Malcolm Gladwell is under fire for his over-generous praise of friends’ and lovers’ books.
I’ve read a few of his books, enjoying them, though I’m not sure how influenced I’d be if I saw his name on blurb praising an author unknown to me. Then again, if I saw a mystery-murder novel lauded by one of my literary heroes, such as James Lee Burke or Michael Connelly, I might give it a try.
Many of the practices in publishing are a racket, but then so is much of any business—dressing up lies to be acceptable. Having once witnessed a famous law lord, journalist and writer bullied by a publishing executive into scribbling a blurb for a book that he’d never heard of, let alone read, I have a jaundiced view of the truthfulness of the words of praise one sees on book covers.
Imagine the effect it would have on sales of your YA or mystery novel if J.K. Rowling endorsed your writing! I somehow doubt that I’ve got enough money to bribe her…