Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Please join us between Thanksgiving and New Year's when our authors present original holiday short stories. We hope they will add to the season's festivities! 11/28 Annette Dashofy, 12/3 E. B. Davis, 12/8 KM Rockwood, 12/13 Korina Moss, 12/18 Tammy Euliano, 12/23 Warren Bull, 12/28 Paula Gail Benson Have a wonderful holiday! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Thoughts on Blurbing by Jennifer J. Chow

One of the perks of being a writer at an imprint with a large publisher is the opportunity to receive advance reading copies (ARCs). Basically, I can ask my editor for Berkley books which are coming out soon and get free reads. (She has yet to deny me any request, and my literature-loving heart rejoices over that!)

Beyond the ARCs for my own pure enjoyment, a recent writerly duty I’ve discovered is the creation of author blurbs. It’s essentially a praise quote of someone else’s work. For example, I blurbed Olivia Blacke’s Killer Content cozy mystery (coming February 2021) and labeled it as an “immersive whodunit.” See entire quote below:

I find it hard to condense the great elements of a novel into a few expressive sentences. However, since I’ve done several of these now, I do have a few go-to tricks:


·         Genre: I try to reference the genre so readers know what they’re getting

·         Theme: Using the book’s themes, I like to create a matching quote

·         Characters: I often  refer to the protagonist or side characters to give people a sense of who they’ll be journeying with throughout the story

·         Heart: Since I have my own view of what I loved about the work, I insert my unfettered opinion on things that spoke specifically to me

·         Adjectives: To entice readers, I like adding in descriptors that tantalize them to purchase the novel

I’m no Gary Shteyngart, who has written numerous blurbs and even had a blurbing documentary about him. (He also blurbed himself on Twitter:
“Gary Shteyngart’s blurbs are touching, funny and true. This is a blurber to watch.” — Gary Shteyngart.) Despite my newness at blurbing, though, I have enjoyed taking on this authorly task.


Do blurbs affect your reading choices? If you wish, give an example of one that caught your eye.



Jim Jackson said...

I never read blurbs. Which does not mean I don’t want them for my books because other people do use them. Everyone should keep in mind that they are advertisements.

Kait said...

Excellent primer in how to blub!

A blurb might entice me to scan reviews of a book to see if it is for me, but generally, I read them after I've made the purchase.

Jennifer J. Chow said...

@Jim: Excellent point about the advertising!

@Kait: I think I'm the same way. They help me in justifying my purchase.

KM Rockwood said...

I depend on personal recommendations, reviews, familiarity with authors and curiosity for my fiction reading. I don't usually read blurbs until after I have the book.

That said, I understand the value of a blurb when your flight has been delayed and you're standing in an airport newshop, perusing the the books available.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I'm with Kathleen--blubs have their uses ("a roller coaster plot perfect for a five hour plane trip") but I depend upon author interviews and blogs, recommendations from friends, and previous publications.

Your tips will help me write short Goodreads and Amazon reviews.

Jennifer J. Chow said...

Thanks, KM & Margaret, for your thoughts!

Grace Topping said...

Great suggestions about blurbs. I found this very helpful.