Monday, September 08, 2008

Battle of the Blurbs

How important is a book's blurb? I think they're crucial. Even though I keep reading that blurbs are the second most important selling tool you have for your book to grab the reader’s attention, it's what I base my book-buying decision on more than 90% of the time. There are a couple authors I auto buy, but very few. Sherryl Woods comes to mind. Also Holly Jacobs. I don't even auto buy Stephen King anymore. There are more authors I will pick up their books first, to read their blurbs. And then it's the battle of the blurbs. Stephen King has now moved into this class for me. Then if I don't find a blurb that pulls me in that I like within those authors, then I'll pick up other books - usually because I recognize the author's name (from one of my writer's groups or that I see on the blog circuit) or because the cover is interesting. Still, the choice comes back to the blurb pulling me in. This afternoon, my daughters and I went to the mall. After I got beautiful (pedicure, brows, etc.) I caught up to them at Walden's Books where they were happily reading manga. As I was in no hurry, I let them continue with their thing and I checked out several romances. The first two blurbs I read had me shaking me head and rereading. Why? They made no sense. The blurbs were disjointed. Or they were boring. Or both. I'm sure you can guess I bought neither book. I read several more blurbs. A couple more were confusing. Many more were boring. That said, I know from experience it's not easy to write a blurb. It's hard to boil an entire story down into one or two paragraphs and then to make it irresistible on top of it? Ugh! I hate it. But it's a necessary evil. A lot of readers are like me - they judge a book by it's blurb. I want a good idea of what the story will be, of its tone. Now, let me digress. My publishers insist I write all my blurbs. So my writers will have a mini sample of my writing. However, I just read that there are professional copy writers that write blurbs for some publishers, so you can't count on that. You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Phoenix said...

first sentence

in that order are how I look at a book. Review only seems to factor in for eBooks with me and then it's the bottom of the list. Almost a negative look on the point line.

Molly Daniels said...

Sometimes blurbs don't catch my attention, but if I recognize the author, I'll check out the excerpt. And sometimes that one will reel me in. But you're right; it's 90% if I like the blurb.

Lady in red said...


for me I need to read the blurb even if it is an author I like

Trixie said...

Sometimes it's just the title that grabs me.

Like when I was at the airport after our horrendous trip trying to get to Spain, with my two sisters.

I immediatley bought the book...

'How to survive your sisters'

They peed themselves laughing when I showed it to them!

barbara huffert said...

I HATE blurb writing. Followed closely by summary writing. Asking for volunteers over on my blog today for this very thing...

Unknown said...

Trixie, that's a great title. Barbara, you can actually do that? I'd like to have someone help me write blurbs, too.

Website Content and Copy: Ashley Ladd, 2008.|Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.
Graphics hosted by Flickr.