Dick Lochte brought posted an interesting response to the blurb debate on Rara-Avis:
One of the more important benefits of blurbs (and reviews) is that they
impress publishers, which means that your book will get a bigger, better
push. Several seasons ago, an unpublished writer submitted a crime fiction
manuscript and included "endorsements" from several "gold standard," usually
non-blurbing authors, including, AIR, John le Carre and Joe Wambaugh. The
book was purchased for a lot of loot. Then it was discovered that the blurbs
were fakes. Contract broken. No loot. No debut. The conclusion: blurbs trump
content. A few glowing words from even a frequent, one might say compulsive
blurber like Stephen King can do wonders in getting a career launched
properly in this country. King's Entertainment Weekly essay a few years ago,
in which he praised the "undiscovered" Lisa Gardner, is a striking case in
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Did you mean Meg Gardner instead of Lisa Gardner? (Lisa has been around for years and I read her books but haven't seen a King blurb on any).
Maybe Meg. Definitely not Ava.
Yep, it's Meg Gardiner who benefited from that Stephen King column.
P.S. Me, I prefer Ava.
"Blurbs trump content" ... that's encouraging (sarcasm intended).
It reminds me of the feeling I get whenever I reread the Friends of Eddie Coyle (or the forward Elmore Leonard wrote for one of the reprints) where I think it was 39 (or some crazy number like that) of genius agents who turned Eddie Coyle down because of the unsympathetic characters.
And I clearly remember a few years ago some genius BIG publishing house paying $500,000 for a mafia tell-all by a supposed Gambino (genetic) family member, except the BIG publishing house was scammed by a con artist.
A $500,000 con. Sorry, but I love it.
I'd love it even more to see something like that as a blurb.
"From the House that paid $500,000 for an absolute fugazy."
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