Let’s Talk about Blurbs

Image credit: Publishing Perspectives | Click image to read their article on blurbs!

Image credit: Publishing Perspectives | Click image to read their article on blurbs!

Blurbs.  You know, the endorsements you see on the front and back of book covers where another author tells you how spectacular the book in yours hands is.

I recently purchased and read a book only because it was blurbed by one of my all-time favorite authors.  The premise of the book, a debut novel, was not of interest to me, but because So-and-So said it was funny and clever and good, I bit the bullet and bought the book. (Oooh, nice alliteration.)

I read it.  It was not really funny or clever or good.  I was really disappointed. It made me wonder just how difficult it was to get a blurb from that particular author.  The novel that was endorsed was nothing like the novel that the blurb-writer writes.

Do you pay attention to blurbs?
Have you ever read a book only because it was endorsed by a favorite author?
If you could have anyone write a blurb for your book, whom would it be?

I choose … John Green, Melina Marchetta, Markus Zusak, Jandy Nelson, and Rainbow Rowell. #InMyDreams

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11 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about Blurbs

  1. For my graduate writing course last year, we were assigned a book that Leif Enger heartily endorsed. I would have had to read the book anyway, but knowing that he “liked it” raised my expectations very, very high… It didn’t match Enger’s style or content in any way, and was actually a rather dark, disheartening book. So sad.

  2. I heard that some big time authors don’t even write their won blurbs. I never beleive them, sadly. I’d believe you though! #nightcircus #thefaultinourstars #allbooksyoutoldmetoread!

  3. I’m not sure I’ve ever made a purchase decision based on a blurb but I also rarely purchase books that aren’t sequels or books I’ve already read. (I have weird book ownership preferences.) That being said, if an author I follow online recommends a book on their blog or twitter it can affect whether or not I decide to read it. Although, just like people I know in real life, if I get a bad recommendation (or two) from the same source I’ll change the way I view recommendations from that source in the future.

    I’m not sure if that’s in the same category as a blurb or not.

  4. To be honest, I tend not to get hyped by my favorite author’s endorsement unless he/she says the hyped book is similar to his/hers. Though, writers are mostly readers at first, I would prefer a reader/reviewer who hasn’t dipped his/her hands into writing. as this in some ways affects the endorsement given/

    • iiiiiiiiiiiiiinteresting! I’d never thought about the endorsement coming from a reader vs. a writer. I tend to want endorsements from writers since they know both reading and writing, but who knows? 🙂

  5. I’m glad you brought this up, Jackie, because it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Actually: I hate blurbs. I don’t heed them at all. Often they’re clipped and pieced together, and they just don’t mean much to me. Just because this author likes it (an author I might LOVE), doesn’t mean that that author and I have the same taste in books.

    I hate them and I hate the way they’ve taken over book covers — back AND front. Whatever happened to putting the synopsis on the back? Now I just get a bunch of meaningless blurbs. It drives me CRAZY when I pick up a paperback, flip it over, and see a bunch of blurbs. So I flip to the front, inside, looking for a description, and I get MORE BLURBS. Situations like that piss me off, because it feels like the book isn’t interesting enough to hook me by the description, so they have to try to convince me via peer pressure or something that I’ll like it. No thanks.

    (Sorry for the rant — I was on a roll!)

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