Friday, February 01, 2008

The real bane of e-publishing: blurbs--pepper

Two posts today! For the price of one!

Dear E-Publishers,

Hire some blurb writers, please! Now, when I first started with e-publishers in 2005, I was intimidated by writing my own blurb, but I dealt with it. I figured that adding another person to the staff would be too cost-prohibitive, and too much work to have somebody already on staff do it. But you know what? It's been three years. Surely, business is going well enough you can hire somebody to write some blurbs?

Here's the deal. It's not because I'm lazy. I don't mind writing blurbs too much. There are certainly worse tasks in the world. No, I don't suggest this out of laziness. But I do suggest this out of self-interest. You see, a well-written, provocative, grammatically correct blurb is professional. I want people to take my publishers and my fellow authors seriously. The blurbs I've seen at just about every publisher (except Samhain. Could it be because they have a blurb writer?) range from acceptable to downright laughable (I'm not going to provide examples. I'm sure everybody here can think of at least one awful one. Probably one of mine, even).

There's been an increase in the quality of covers recently. Can we take it the next step? Please? For the sake of everybody's dignity?



  1. We do have a blurb writer.

  2. I know. And I lurve her. That was a rhetorical question and a barb at the places who don't have one, lol.

  3. Certain epublishers could do with at least havijng a proofreader to read the blurbs their writers provide. But don't get me started.

  4. Anonymous11:30 PM

    I would give my right arm for a good blurb writer...seems like such a simple thing to write but it isnt, for some reason its one of the hardest lol.


  5. I wrote my own blurb for Samhain, but it went through extensive edits and rehashes before it was deemed acceptable. Didn't realize I could just foist the entire job off on a designated blurb writer, tho.

    Maybe with the next book...

  6. I don't know if "foist" is the right word. I mean, for each of our Samhain books, we filled out a form that included a draft of a blurb. Plus, we had to send her a synopsis. She revised it, then in the case of Trinity, we made a minor suggestion, and there was another revision. But we weren't left to flounder on our own. And no matter how many I do, I always feel like I am floundering.

  7. Yes, that's right. We still ask for a rough blurb and a good synopsis, so if you don't have either of those, it makes it a lot harder. This is why I roll my eyes at people who moan about writing a synopsis and who jump at the chance to sub to a publisher who doesn't want a synopsis--in that case, you're probably on your own for the blurb writing portion.

    In the past, before we hired Lee, the editors and Crissy would go over the blurbs. I was glad when we hired Lee because a lot of the blurbs ended up coming through me eventually because even editors have a hard time with it :P

    Now, the blurb comes to the editor from Lee, we look at it and make suggested changes/fixes, or send it back if we think it doesn't represent the book, and then it goes to the author for "approval" and then back to the editor and then to Crissy. Lots of eyes on each blurb!

  8. We're in the process of polishing up the blurbs for Lyrical.

    And thank you for the compliment on covers. I'm art Director at Dark Eden Press (Hi Deb!) and also do all the covers for Lyrical, so I hope these are among those you feel are on the upswing. ;)


  9. Well, there's moaning about writing a synopsis because it's a horrible job but you know you have to do it, and then there's moaning about writing a synopsis because it's a horrible job and you don't understand why you have to do it...

    I have to write a draft blurb for my Loose Id books, but it always gets edited. Which is good, because it usually comes back looking a lot better than my draft.