Booking Through Thursday: Blurb-iotica


On Thursday, October 29th, Booking through Thursday asked:

What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?

I’ve always felt that book blurbs are sort of like eye cream – a little bit goes a very long way. Beyond that, I had to do some research, and after reading the backs of several books I’ve come to the conclusion that:

  • If I’m familiar with an author’s work, I don’t much care what the blurb says, I’ll buy it if they have a history of pleasing me, skip it, if not.
  • I’m more concerned that the blurb be well-written than with specific word choices. I mean, presumably I already KNOW if a book is general fiction or fits into a specific genre, so I don’t need to look for words like “vampire” or “coffee” or “beach” although seeing those words makes me more interested.
  • I don’t like hard-sells. The blurb on the back should function as a teaser – give me a hint of what’s inside, don’t hit me over the head with it.

If those sound like vague responses, all I can say is that gauging a book by it’s blurb isn’t far off from judging it by it’s cover art. And of course I’d never do that.