Monday, December 17, 2012

How to Improve Author Blurbs

If you're like me, you probably don't trust author blurbs. There are a variety of reasons why I don't... One of which being: it's one sentence/paragraph! How much can you really say about the book that makes it unique in that tiny space?

Anyway, this post is not to rant about author blurbs. This post is to suggest a quick way authors can make it so that we readers/bloggers/etc. will trust their blurbs more.

It's simple. Be like Jay Asher, and post a list of the books you've blurbed somewhere on your website.

The same theory applies for when bloggers/reviewers are judging each other. Generally, when you're deciding whether to trust a reviewer, you compare your opinions on certain books to see if they match, yes? Well, authors don't always write the books that they read (and then potentially blurb), so their blurbs seem almost inconsequential to me in those cases (especially in cases of genre change). (Example: pretty sure I read somewhere that Kristin Cashore doesn't read any YA fantasy novels, because she doesn't want her books to be influenced by what she reads-- so would I trust a Kristin Cashore blurb? Debatable.).

So what can authors do to fix that? They can post a list of the books they've blurbed, so we can see whether their taste in books matches our own. There are some authors who have blurbed SO many books that I don't know anymore what kind of books they like. If I had a list to look at, I think I might trust those words/tweets and/or recommendations more.

Would seeing a list of the author's blurbs make you more inclined to trust those blurbs? Do you trust blurbs? What do you think?

5 comments:

  1. Hmmm... I do like the idea of having a list of books authors have blurbed, but somehow I don't feel like that list is an accurate representation of books the author enjoyed. Like...there's always going to be pressure to blurb a book and say something good about it even if you don't like it, which I think is why some blurbs end up sounding so bland and uniform--the author writing the blurb is just writing the blurb to...write a blurb.

    And now I don't know if that makes sense anymore. >.<

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  2. True, I didn't think of that. But then if you posted a list of the blurbs/the blurb you made, then it's easier to see which blurbs are more uniform and more unique. If we're going on the theory that the more uniform the blurb, the less enthusiastic the author was, then you could tell!

    Okay, so that's a lot of work. And I probably just went in circles with that. But in no way will I ever think having a list of blurbs seals the deal, though. Lots of factors go into deciding if that book's for you.

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  3. Certain authors I never trust ever, like Charlaine Harris. She has blurbed about 50% of paranormal romance novels, a fact I've noticed doing Cover Snark. They cannot ALL be good.

    If you want to get a look at multiple author blurbs at once, fantasticfiction.co.uk does a good job with that. If you go to an author's page, it lists their reccs at the bottom, and it's just a collection of their blurbs.

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  4. Oh, also, I looked at Jay Asher's list. I've read two: loved one, hated one. THIS TELLS ME NOTHING.

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  5. I think it would be super interesting to see a list of all of the books a particular author has blurbed. I would also like to see them list their connection (if any) to the author of the book they blurbed. Part of the reason I don't trust book blurbs (or a lot of early Amazon reviews) is because I feel like they are from the author's friends.

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