Friday, May 05, 2006

Blurbs -- Book Publicity or Editorial?

In practice, most book promotion campaigns begin about three months before a book's publication date. Therefore, as a book promotion specialist, I don't get involved in securing endorsements for books that I promote. That's an editorial function, and it's handled either by the book's editor or the author him- or herself.

That allows me to say, with impunity, that I got a chuckle out of the May 3, 2006 Dogmatika post titled "This book will not change your life." It discusses the fact that blurbs have become meaningless, since all books have blurbs that sound alike -- and they all sound over-the-top and difficult to swallow.

All readers have their own pet peeves when it comes to "blurbsters" -- the authors who apparently are willing to endorse anything, from fast food restaurants' placemats to books that were seemingly written in Sanskrit. In fact, books of a certain genre that lack an endorsement by these habitual "blurbsters" seem naked. Why didn't so-and-so endorse this book, a reader might wonder. Does it truly stink or something? Or is the author just completely out-of-the-loop?

When disingenuous praise of a book is mandatory, and a book looks naked without a blurb by specific blurbsters, you know something is goofy. Perhaps it's time to start a new trend in book marketing: honesty on book covers. How about if we see blurbs like this? "My husband wrote this novel, and I haven't actually read it yet, but darn, he worked hard on it, and I truly hope you'll support his efforts by taking a chance and buying the book."

Perhaps it won't wash, but you know what? I do wish that it would.

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