What helps me find the things I want?
Blurbs from other authors have become hugely important for me.
For example — Jim Butcher blurbed Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series. I hadn’t even read Butcher yet (I was late to that party by a few years) but I knew what sort of thing he wrote, so I picked hers up. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Only in my last few choices, blurbs have left me down.
Unnamed new book number 1 is blurbed by mystery writers. I’ve read some of their works. Others are in my TBR pile and some of the authors may be among people I’ve met. Their blurbs talk about tension, page-turning plot and anfantastic main character
Unnamed book number 2 is also blurbed by a mystery writer, this one among the NYT Bestseller several times over crowd. His opinion to me should be like a guaranteed deposit for success. This blurb too promises a gripping read.
And yet. In both cases, I’m finding myself wondering if the blurb-ers actually read the blurbee’s book. What I read and what they said about it don’t line up. At all.
For book number 1, I was on antibiotics and wanted to mainline cough syrup so I wasn’t sure my perspective was entirely clear. Stacie stepped in, started the book, and had the same reaction. The plot was forgettable. The main character was ordinary instead of being tortured or multi-faceted and I felt like the character was the hero because the author wanted him to be the hero. The twists were predictable. I finished the book; she didn’t. Not a page-turner.
For book number 2, I stuck with it because the premise is good and I was hoping it would turn around. But it never did. Even with less than 100 pages, I seriously contemplated walking away. I did notice the blurbs were for this author’s first book in this series, so I’m wondering if book 2 suffered from the sequel slump, but the author has written a number of other books, so that seems somewhat unlikely.
I’ve certainly heard that authors get asked for blurbs, sometimes in overwhelming numbers, and may only read a section (if any) of it before providing a blurb. I certainly understand that authors are readers too and what appeals to them may not appeal to me. But in these particular cases, the blurbs are disappointing.
What about you? What’s your reaction when the blurb doesn’t match your perception?