Here’s what they mean by A/B tests: they offer a book with two different blurbs. The original is A. Then a tweaked version is B. Then they count click-throughs.
They also have the basic sense to explain the caveats: Book Bub’s readership may not map all that well with any other particular readership; Book Bub writes blurbs in a particular format, and so on. Still, these data are very suggestive.
1. Mentioning author accolades is a plus. Specific phrases like “Bram Stoker Award-Winning Author” help. This makes sense. It helps a lot, so well worth including.
2. Including the names of too many different characters hurts. This makes sense to me. Too many names just sound cluttered and confusing, imo. The example in this post is really interesting because the A version includes four names, whereas the B version says “Four friends.” B won by a mile.
3. Specifying subgenre helps. Saying “psychological thriller” is better than just saying “thriller.” However, they mention that it depends on what the Book Bub readership is into, which is not necessarily indicative of other readerships.
4. This one is interesting because it seems so random. M-dashes, exclamation points, and question marks don’t help. But ellipses do. How mysterious… Actually I’m pleased by this because I find myself reaching for ellipses all the time when writing one-sentence or two-sentence pitches. On the other hand, I’m not TOO smug about my liking for ellipses, because I see that it helps in horror and suspense, but not fantasy. Phooey.
5. Not relevant to me, but naming recipes included in a cookbook hurts, while calling out the number of recipes included helps. Hmmm. Not sure I get that.
6. Calling business books “accessible” hurts. I can see that. Everyone probably thinks they’re an expert and so they don’t bother with “accessible” books.
7. Mentioning the protagonist’s specific age helps in chick lit, but not erotic romance. Hmmm. Yeah, that makes no sense to me. But then I don’t think I read much chick lit, so maybe it makes more sense to any of you who do?
8. Mentioning specific aristocratic titles helps in historical romance. Yes, that I understand. The Marquis of This or the Count of That sounds more intriguing to me than just using the character’s name. Though so can non-aristocratic tags, like The Dread Pirate Roberts or the bold thief Robin Hood or whatever. Anyway, as I do read some historical romance, I guess I’m just another sheep following the herd on that one.
Very interesting if you like that kind of thing; click through if you want to read the whole post, including examples.