Blurb Matters: A Quiet Manifesto – by Beth Kephart…

on Jane Friedman site:

Say he wants a blurb, he wants it bad. He’ll give you less than a week to read a rushed PDF,  and the thing is, you hardly know him. Decades before, maybe, and as a favor to his editor, you wrote a boosting paragraph after his first book launched, but you’re pretty sure that doesn’t mean you’re friends.

Still, his need is urgent—you feel the pulse of desperation beneath the skin of his email. You say yes when you shouldn’t. You claw at your schedule, make reading time. You’re only a few grudging chapters in when you know the trouble you’re in. The blurb-seeker’s book is self-absorbed, self-pitying, self-aggrandizing, without beauty, and to protect your own name, to defend your own ethos, you must step aside. You must let the author know, and soon. You must write the kindest possible declination, and swallowing hard, you do.

Maybe this is hypothetical. Maybe it is true. But let’s continue on. Let’s say your no is not well received. Let’s say you become—increasingly—the object of the blurb-seeker’s ire. Let’s say the whole affair becomes so preposterous—your refusal to engage escalating his anger, his anger escalating into threats—that when you finally shut his emails down and step away, you’re left wondering what this thing is anyway, this thing we call the blurb?

Continue reading HERE


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