In the writing world, the term blurb gets tossed around a lot. Blurb most often refers to the back cover copy. You know, the little summary on the back of the book intended to lure suckers potential fans in.
But it can also refer to those quotes printed on the top of front covers or peppered across the back cover at will. You know, the ones that look like these:
Both back cover copy and quoted praise are, technically, blurbs. However, for the sake of this lame-ass blog post and to avoid confusion on which blurb I’m referring to, we’ll call those little quotes “author endorsements.”
Or maybe we should call them what they really are: pointless, self-righteous pats on the back which serve little purpose other than to visually maim awesome cover art.
How Dare I Say So!
You’re probably thinking, Wait a second here, crackerjack. You’re a writer. Smearing author endorsements 6 months before your first book releases could be harmful. Especially since you’ll likely be asked to acquire one yourself. Dumbass.
First off, stop calling me a dumbass. This is my paranoid fantasy here. So back up.
Second off, I’m not knocking anyone who uses quoted praise either on the book itself or on social media for promotional purposes. That’s the actual definition of a blurb. I’m also not dissing anyone who grabs books based on author endorsements. To each their own.
And last but not least, I’m entitled to express my opinion. That is, after all, what blogs are for.
I’m certain I’ll piss off a ton of authors, publishers, and agents with this proclamation. They’ll cuss at me and roll their eyes and pray for my ignorance. Either way, it’s just an opinion. Get offended and piss off, or chuckle at my stupidity and read on.
Blurbs Schmlurbs—A Pointless Endeavor
When I pick up a tangible book, the first thing I look for is the author endorsements on the covers. And when I see one, I toss the book aside and move on.
They’ve never done shit for me. They’ve never piqued my interest. They’ve never even offered a sad hand-job.
In all honesty, I don’t care if Stephen King says you’re the next best thing since YOLO was (thankfully) erased from everyday conversation. And just because some famous author endorsed your book doesn’t mean I’ll be camping overnight outside a Barnes & Noble to be one of the first in line to buy it.
See, these endorsements don’t usually say anything about the book itself. They say they’re great. High-octane action. Action-packed thrillers. But mostly they proclaim the author to be a leading voice in such-and-such genre.
Well, Nora Roberts is supposed to be one of the best in her genre(s), but I think her work is shoddy, to say the least.
Your book—your eloquent writing style, the plot, the characters—are what will compel me to buy. Not some ginormous quotation on the cover. Not some post bragging about a semi-famous author who praised your work. Not some accolade that has nothing to do with the book itself.
Author endorsements, in my eyes, are pointless. They serve no purpose in the grand scheme of book creation, though many publishers would swear they’re useful in selling the book. And I’m not contesting that.
I just don’t think they should destroy the aesthetic appeal of a cover.
Confine them to the innards. Go for only 1 or 2 endorsements total. Take up a whopping half a page and then get on with the story.
The point of reading a book is to read the book, not the author endorsements and forewords and dedications.
Get to the damn story.
I believe quoted endorsements should be minimalistic and confined to a spot somewhere between the covers, not on them.
Don’t get my nutsack twisted, now. I know I’ll have to seek out author endorsements for my books when the time comes. I’ll probably also be asked to write a few myself in the future, if enough people become interested in my work and my name carries any weight.
Just because I find them unnecessary art censors doesn’t mean I won’t abide by the rules.
Stay tuned. There’s more randomosity coming soon.
I want to hear from you: