In the LDS market, are blurbs on a book cover from established authors an effective marketing tool? Especially in the case of a release from a first time author?

Personally, as a reader, I never look at the blurbs. Since I don’t know the blurbers personally, I can’t determine whether their blurb is an honest eval or something they’ve done to please their publisher. Therefore, I assume all of them to be hype and ignore them accordingly.

However, the powers that be must feel that blurbs accomplish something because they’re all over every book. Since that is the case, I say go ahead and jump on the blurb-o-wagon. Get them. Give them. Whatever.

Readers: Have you ever purchased a book based on a blurb from someone you didn’t know personally? How and why did it influence you?

Author: LDS Publisher

I am an anonymous blogger who works in the LDS publishing industry. I blog about topics that help authors seeking publication and about published fiction by LDS authors.

14 thoughts on “Blurb-O-Rama”

  1. If by blurb you mean a push for the book, then yes, if Jack Weyland has a blurb on a book, I will buy it, ie-The Secret Journal of Brett Colton. I figure I can trust Brother Weyland. But if it's someone I don't know, probably not.

  2. When I'm choosing books, I usually read the description first, then try to feast my eyes on the first few chapters to get a feel for the author's style. Promotional blurbs rarely, if ever, influence my decision. Even if I've heard of the author doing the promoting, the chances are great that (s)he and I will not enjoy exactly the same things.

  3. My publisher uses blurbs sometimes and doesn't other times. My first book had blurbs. I sent some for my second book, but they didn't use them, so I never sent any for my third book and they didn't ask for them. Looks like they're optional.

  4. Yes, I have bought books based on the blurbs, though rarely. If it comes from an author I read and respect, then that has occasionally been the deciding factor on whether I buy the book.

  5. I buy books based more on word of mouth, than blurbs. But in the LDS market, I know most of the blurbers, so it does have an impact when choosing LDS books.

  6. I like blurbs because it's fun to say. "Blurb, blurb, blurb…" come on, you know it's fun. 🙂

    I have been influenced by blurbs, but mostly when they come from an author whose work I've enjoyed.

  7. Never.

    I RESENT the visual clutter on a book cover and I'll deliberately NOT buy a book if it's covered with opinions by people I've never heard of and/or don't care about.

    Yeah, I know my opinion about this is probably over-the-top strong, but visual clutter is like a strobe light for me.

  8. I've looked at blurbs just to see if I knew who wrote them, but I'm not really interested in what they say and it doesn't affect my purchasing decisions.

  9. It is not a selling point for me except in very rare occasions.

    I did pick up a new"er" trilogy because I did like a back cover blurb somewhat recently.

    Scott Lynch, a newly published author himself (I'm thinking 2 national fantasy titles) blurbed-
    "If you're fond of bloodless, turgid fantasy with characters as thin as newspaper and as boring as plaster saints, Joe Abercrombie is really going to ruin your day."

    I bought Abercrombie's book and it has become my favorite fantasy trilogy in a coons age. No, I don't know how long a coon lives but I'm sure its a while.

    None of the blurbs I have for my book was to please a publisher-in the LDS market I had to hunt them down myself. And everyone I sent them too has given me very positive blurbs.

    There was only one person who read the novel and would not give me a blurb and that was non-member who read my Book of Mormon historical and said while they liked some of it a lot, they "disagreed" with some creative choices. It was pretty vague, so I can't help but wonder if religion was an issue.

    Despite most everyones comments thus far, saying it does not affect their purchases-I can't help but think you are better off having some rather than none.

  10. I think we're talking about endorsements, not blurbs here. IOt's my understanding that a blurb is the short teaser on the back of the book or inside the jacket that is supposed to whet the reader's interest. Endorsements are the statements by friends saying what a great book this is. I rarely do endorsements and I no longer ask for them. I don't know if they're effective or not, but since I'm a reviewer I'm okay with anyone taking a statement from my review (as long as they give me and Meridian credit) but I feel funny about endorsing a book before I've reviewed it.

  11. .

    I just checked a book out of the library. The book looked interesting, but probably pretentious and elitist. But the blurb was from Stephen King. So I went for it.

    That said, I've given up on utterly trusting blurbs. It's pretty clear that many many blurbs are simply you-scratch-my-back-ery.

  12. I'll buy a book placed on the descriptive blurb telling me what the book is about. I don't think I've ever bought a book based on an "author endorsement", even if it's by an author I know and like. I especially resent it when all there are are author endorsements and NO descriptive blurb telling me what the book is about. If I don't know what the book is about, I won't buy it, period, I don't care how many "famous" authors think it's wonderful. (But that's just me.)

  13. A blurb will usually tip my decision when I'm on the fence about buying a book. In other cases, it's enough to pick up my interest. The only blurbs that do that, though, are blurbs from authors I recognize–not because I know them personally, but because I've read their works or know them as well-respected names in the literature.

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