is that a cruise gets complicated when you start it with a big fat lie!" 

The last line of my blurb, whittled down to "A cruise gets complicated when you start it with a big fat lie!",  became my tagline, which I used in all of my advertising for this book. Think of the tag line as that memorable one liner from a commercial on TV. "Good to the last drop." "So easy, a caveman could do it!" "A little dab’ll do it." 

Teasers and spoilers could probably be lumped together here. The idea of them both is to tweak the reader’s interest, give them a small taste of what’s to come with your book…like a good stripper, tease your audience to the point they are panting for more! Skyla Dawn Cameron is an author who makes good use of teasers and spoilers. She provides a monthly free e-serial on her website Tied to the e-serial is a thread on her message board where she has a Spoilerz zone. These spoilers often lead to intense discussions, speculation, even some fan-fiction. Check out this message board to get a good idea of how to construct effective teasers and spoilers. 

Book ads can come in many forms these days, the most recent popular trend being book trailers which are then posted in places like YouTube. Like movie trailers, these mini-films are short, snappy introductions to your book containing graphics, music and text. Ideally, they should run around a minute in length. Like television commercials, you want to grab the reader and keep them long enough to sell them on your book. A long, rambling trailer will only serve to send them to the fridge. Think what you do during the long commercial breaks on tv. For some good examples of book trailers, go to and search either Skyla Dawn Cameron or Howard Hopkins. Both authors have created some compelling promo ads. 

Ads can also be as simple as a short print or banner ad that can be posted around the ‘Net and pull people to your site and your book. Free banner making software is readily available online and can be found with a simple Google search. 

Developing your skills at writing these various types of advertising for your romance novel, will go a long way into increasing interest in and sales of your book. 


About the Author:   Judy Bagshaw has been published since 2000. Writing romance featuring full-figured heroines, her publishing credits include 4 novels, 1 collection of short stories, and short stories in three anthologies. She was also part of the writing team for the Ginn Reading Series, and Reaching Readers Series, used in many elementary schools. Retired from teaching, she writes full-time from her home in Ontario, Canada. Visit Judy's website:


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