Discussion Time (1/22): What the BLURB?!

I saw this discussion topic on Goodreads originally, and decided to bring it to you guys to get your take on it.


a short description of a book, movie, or other product written for promotional purposes and appearing on the cover of a book or in an advertisement.

Who doesn’t look at the blurb, right? I mean, its a pretty vital part of deciding whether or not you’re going to pick up the book. However, here lately, its been a case of…



’cause, really, what exactly were some of these blurb writers thinking?!

So, if you could write a list of ‘thou shalt/shalt not’ commandments for blurb’ing, what would they be?

Here’s a few I think we can all agree on:

  1. Thou Shalt Not Spell Words Incorrectly In The Blurb!

  2. Thou Shalt Not Blurb The Book As A Cross Between (author/book) and (author/book).

  3. Thou Shalt Not Talk About The Author’s OTHER Books. Only This One.

  4. Thou Shalt Not Proclaim The Book To Be The Best In It’s Genre (because that’s a matter of opinion, ya idjit.)

  5. Thou Shalt Not Praise The Book If You’re the One Who Wrote it (Just. No.)

  6. Thou Shalt Not Give Away All The Major Plot Points!

What would you add? What makes you go “Nope.” and put the book down?


16 thoughts on “Discussion Time (1/22): What the BLURB?!

  1. Not so much in terms of blurbs, but in loglines, I wish more authors/publishers would avoid the puns! Unless a book is self-aware that it’s hokey and deliberately OWNS that, puns should stay out of loglines. (One of the rare instances I’ve seen it work is actually on a book cover I spotted on your blog … World War Moo’s “Where there’s war, there’s udder destruction” legitimately made me laugh out loud. It’s not my usual genre, but I might read the book just for that title/logline combo.)

    1. I can’t say I’ve ever noticed them in a book that didn’t set out to be hokey, but yeah, if I had, that would bug that crap outta me. You TOTALLY should read World War Moo!

  2. I would add THOU SHALL MAKE THE BLURB ACCURATE. Drives me insane to get an impression of a book and find out that as I read that it is totally different. Of course, I can’t think of an example, but sometimes the blurb will highlight fantasy, and then you read it and it’s a romance….

  3. This isn’t necessarily about books, but I’m over products calling themselves “new” or “improved” or “whatever % bigger”, when it’s the same old stuff but has a new smell or something.

  4. I would add that the book should actually have a blurb that is more than two mysteries and short phrases that tell me absolutely nothing. Not even the genre we are going to be in.

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