Book Blurbs: Are They Significant?
by Jacqueline Seewald
As a reader, do you find that book blurbs influence whether or not you choose to read a particular novel?
I confess I never thought much about it in the past. However, when I first contracted with Five Star/Gale I was informed that it was important to get book blurbs. I find it difficult to ask for favors of any kind. But I did know Sara Paretsky. At the urging of my editor, I e-mailed Sara and she was kind enough to read THE INFERNO COLLECTION, liked it, and provided an excellent blurb/review.
Readers of Sara Paretsky’s novels are cognizant that she’s a serious writer with a social consciousness. THE INFERNO COLLECTION, although a romantic mystery/thriller, has much to say about the university system and is also a serious novel. The connection was a good one. BOOKLIST gave the novel a very nice review and that caught the attention of librarians. Many of you know that Five Star/Gale is essentially a library publisher. So reviews are very important.
For the second novel in this romantic mystery series, THE DROWNING POOL, I didn't request any blurbs. I did get another very good review from BOOKLIST and a number of other publications as well. However, the book didn't sell nearly so well. Did lack of blurbs effect sales? Possibly.
For my romantic suspense historical, TEA LEAVES AND TAROT CARDS, due out in late August, I asked my favorite author, Jayne Ann Krentz, to read the novel. She liked it and was generous in providing an excellent blurb. Will this help in getting the attention of reviewers? I can only hope that it will.
So far, I've heard nothing. I suppose time will tell as the old saying goes. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here with fingers crossed. Of course, I’m also keeping my mind active writing other things: working on a new novel, short stories and nonfiction, as well as poetry and a screenplay.
Fellow authors, what experiences have you had with book blurbs? Do you feel they’ve helped get the kind of reviews that sell books?
Fellow readers, do blurbs matter when you select a novel to read? Are you influenced by big names recommendations? Your comments are appreciated!