A book blurb is the summary on the back of a book that tells you who escapes the bomb-rigged shack, or who falls in love with the guy from the plane ride, or who gets locked in a cellar and has to eat his own foot. A good one can get you to read a mediocre book you might be wavering on. Instead of feeling cheated, I always admire this in a book blurb. I'll get to the end of a book that was only so-so, and think, "Man, that was a great book blurb!"
I think it's a tragic thing that a bad book blurb can turn people away from reading your book before they've even given the thing a chance, especially if you, as an author, had nothing to do with writing the blurb--say, some marketing intern at your publishing company wrote it on the back of his lunch napkin on the way to a meeting.
For me, it's not so much the structure of the blurb that turns me off. It's not even so much if the story sounds
My biggest trigger is the word epic. If I see it on a book cover/flap, that's it. There is no chance of me reading your book. I think this is because I don't think
Another word that I really hate reading is saga. By definition, unless you time-traveled to 12th century Iceland, your book is not a saga. It resembles a saga. And, really? Why would I want to read a long, invloved story about your heroic family?
I also hate words like moving, inspiring, and (gah!) poignant. I will not read anything that proclaims itself to be poignant. Maybe I'm always in the mood for a lighter read, or maybe I just think, say, inspiring is a subjective word and you don't get a say in what's inspiring to me. Either way, you just ensured I won't read whatever it is you wrote.
And there is almost no quicker way to turn me away from your book than by asking me a question. You come off as an insolent jerk, presuming your work has meaning to me. And especially don't ask me a question that has an answer I don't care about. I'm not going to bite.
Can truths of religion be proven with solid logic, or are we doomed to blind faith for the rest of eternity?
Um, don't care.
Have you ever wondered what you would do if your survival depended on what you read in this epic survival guide?
Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime?
So I'm a blurb snob. Now you know.