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BTT: Blurbage.

October 29, 2009


Suggested by Jennysbooks:

Something I’ve been thinking about lately: “What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?”

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Oh! Oh! Teacher, pick me!

So this has been a long standing joke in my family and most of my friends are aware of it, too, but a book gets exactly one “plethora” and then it’s over. It’s just an ugly word and there are so many more attractive forms of “a lot”. My favorite (and I’ll actually swoon) is “myriad”. It’s just so pretty and sparkly. Plethora, meanwhile, sounds like you’re killing a duck.

Ok, the shallow stuff is over. In terms of actual content, I’m not a huge fan of monsters. Such as, you will have to do a bit of leg work to convince me to pick up vampires, werewolves, dragons, zombies, the like.

I also hate to wax political, as I’d like to keep my, ahem, myriad, fan base, but I won’t pick up anything that is overly religious or conservative. I’m not a big fan of, but will still read if it’s high recomended, “family drama” or “coming of age” stories.

I love a good political allegory and anything that mentions a “jazz-age style” or “Kafkaesque” will generally, be picked up. Of course, blurbs can burn, folks, so I don’t always judge a book by its cover, even its back one.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. novelinsights permalink
    October 29, 2009 6:32 am

    Yes I would be put off by overly political or religious books too.

  2. madi01 permalink
    October 29, 2009 7:24 am

    Never thought of plethora loke that.LOL

  3. October 29, 2009 8:06 am

    I enjoyed reading your post. I don’t care for science fiction much either but I do like books about vamphires.

  4. October 29, 2009 8:18 am

    Lol, ‘myriad’ IS a pretty word. It hadn’t occurred to me but coming-of-age stories are something I avoid.

  5. October 29, 2009 9:15 am

    Ooo. . .”Kafkaesque” is great. Love your rant against “plethora.”

  6. October 29, 2009 10:19 am

    LOL never really thought about certain blurb words before, and certainly haven’t thought of myriad and plethora. Plethora is definitely a bit much, and would be a buzz killer for the book in my opinion.

    My answer is here at The Burton Review

  7. justabookreader permalink
    October 29, 2009 11:01 am

    Plethora and myriad are great words to describe a book! 🙂 Can’t say I’m a fan of anything religious based either.

  8. October 29, 2009 11:09 am

    Yes, I too stay away from anything religious or conservative.

    That’s funny about your family’s joke. My friends and I had a running joke of doing fake blurbs that weren’t so good, like, “I read this book!” or “Completely mediocre!”

  9. ireadnow permalink
    October 29, 2009 11:23 am

    Kafkaesque is great! Have you actually come across this word in a blurb? I’d be interested to find out which book it was.

  10. October 29, 2009 12:14 pm

    I am not going look at the word plethora the same way again!

    Booking through Blurbs

  11. October 29, 2009 12:24 pm

    I love my religion but I never pick any religious book…I prefer listen to it than reading it 🙂

    But unlike you…I enjoy Zombie…hahaha what can you expect from a Stephen King’s fan?

  12. October 29, 2009 2:36 pm

    Now I’m going to be thinking of untimely duck deaths for the rest of the day. My answer is here.

  13. October 29, 2009 6:06 pm

    I don’t know about words in blurbs necessarily, but I once had a critique group partner who hated the word GINGERLY. She crossed it out of everyone’s manuscripts. Now whenever I hear it, especially on an audiobook, I laugh. I NEVER use GINGERLY. 🙂


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