Do you read blurbs when you’re in the bookstore browsing for a new book to read? Would a blurb highly praising a book make you buy it? What if it were a blurb by an author you admire? If you’re an author, do you write blurbs for others? Under what circumstances?
Blurbs are those pithy remarks on the back cover (or inside pages) praising a book as the next masterpiece or a really good scare or a page-turner, etc.
As a reader, have you ever even thought about or cared about blurbs? Maybe you haven’t, but authors have … and do.
But how do authors get blurbs? They can ask for them from friends and other authors who write in their genre. They can get their publicist or agent to ask for them. Their editor might ask other writers in his/her stable. (Yes, authors can be part of a stable, just like a nag, er, race horse.) And in today’s everything’s-for-sale days, authors can buy a blurb.
Rachel Donadio has written an interesting article in The New York Times Sunday Book Review on blurbing. (It’s both a noun and a verb. Sometimes it’s even an adjective, as in “you blurbing whore.” Read the article if you don’t understand that one.)
After you read the full article, tell me,
1. Have you ever written a blurb?
2. Do you pay attention to blurbs?
3. Would you ever pay for a blurb?
My answers? 1. Yes, 2. Sometimes, 3. No – well, maybe, it depends, is the author writing the blurb a really, really big name in my genre and would s/he promise to write a review that would send thousands racing to the bookstore to buy my book and five copies for friends? Okay then, my answer to #3 is a definite maybe. Maybe not. Maybe. Okay, that’s my final answer …
3 months ago