Has the back page blurb gone out of fashion?
This statement is a lament rather than a question. I’ve looked at a great deal of fiction titles on Amazon today, either with Christmas presents in mind or holiday reading. After examining the pages of a number of popular titles I was struck by how many authors had eschewed the book description section and added a stream of reviews instead. To be honest, I was perplexed. As a customer, what I wanted to see, most of all, was what the book was about. If I wish to read reviews, which I undoubtedly do, I will subsequently pan down to the customer review section.
I’m sure I can’t be unusual in this practice. When I am getting ready to publish a new book, the ‘blurb’ is the first thing I begin work on. It is the information that will encourage a reader to either take a look at a sample of the novel or simply move onto another title. I would consider this synopsis of the plot to be absolutely crucial to the marketing package.
Reviews are also important, but I’d really rather know what the story is all about first. I will recognize immediately if the tale is going to appeal to me or not. In addition to this, the ratings of other readers are very useful, but reviews from literary periodicals and newspapers I tend to ignore. They seem so generalized I’m never truly convinced they’ve actually read it, or if the acclaim relates to another novel by the same author, but not necessarily this one.
Bring back the back page blurb please. I, for one, can’t buy a book without it.