Blurb and Blurbers
On Jun 3, 2009, at 5:22 PM, email@example.com wrote:
> Regretting a blurb is like regretting that cigarette you gave to a
> guy in the street. In other words, it's cheap.
Must be why I distrust blurbs -- they're cheap. Don't inhale.
I put more value in words, I guess.
When I see a blurb, I always hope it's from a legit review or other
source. But too often, it's just a premixed, premeasured endorsement
from one brown noser to another; a circle jerk of thumbs-up. A recent
book I've read featured some pretty nice blurbs from some writers I
respect -- or at least I used to. The book was horrible.
A blurbs B, B blurbs A, and neither seems to have read the other's
book. So why trust the opinion of either A or B?
Kevin Burton Smith
Thrilling Detective Web Site
Spring 2009 Issue Now Online
"Love Rears Its Ugly Head"
From Dave Zeltserman:
Don't tell me you're only discovering this now. This has been going on for a long 'frickin time, with some of the biggest names as guilty as anyone else. Although maybe it's become more blatant of late as publishers and writers are becoming more desperate.
There's been a lively discussion on the value of blurbs on Rara-Avis. I agree with most of Kevin Smith's points. A newspaper or magazine quote influences me more than an author quote simply because I know how the game is played.
However why can't one author blurb another if he truly likes the book? Writers have favorite writers, too. Kevin's certainly right about the Blurb-O-Matic nature of the process but again this is often publisher dictate. They start by saying Do you know any NY Times bestseller who might look at your book and possibly give you a quote? Well, as we know, there are the bestsellers and then there are the unbathed, uncouth urchins of street, alley and bordello known as the mid-listers. I may not buy a book because of an author blurb but I'll tell you, a book without a few quotes of some kind looks awfully naked. And I've seen a few.
One more point: less is more. If I see a Dean Koontz quote on a book I buy it and not just because Dean and I are friends. Dean rarely gives quotes so when he tells me a book is good I believe him.
How does everybody else feel about this?