An important part of research writing is getting your book out to the public audience. That means that, whether you like it or not, there is a sales component to what you’re doing. To help drive sales, many authors add a “book blurb” to the back cover of their finished product.
The blurb is the text that gives the potential reader a summary of what’s inside the covers. Since its ultimate purpose is to drive sales, this blurb, when used in academic writing, is often overlooked as an important aspect of publication. But when it’s optimized, it can garner your book a larger audience and tout your strengths as the writer to encourage the reader to purchase the book in their hands - or on their screen.
The Importance of Blurbs in Academic Publishing
Blurbs are not the favorite part of the publication process for many writers. But when it comes to a method of selling yourself as a seasoned, expert researcher, there aren’t too many better opportunities.
Most of your stakeholders in an interview aren’t going to take the time to sit and read your entire publication. But they will look at your book blurb and get a feel for the content you can write and the overall researcher you are. For this reason, blurbs are crucial in academic publishing. You’re putting a spotlight on yourself as an expert in the field, which is exactly how you want your readers and potential stakeholders and funders to see you. You don’t get too many of these chances to highlight your academic portfolio without sounding like you’re being cocky and condescending, so it’s important to use this strategy as optimally as you can get it.
Strategies to Optimize Your Blurb
Most people aren’t confident about selling themselves, particularly as a blurb on the back of the book they wrote. The importance of this little paragraph of writing is significant, though, and you need to embrace the idea and take the time to learn and understand how to make it work for you instead of against you.
With that in mind, consider these points as strategies to optimize your academic blurb:
● Study how authors you respect and that are high-impact create their blurbs. What do they put in it that you like? What would you like to emulate and what would you prefer to avoid?
● Consider those academic blurbs as a potential reader instead of an author. What was inside those short sentences that would convince you to read the book?
● You already wrote a proposal for your book when you were trying to convince the publisher to accept for submission. What did you write in your proposal? How can you use those same thoughts on the back of your blurb in a more succinct, but just as impressive, format?
● Review other books in your field that would be shelved alongside yours or would be considered your competition. Include in the blurb how your book solves a problem or fills a need that can’t be found anywhere else in other publications.
● Don’t be afraid to tout your work with as many impressive adjectives as you can, as long as they fit in the context without going overboard. These words pique the interest of potential readers. In that same vein, make sure your first sentence is as attention-grabbing as possible and that your last sentence convinces the reader to keep the book in their hand (or add to cart).
● As you’re using your compelling wording, make sure every word you use is integral to the sentence, since blurbs typically have a character or word limit.
● Ask for input from others, such as your publisher or friends and family who you could see as an ideal reader of your book. Don’t take criticism to heart. Use what you agree with and consider the other thoughts as something to learn from or discard as someone else’s opinion. But be open to revisions until you’re in love with the final product.
When you consider your academic blurb just as wonderful as your publication itself, it’s ready for submission.
Submit Your Work With Impactio
When you are ready to submit your work to a publisher or create a book blurb, the program you use is important. When it’s complicated or doesn’t offer the tools you need to create the look you want, it can be a time-wasting hassle.
Instead, academics around the world turn to Impactio for their publishing needs. Impactio is a platform that offers all the tools necessary to go from compiling your citation and publication data into a template to publishing that work and following its impact with citation indicators.
When you’re ready to create professional publications, there’s no better program to use than Impactio.