Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best (and worst) blurbs

When a book, especially a first novel, is published, the author, agent and editor bend over backwards in an attempt to secure endorsement from other authors (hopefully highly recognizable ones) in order to entice people to buy it and stores to stock many copies. 

I'm fairly new to the blurb process, having only blurbed one book in my nascent career. And that blurb was incredibly difficult to write. You want a blurb to speak effusively about the book in question, but not so much that it becomes over the top (and readers become skeptical). Authors ideally want a blurb to contain two things: 

1) a pull quote about the book ("The Willow Tree is a phantasmagoric treat!"
2) a pull quote about the author ("Bill Fester is phantasmagoric!") These are desirable because they can be used on several books.

Anyway, a newspaper article got me thinking about the best and worst of the lot. I remember picking up Warren Ellis's CROOKED LITTLE VEIN and seeing this quote:

"Stop it, you're scaring me." --William Gibson

Now that's a great quote. I'd love to know some oft he best, worst and silliest blurbs you've ever seen. Here's a good one to start things off:

The London Spectator on CLEAR by Nicola Barker:
"The brilliance of Barker's style is beyond perfection."

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7 Comments:

Blogger Bethany said...

Interview Magazine stated this about violinist Joshua Bell:

"Joshua Bell's playing does nothing less than tell human beings why they bother to live."

Powerful stuff, huh? :)

10:18 AM  
Blogger ChrisEldin said...

Hi Jason,
I hope it's okay to write this message in this post, since it is related to publicity.

I've been hosting "Author's Weeks" on my blog for the past six months or so, and have received fabulous support from wonderful authors.
I'm having the next one the last week of June. I wanted to know if I could put you on an email list for announcements regarding "Author's Weeks?" All of the people on the email list are in publishing in one way or another, and the emails are sent out as BCC so that nobody sees anyone else's address.

I am hoping that you will drop by the last week in June and see how it works. the next one I have planned is the first week in September, and I hope that if you like the concept, you will be one of the authors in September.

It's been really fun doing these Author's Weeks. There is a lot of humor, interaction, and fun!!!

Please email me if you are interested.

Thanks!!
:-)

chriseldin@hotmail.com

4:52 AM  
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