I’ve just finished reading a novella written by one of my favourite authors. Patrick Gale lives in Cornwall, though most of his novels are set elsewhere.
Ease is an early work. Somewhat fanciful and self-indulgent, I found myself wondering if it would have got published had it been submitted by a debut author. My paperback copy has five bits of blurb on the cover, only one of which is applicable to Ease:
‘A remarkable insight into the vagaries of the human heart.’ Independent
The other four are general comments about him as an author:
‘A huge treat…He is one of my favourite writers.’ Daily Mail
‘Gale is a master of character, and he slips under the skins of his women protagonists with such wit that it’s often hard to believe he’s a man.’ Elle
‘Patrick Gale is among the great, unsung English novelists. Think Austen, Hardy or Murdoch. Remarkable.’ The Independent
‘Gale is a master at getting under the skins of his characters and revealing the undercurrents that drive apparently normal lives.’ Mail on Sunday
I dislike it when publishers do this, but there are no regulations to prevent them from doing so.
Blurb has a long and chequered history:
The term ‘blurb’ can include a condensed description of the plot. If you haven’t yet written such a précis, it’s a useful exercise, as it forces you to focus on what your story is about. When querying literary agents, you’ll need a blurb to sell your story.
If you self-publish, a blurb should tempt potential readers into wanting to buy your book. Formatting the cover of an eBook, there’s only so much space to use for a blurb.
Here’s the blurb for my third Cornish Detective novel, An Elegant Murder:
And here’s an imaginary blurb of praise for my book from two noted reviewers:
‘The author captures the menace hidden beneath the beauty of Cornwall. Evil forces stalk in paradise on two legs and four.’ Richard & Judy Book Club
What’s the blurb for one of your books?
How will it be praised by reviewers? (Let yourself go!)