It finally happened! I got to write a blurb for another author (of course, I volunteered to do it, but still!).
Blurbs..does anyone read them? It’s hard to say, but publishers sure want them. They issue the command for you to go out and find them, preferably from authors with big platforms. I have been fortunate that everyone I asked, with the exception of one person whom I thought would, but said no, and the famous people, who never answered (Pam Houston! Call me!) did indeed come through. There are a couple of people whom I thought for sure would write one after getting a free ARC but who never did, which is somewhat disappointing. I appreciate more the honest ones who say they can’t.
For a paragraph, blurbs are surprisingly hard to write. You don’t want it to be all about you (“I wish I had written this book, but the next best choice to write it is Fred.”). You don’t want it to be riddled with cliches (“A love story for the ages” ) or too rhapsodic (“This is the most amazing book in the universe, it feeds the soul”) and you want at least a sound bite a publisher can use. There’s no point writing something so generic that it wouldn’t entice anyone to read the book.
If you don’t like the book….the feeling of uncomfortable panic may come over you. But you must be honest. You can’t blurb a book you don’t like. Luckily I haven’t been in that situation so haven’t been able to come up with a graceful exit.
There’s something in it for you, of course. The hope is that the readers of the book will see your blurb and think, Huh. That author’s book sounds interesting, maybe I will check it out. Have I done this? Yes. But for me it is more an exercise in giving back. As a writer, you toil along in your little bubble, and the people who help you are true angels. They often do it without expectation of reward–readers in your writing group, beta folk who give you ideas, book clubs who order your book. It’s all about helping others along the way.
So what book did I blurb? It’s this one: https://danszczesny.wordpress.com/the-white-mountain/ Check it out!