One of the things a writer and publisher must do is collect blurbs – those brief bursts of praise from other writers that you see on book covers.
A blurb may be only a sentence or two long, but when you ask a writer to provide one, you’re asking for a pretty big favor.
First, she has to read your manuscript. As anyone who has ever gone to book group unprepared can tell you, this is quite a time commitment.
Second, she has to like it. If not, she’ll decline to write the blurb.
I am thrilled to say I already have three great blurbs from writers I admire. But over the next few days, Rosalie and I will be asking a few other writers as well. I’ll keep you posted.
What’s your take?
What’s your take on blurbs? Do you notice them? Do they influence whether you pick up a book? If so, what persuades you – what the blurb says, or who said it?
Let me know what you think. Maybe I’ll ask you to blurb my book!
5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Blurbs”
l like the blurb “per se”.
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I’m wondering if the whole e-book vs tree-book shift has changed the way we browse and buy. I know that it has for me, since I rely on the blurbs to see if I have any interest, followed by the sample if I want to know more before purchasing. Though maybe I should qualify that: if it’s a free bock I’ll probably ‘buy’ it based on the slightest bit of appeal. Does this mean my Kindle is full of books I’ll never read? Why yes, yes it does.
“Blurb” is such an icky word, IMHO. It sounds like something you’d cough up. “Lill Street’s Own Mayor” is a master—blllluuurrrb” Ginny Woolf, author of “Reading the Ms. Dallow Way”
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Blurbs definitely catch my attention–both the message and the messenger. But they also challenge me to have my own opinion, because I don’t want to let someone else speak for me. So sometimes, they provoke me to read a book–that’s a positive thing for writers who want simply to be read. I also pay a lot of attention to a title–what does it mean? What hints do I get about the story to come? Covers also make a difference (images, fonts design sensibility), although they are lower in the hierarchy than titles, blurbs, and authors I already know I like. But honestly, what makes the biggest difference to me in choosing a book is a recommendation from a friend who reads a lot. Like Lynn.
Honestly, as a reader and someone with a literary review blog, I don’t even pay attention to blurbs. I want to make my own decisions with no preconceived notions.
I know many well-read people who feel the same way. For myself, I do notice blurbs. While they are not a deciding factor, if a writer I like has blurbed a book, I’ll definitely give it a second look.