“blurb” is a comment made by one author regarding the merits of a
book by another author. These are always positive, and usually you try to match
the blurber’s audience to your intended audience. “Reviews” are
written by reviewers, who may or may not be authors themselves, but who are
disinterested parties who are weighing in. These are either negative or
positive, although certainly you wouldn’t share a negative comment on your book
itself. “Back cover copy” is a teaser, a bit of a synopsis that will
(we hope!) entice readers. Often the back cover copy is written by marketing
interns at a publishing house. Several times, sad to say, I’ve had mine written
by young folks who haven’t even read the book in question. (Hard to believe,
but true.) The purpose of the back cover copy is to give potential readers
enough information so they can decide if the premise of the book sounds
interesting, but not so much as to give away the whole plot. It’s tricky.
bookseller telling a customer that authors pay for blurbs. That is not true! In
fact, some blurbs are requested on behalf of a book by the publisher, who goes
to another author in their “stable” of authors and asks for a blurb.
Other times, we humble ourselves and ask friends if they’d blurb our books.
This is tricky, since a refusal can mean the loss of a friendship.
industry known as “blurb sluts,” people who will blurb any book by
anyone to get their name in front of the public.
versus a blurb, the reviewer will often structure their reviews so that portions
can be excerpted. The professionals are particularly good at this. I use the
term “professional” to divide those who review regularly and have training from those who are simply
reacting to a book they’ve read. But please note, I am NOT disparaging of the reader who shares his/her opinion. I appreciate it! The fact that someone would take time to share means the world to me.
admit to being a little puzzled by the back cover copy (of your newest book).”
be a bit puzzling so that I encourage you to pick up the book.This is tricky business. I aim to tease you, but be transparent about the mood of the book. Therefore, I need to simplify the concept, and give you enough so you can make an informed decision, but not so much that you don’t feel the urge to buy the book.