Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Joel Fox, Guest Blogger
I recently reviewed Joel Fox's Lincoln's Hand. I had heard him discuss it at the New Author's breakfast at Left Coast Crime, and found his short introduction to be fascinating. It's a pleasure to welcome him as guest blogger today, when he addresses a tough issue head on. Thank you, Joel.
Can Blurbs Hurt? How important blurbs are on the cover of books is not a settled issue amongst writers, but I believe they could be very helpful especially for a first time novelist. At least, I figured a blurb couldn’t hurt.
Or could it?
Take my extraordinary case for my first mystery novel, Lincoln’s Hand.
I knew no well-known mystery novelist who’s name on my cover would give the high sign to legions of his or her fans that my novel was worth a read. However, I did know someone famous who had a reputation for picking good stories. He might, despite his extremely busy schedule, take the time to read the book and give me a cover blurb.
I made contact with his office and asked if this world-renowned person might read my book and offer an encouraging blurb. I was told that it was unlikely because requests like mine came to him all the time but … send the book and we’ll see.
A couple of months later, I got an email that said I would get the blurb. Short and sweet it was, an affirmation from someone who had been associated with story telling informing the world that I had written a good story.
Here’s the blurb that appears on the cover of my mystery novel:
“Lincoln’s Hand is a great story, a page-turner from start to finish” –
Being involved in California politics, I knew Schwarzenegger in my role as a policy advisor to him both during and after the recall election that made him governor of California.
I was thrilled to get his endorsement. I felt the blurb would tell readers that appreciated the stories he made on film to take a look at Lincoln’s Hand. I also knew that a blurb from a film action star was not the standard fare on the cover of mystery novels, but I thought it was worth the risk.
Now, however, the story of Schwarzenegger’s personal transgression has surfaced. I feel badly for his family and do not in any way defend his action.
But his blurb has been printed on the cover of copies of my book. Does the blurb now hurt, help, or have little consequence?
The fact is the blurb cannot be erased so I push forward, adding a new dimension to the discussion of my novel, hoping not to take the focus off of what is between the book’s covers rather than what is on the cover.
Thank you, Joel. Since I read the book, and noticed the blurb, I can tell readers the book is definitely exciting, and worth reading, no matter who did the blurb. Thank you for addressing a touchy subject.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.