As time creeps ever so slowly toward my manuscript [finally] being turned into a novel, the question of what makes us choose a book becomes much more than a passing interest.
So I thought I’d combine my search for answers with a new-found ability to add a poll button to my posts and ask all you book-buyers [and borrowers] to choose which of the following blurbs [randomly picked from my bookshelves but with an eye for different styles] most hits the mark.
There may be other bits and pieces on the inside, etc. but I have concentrated just on what is on the back cover because I figure that’s mostly what we read first when considering a purchase.
If you feel like adding a comment about why something does or does not work, please do. But don’t forget to vote.
BLURB STYLE #1 – What the Story is About.
The China Garden by Kristina Olsson
Over two hot weeks one summer, cracks emerge in the veneer of a small coastal town.
When a newborn baby is found abandoned in a backyard, this dramatic event pierces the lives of three very different women. Laura has returned home for her mother’s funeral after years in exile, only to discover her upbringing was based on a lie; elderly Cress, the moral compass of the community, conceals her own vices; while young Abby walks the streets, her bruises wrapped in baggy clothes. But it is gentle Kieran, an unlikely guardian, who knows their secrets and watches over them.
As their lives collide, what is buried can no longer remain hidden. The China Garden is a captivating story about betrayal and its echoes across generations.
BLURB STYLE #2 – Reviews Only.
Away by Amy Bloom
Advance praise for Away
‘Raunchy, funny, and touching. Away is an elegant window into the perils of invention and reinvention in New York in the twenties. Amy Bloom’s heroine, Lillian, Is an unforgettable young woman’ Caryl Phillips
‘A book full of tender wisdom, brawling insight, sharp-edged humour and – if it’s possible – a lovely, wayward precision. Amy Bloom has created an unforgettable cast of characters’ Colum McCann
‘It’s such a strong vibrant story, brittle with its underlying tragedy, and fascinating for the pieces of history it reveals along the way’ Georgina Harding
‘Away grabs you by the throat from the first page to the last, breaks your heart and shakes all your senses awake’ Emma Donoghue
BLURB STYLE #3 – Excerpt + One Line Grab + Review Quotes
Galax-Arena by Gillian Rubinstein
All the suffering and pain of their lives was cancelled out by the beauty and courage of the performers. I understood for a moment why they put their entire being into the performance even though they were being used like slaves and animals. In the Galax-Arena, they were free.
Confronting and stunningly original, Galax Arena challenges our way of thinking about the world.
‘Innovative, provocative, effortlessly ethical and utterly convincing … a brilliant book.’ Katharine England, Advertiser (Adelaide)
‘Galax-Arena is chillingly real … A first rate thriller that will leave readers hoping for a sequel.’ Booklist (USA)