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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Author Insight: Book Blurbs

What does a book blurb mean to you as a reader and a writer?

"Not much, usually. As a reader I try to avoid reading them, because they give away too much. As a writer, I try to write them myself instead of leaving them to the marketing folks, for the same reason." - Amy Kathleen Ryan, author of Glow.

"As a reader, I always notice the book blurbs on jackets and covers. As a writer, I feel so honored that these amazing authors would take the time to read an early version of my work and feel confident enough in my abilities and my story to lend their words and their names to my cover. It's thrilling, really.  And humbling." - Brodi Ashton, author of Everneath.

"They mean as much or as little as they say. Mostly they will help with the genre and feel of the story." - Anna Sheehan, author of A Long, Long Sleep.

"They're huge for me as both a reader and writer. If an author I respect blurbs a book I'm definitely more likely to check it out. As a writer it's great to have that vote of confidence from another writer. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to adequately thank Suzanne Collins for the blurb she offered for The Eleventh Plague. - Jeff Hirsch, author of The Eleventh Plague.

"It’s crucial. If I’m not excited by my own book’s blurb, who else will be? Blurbs hook me into other authors’ books, too, but I am aware that they may not do a book justice, so I always read the beginning as well." -Teresa Flavin, author of The Blackhope Enigma

 "As a reader, I can get hooked by a great premise. As a writer, it annoys me if too much of my plot is revealed." -Susan Beth Pfeffer, author of Blood Wounds.

"If a blurb is from a writer I admire and am familiar with, it goes a long way, because then I have context. Otherwise, it’s hard because I know the whole blurbing system is political and based very much on who people know. In general, any tool that helps a reader decide whether or not to take a leap with a book is a good thing." - Jennifer Castle, author of The Beginning of After.

"As a reader, when an author I love blurbs a book, it makes me want to pick that book up. As a writer, I feel the same way, and when an author I admire says something nice about my books? I swoon." - Melissa Walker, author of Small Town Sinners.

 "As a reader, I think it's very cool when authors get blurbs. That said, it doesn't persuade me to buy a book if it's not something in which I'm already interested. As a writer, I think it would be very cool to be blurbed - but, if it doesn't happen (which it hasn't, so far) that's perfectly fine. I know how busy writers are!" - Julia Karr, author of XVI.

"Well, I have a more jaundiced view of blurbs now because I know that they don’t really mean much. As a reader, they mean nothing to me. As a writer – I appreciate it when I get them – but I won’t seek them for future books unless my publisher makes me.  I think they are more for the bookseller than anyone else." - Kiki Hamilton, author of The Faerie Ring. 

"Not a whole lot, really. As a reader I think blurbs have more of a collective or subconscious effect--if you see a book with a lot of gushing blurbs, it plants a seed in your mind that maybe there's something to it. And who the blurbs come from says something too. And as a writer it's nice to get blurbs, certainly, especially from authors you really admire, but it's not the end of the world if no one blurbs you." - Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Between the Sea and Sky.

Find out Thursday what the rest of the authors think of blurbs!
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