Guest Post: Don’t Be a Blurb Whore

The folks at the Dark and Bookish 2014 Tour explained with unnerving calm that if I allowed the nefarious Max Booth III to guest blog on my page, they would let me live. For now, anyway. If you don’t know anything about Max, well I direct you to the biographical notes at the end of the post. I can tell you only that he is one busy little monster and that he spends his nights “welcoming” guests at some hotel and “seeing to their needs.” Not sure what any of that actually means but it frightens me more than a little. Now, ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu…

Don’t Be a Blurb Whore

by Max Booth III

If you focus enough and put enough passion into your writing career, there will come a point when you have more than a few publications under your belt. Sometime shortly after this—especially if you are active on Facebook and Twitter—your friends will begin asking you to read their upcoming titles for blurbs.

Now, let me preface that there is nothing wrong with this at all. This is a great way to show off your work; word-of-mouth is, after all, the best form of advertisement, is it not? Of course it makes sense that others will want to get your name attached to their writing; you should be doing the same with authors higher up on the fiction chain than you, too.

At first, you will be more than flattered that someone would actually want you to blurb their work. Your ego will be stroked more times than it probably should ever safely be stroked. You will compare yourself to Stephen King. You will look down on other authors as peasants. Well, for a brief second at least. Then you’ll hopefully come to their senses.

Especially when you start getting dozens of blurb requests a month, and you realize that half the people are just taking advantage of the fact that you’ve had at least one more publication than they do. You also realize that if you keep accepting every blurb request you get that you are literally going to be doing nothing but reading and writing blurbs for the rest of your life. Not only that, but your endorsement will no longer mean a damn thing if it’s plastered across every other small press book on Amazon.

When it comes to blurbing, the only way to keep yourself sane is to be honest—not only to yourself, but to the author asking you to blurb. If you want to take on a hundred books a year, fine, by all means go for it. However, if you want to save face at all, then you will make a promise to yourself RIGHT NOW that you will only write blurbs for books that you actually enjoy. Sure, go ahead and read the story, but if you honestly cannot finish the book—and if you don’t enjoy it—then why are you putting your name on it? To be nice?

You may lose some friends by refusing to blurb certain titles; however, if someone decides to opt out of a friendship because of this, then you have to really consider why they were trying to be your friend in the first place.

So just keep in mind: make your blurbs count. Only endorse what you legitimately enjoy. All it takes is one bad recommendation to never be trusted again.

Max is the author of They Might Be Demons, a collection of bizarre fiction out now from Dark Moon Books.

He is also the co-founder of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing and edits for Dark Moon Digest and Kraken Press. He is one of the five authors being featured on the Dark and Bookish 2014 Tour, along with Jay Wilburn, Derek Deremer, Adam Millard, and Jessica McHugh. They are currently seeking additional funds to assist them in making a documentary about the modern writing industry. Click HERE to contribute!

 

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