Here’s something you might not guess if you met me – I’m a bit of a rebel. Not in any really significant way, more in that I become, at times, stubborn and resistant. If a salesperson tries to “up-sell” me, I become determined not to buy anything at all. Book hype gets the same reaction (I am still resisting reading those books by Andy Weir or Ernest Cline, though I have been assured that they are ones I should read). If a book cover touts itself as the next, for example, Handmaid’s Tale then I immediately don’t want to read it*. Not, I’m guessing, the intent of the comparison.
Where the blurbs really serve a purpose for me, is when they mention a book I have no interest in reading. Tell me a book is the next Gone Girl, and I’m grateful for the warning. It is a clear indicator that it is not the type of book I would enjoy, though I would like to experience Gillian Flynn’s writing at some point. Again, this was probably not publisher’s intent.
Conversely, if someone outside of the publishing world makes a comparison, I’m more likely to have a positive response. For example, when I heard Chris Wooding’s series The Tales of the Ketty Jay compared and recommended for fans of the TV show Firefly by someone on YouTube (I believe it was either Estelle of Audum Entha or Kitty G), I immediately wanted to read them. So far, having read the first two books in the series, they are living up to my expectations. In fact, I enjoyed them so much as library e-books that I’ve purchased the entire series in paperback and intend to read (or re-read) all four this year.
So, publishers, go ahead and continue with the comparative blurbs. My bank account will thank you.
What do you think about comparative blurbs? Do they help you find or avoid books? Do you like them or could you do without them?
*Exception: Archetype by M.D. Waters, read my review here.
Tuesday Talks is a GoodReads group of bloggers, vloggers and others with a new book related topic each Tuesday.