The Last Word on Blurbs

Blurbs, those glowing quotes from familiar names on the back of books. As a reader, do you pay attention to them?  As a writer, do you feel put on the spot when asked to do one?  Or, worse, feel awkward in asking someone to do one for you? While they are standard in all parts of publishing these days,  some practitioners stand out more than others,  One being the so-called “blurb whore” Gary Shteyngart who is featured in the following very entertaining short documentary by  Ed Champion.” (via Gwenda Bond)

Seeing this reminded me of Shteyngart’s hilarious book trailer for Super Sad Love Story in which nothing is sacred including blurbs, trailers, writers, readers, teaching, book party etiquette, werebears, and James Franco.

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2 responses to “The Last Word on Blurbs

  1. I don’t really put too much stock in blurbs because I am not sure that the authors who blurb always read the books through or are not close friends with the author of the book at hand or not reluctantly blurbing to repay a favor, etc. In fact, sometimes the blurbs hurt my opinions of the books. I’m re-reading a book that I enjoyed tremendously. It has two blurbs on the back cover, from two authors that I think are less skilled in storytelling as this new author who has better mastery on world building, wit, and plot-weaving. If I had decided to read or not to read this book by its blurbs, I wouldn’t have picked it up in a million years.

  2. Blurbs are to books as illustrations are to the Newbery: they only affect my opinion negatively. Mostly I notice when a book has author blurbs but no review blurbs, which can be bad news.

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