In marketing terms, blurbs are beneficial to both blurber and blurbee, spreading names around to be found in more locations. All part of brand recognition, the authors' names being the brand identifier. Like most advertising and marketing techniques, it loses effectiveness as advertisees begin to catch on to the methodology.
As for book reviews, nobody reads them except authors and publishers' publicists who all claim not to be influenced by them. Go back and count thread contributions on RARA AVIS and I'll bet there will be far more "I really like this author" and "my favourite blurbs" shorts which will briefly engage a larger number of list contributors, while long critiques will tend to engage fewer list contributors though possibly for longer periods, or at least until somebody complains about being "forced" to endure the pretention.
Being on a "top ten" list, or possibly winning a prize (and I'm beginning to doubt the effectiveness of this as the number of contests increase) may serve as a sort of short-hand version of reviews, but reviews themselves are more effective in spreading the review author's name around the writing community than in affecting a reviewed book's readership among the general public. There are exceptions (Opra) but mostly if you want to market your own brand, and books or a genre in general, give good blurb.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 6:07 AM
Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Blurbs (Ignore That Sucking Sound)
IMO the definite blurb is from the unforgetable grand master Donald E. Westlake:
"I wish I had written this book!"
This blurb is covering "Comfort Station (1971)" written by J. Morgan Cunningham, a pen name of Westlake. Irony and decryption at its best!
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Jun 2009 EDT