Friday, 26 November 2010

Book Blurbs - how do you like yours?

People within publishing houses work long and hard on the book blurbs that are designed to draw you in. Authors struggle over every word in order to make their book stand out.

Some stand out for all the wrong reasons....

This one made me laugh. A lot. I mean, there might have been some unattractive snorting!

Alison Wells is no ordinary woman. Born with super-natural powers, she can never make love to a man without putting him in grave danger. But when her special vision reveals a glorious muscled man soaring overhead on mighty wings, she feels an overwhelming attraction she cannot resist - even as he tells her: 'I have come for you. Your blood belongs to me'. Kerrick is a vampire and a warrior who has fought his hunger for a woman's love for the past two hundred years. As a Guardian of Ascension, he is sworn to protect Alison from the death vamp armies who crave her blood and her power. But Kerrick has cravings of his own - a forbidden longing to open his heart and veins to Alison. To share his blood...satisfy his thirst...and seal their fates forever.

*giggles* I mean, just seeing it there again has got me going *snort*

From first to last sentence this just gets it so wrong.

Is this the fault of the book or the book blurb? Would you read this book?


  1. I've read many good books with very poor blurb, and many poor books with excellent blurb so I am always tempted to try, but that is seriously bad and would probably put even me off...

  2. Uhm, in this case, I'm guessing both! But my biggest petpeeve is when blurbs give spoilers or only serve to confuse. The most recent example of the latter for me was the blurb on the ARC I got for Beth Bernobich's Passion Play. It named the main character as Ilse, while the book starts out one someone named Therez. Turns out they're the same person :S I'd have preferred it if they'd just said Therez on the back and let us discover the rest for ourselves.

  3. Ahem. I would not read that book. I try to avoid reading the blurbs at all, actually, as they are often misleading and sometimes give things away.

  4. I think I might shut up and just shuffle about while trying not to look embarrassed.

    Blurbs are terrible things and the temptation is to go a bit OTT with them.

  5. Definitely not read that book - no way - nope.
    When my humorous sc fi book was first published by the original Brambling Books (who, shortly afterwards, demonstrated their good taste by going bust) part of the blurb they used (against my wishes) on the cover was a quote from a reviewer saying 'as good as Douglas Adams'. This cringe-worthy quote led some to say mine was a poor attempt to copy Mr Adams - which hurts (still) like hell as it isn't. I've saved my pennies and have a new cover which I'll use soon hoping the other disappears. The lesson here is: don't be a wimp like I was, stick up for what YOU think is right for YOUR book.

  6. I'm almost curious enough to read the book just to see whether it is as bad as the blurb. Almost. Maybe I could do it for charity...

  7. I'm like Amy--I rarely bother with jacket copy. I often find it corny and misleading. Plus, I prefer to avoid even minor spoilers. I usually skim summaries for a general idea of what the book is about, but that's it. Even with a book like the one you cited above, I'd rely more on reviewers' opinions than the publisher's description.

    I think the worst one I've come across in recent years was for THE GARGOYLE by Andrew Davidson. The first few lines described the narrator as someone who "dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life." I almost wonder if that terrible, corny line isn't the reason the book did so poorly. I'm glad I didn't let it colour my decision, as I really enjoyed Davidson's story.

    That said, I respect the people who write these things for a living and do manage to draw readers in. I'm currently writing one for my own book, and it's damned hard.

  8. ahh, the sordid adventures of Alison and Kerrick. all I needed to know to know that is NOT the book for me! but it was hilarious!

    Sometimes I wonder if the author or editor has any control over the blurb on the back or review sentence snippets on the front of the book. Or if some random marketing person who knows next to nothing about the book makes the decision?

  9. I have big issues with many blurbs - especially for a series that i'm reading already. I wonder if the blurb writer has any concept of trying to attract people to the book or if they are just writing for themselves.