Tag Archives: blurb

Blurb is an Action Word

A blurb is not a review. It’s more of an endorsement from another writer – typically one who is more established, and ideally one who has read the book in advance and been gracious enough to attach their brand to yours – it’s  an act of faith and one not without risks. It is also a choice and an approached author’s decision to say no (even if by ignoring the request to blurb) should be respected. Their time and their name are of high personal value to them.

The good news is that a blurb can also be excerpted from a publicly posted review – so pull those excerpts.

(did you catch all the reviews of Morrison’s work and of the film about her work?…not that her work needs it)

It is a marketing tool. It can be found on book jackets,

(Sourced and/or selected by the publishers, the Oh Gad! blurb, credited to Eric Jerome Dickey, reads “A brilliant writer”; and the With Grace blurbs –  by author and publisher Mario Picayo, The Caribbean Writer journal editor Alscess Lewis-Brown, and the judges of the Desi Writers Lounge story contest who had described With Grace as “a powerful narrative that is magical in spirit and human in character” –  credited as endorsements can be found on my blog)

websites or blogs, social media, banner (which I did one once and which, after the launch, became an in-store display with quoted endorsements and reviews) – anywhere it might catch the potential readers’ eye.

I have been blurbed and I have been asked to blurb. It’s daunting either way (thankful when I get it, accepting if I don’t; and never take it lightly when asked to do it – even if I have to say no).

To the point of this post. Do you know where the term blurb comes from? Via (Merriam-Webster), it was coined at the 1907 American Booksellers Association banquet, when Gelett Burgess handed out copies of his book ‘Are You A Bromide?’ and on the jacket was an image of Belinda Blurb. Yep, the term – representing promotional text on a book jacket – was named after the first person to literally blurb.

And now you know, and in publishing as in life, to paraphrase G. I. Joe, knowing is half the battle.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, unless otherwise indicated, this is written by author and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse. All rights reserved.


Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business

Finding Readers, Finding Books

l share cropped
(a book lover’s social media share)

An interesting social media post recently asked book lovers how they found new books, new authors – a question always of interest to authors like me always trying to land our promotion and marketing efforts where it can have the most impact.

another l share cropped
(Another book lover’s social media share)

Here are some of the other responses:

-friends’ recommendations (on social media… and, I would add, other places since more often than not these last few years of trying not to acquire new books until I can lighten my books-unread shelf, ‘new’ books have been thrust upon me by well meaning friends; and I can’t complain. As for how this affects my own promotional efforts, reader reviews are encouraged and used like those movie tag lines. They have proven especially useful being from a small place with my books receiving scant critical attention comparatively speaking, and, though that’s gotten better, I still welcome readers helping me create buzz by recc’ing a book of mine to readers in their network)

bookempt.gyal4(Yet another book lover’s social media share. credit: bookempt.gyal on instagram)

-reading  the book cover blurb and the first pages (online retail sites have made this easier, useful to me both as a reader and as a researcher building and sharing knowledge here on the site and in other places, but I remember I used to – and still – do this when shopping for or considering physical books. I even know people who, while browsing,  read the end and the middle to get a feel for the book – something the online retail sites have also made easier. I don’t get that part because, hello, spoilers. But I do try to accommodate readers’ need to know how it starts by publishing first pages on my Jhohadli blog)

-book related groups + review requests (this is the interaction part of social media, participating not just plugging, recommending other writers, not just pushing your own product; it’s time consuming but part of building community)

-freebies (as a writer and reviewer, with a blogger on books series, I get a number of requests to read books; and promotional giveaways have only gotten more plentiful in this age of internets.  It’s a bit more challenging to take on these reading assignments for the blog due to that time not being covered, plus it can be stressful, especially as I’ve been on the other side of this freebies for reviews relationship and know how it can feel when the person who copped the freebie doesn’t say word one about your book)

-recommendations on (person mentioned a specific literary platform but really all of them – not to mention #bookstagram #booktube the book blogging community and its many memes, and the myriad goodreads lists not to mention groups on facebook and specialized lists on twitter etc; it’s a lot to keep up with but I try to be in those spaces and try to connect my books with people in those spaces…of course, you have to give to get and that means making recommendations of your own)

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(Yet yet another book lover’s social media share. credit: baby making machine blog)

-Always ask my daughter (lol) – I like this one but this speaks to your real life reading partners and book clubs and the like, the book store employee who recs books he thinks you’ll like based on your reading history …those personal connections… book clubs and bookstores are among my mailing lists but beyond the lists are the relationships. Remember when you were in school and no two of you had a single penny to knock together but someone might have a book and that booked got passed around like mix tapes? How about that relationship with that friend you really see except for when it’s time for another book exchange every time a favourite author drops a new book? book conversations? book groups where there’s as much wine and idle chatter as book deep dives? you know what I mean) … it’s a beautiful thing.

oh gad in walmart posted by hadassa 2012
(book lover’s social media share)

How about you, where do you find your books?… authors, where do you find your readers?

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business