Anthony Horowitz looks at the ins and outs of blurbs

Over in the UK’s The Guardian, Anthony Horowitz looks at all aspects of blurbs, from back-scratching blurbs to head-scratching blurbs (when his words have been used to sell something he’s pretty sure he didn’t recommend).

He also looks at people asking him for blurbs: Will I read their manuscript and offer something for the cover? I have to say, I dread this. It's as if I'm walking into an emotional minefield. You might think I'm being churlish. But it seems to me that the request comes with so many suppositions. 1) That I have time to read the book 2) that I will actually like it 3) that if I don't like it I will pretend otherwise because I don't want to hurt their feelings and anyway what does it matter if I lie to the public, it's only a bit of blurb – and 4) that my name will help with sales anyway..

Read more about blurbs here.

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Then I wonder why there is such pressure on authors to get the blurbs. Does the author have to solicit blurbs or does the editor do that?

I did manage to get two blurbs for my not-yet-published novel. For one, I asked a well-known author whom I had successfully profiled for an article to read my book. The other one came, unprompted, from an expert who had fact-checked some details of my manuscript.

Edited at 2012-05-21 02:51 pm (UTC)
Sometimes the editor does and sometimes the author does. It's easier to turn away an editor (or be turned away by one).