Today on the Fiction Writers’ Blog Hop, our fearless leader, Julie Valerie, has set the theme of “Jacket Copy”. I’ve written about covers before, here…and here. And I’ve talked about titles before here…and here. So I guess that brings us to the next most important part of a book’s jacket….
For me, and according to research the majority of readers, the first thing I do after a gorgeous cover catches my eye, is read the blurb on the back. And that is the point at which my purchasing decision is made or broken.
It’s a bit like dating, I guess. Pretty face (cover) – I’m listening. Great pick-up line (blurb) – let’s go on a date (buy the book). And just as with dating, the next step is to start delving deeper into the man’s (book’s) soul to see if we can find true love.
But the path to true love is never as smooth as we hope, is it? Here’s an example from my (long) “dating” history.
“Bachelor number one” – you had me at ‘hello’. Such a pretty face, an author I knew (like a friend of a friend – probably safe), and just you read those pick-up lines! What book loving reader wouldn’t want to date that?
Thankfully, the book delivered and we had a very happy and loving relationship.
But (oh, there’s always a ‘but’), blurbs can’t always be trusted. No. They are sneaky little things that can trick you with the hope of reader-heaven. But, just like a handsome man who knows how to talk the talk, a blurb can turn out to be nothing but empty promises.
“Bachelor number 2” – Pretty face – check, same author (our 1st date was amazing), and a pick-up line that knew just how to melt my heart and appeal to everything I always wanted in a date. But oh, no. Mr Perfect turned out to be all talk and failed to deliver my literary dreams and left me disappointed, alone and drowning my disillusion in a tub of ice-cream. Oh yes, we’ve all dated men (books) like that before.
But just as in love, we can’t give up. We can’t let one (or two, or 10) pretty-boy-blurbs with no substance stop us from chasing our literary love match. We must throw ourselves back into the book dating game, knowing that our next literary affair of the heart is just around the corner, waiting to sweep us off our feet.
Thankfully, most blurbs do deliver. Thankfully also, that unlike finding that one special someone we’re meant to be with, books don’t insist on monogamy, and we can have as many book-loves as we like.
Have you ever been let down by a blurb you thought was brilliant but the books was just meh?