Topic: Book blurbs
Now that our good friend and TNBW fellow Mr. Jake J. Harrison, AKA cobber, has published State of Vengeance, I checked the blurb he wrote for Amazon (yes, that one right under the title and the available editions and prices). The blurb is certainly appealing and it conveys the message that the book is full of action, mystery, and emotion. Only at the very end, in the last line, there’s a praise for the book, from another of our fellow TNBW writers.
I signed up at the Fussy Librarian and Riffle to receive a weekly “ebooks deal” email--I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Half of the time, the 2-4 lines blurb under each recommended title contains a brief synopsis of the story, long enough to pick your attention, short enough not to spoil the story. And half of the time it’s only praise.
Pearl Chin and her sister May have out their father gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls the girls as wives to suitors who have travelled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides.
From a #1 New York Times bestselling author. “Masterful. Like nothing else out there now”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review.
Which one actually invites you to read the book? I prefer the first one because it tells me what the book is about. The second one is no guarantee, even if the book is reported to be a bestseller (the rest of the world may have gone wacko buying it for all I know). I’ve never purchased a book because it’s a best seller or because Kirkus Reviews thinks is masterfully. It may be masterfully for them, but beauty is on the eye of the beholder.
So, when you write a short blurb, one that needs to fit in 2-4 lines, rather than praising your story—even if it surpasses several of Shakespeare’s works—I think the best tis o make a short summary highlighting the elements that may attract the reader. However, it seems there are a bunch of writers/publishers who think that readers buy books only because other people buy them, even if they ignore what the book is about.
What do you think?