Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Forget The Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story On Blurbs?
Whatever the old adage might warn, there isa bit of merit to judging a book by its cover — if only in one respect. Consider the blurb, one of the most pervasive, longest-running — and, at times, controversial — tools in the publishing industry. For such a curious word, the term "blurb" has amassed a number of meanings in the decades since it worked its way into our vocabulary, but lately it has referred to just one thing: a bylined endorsement from a fellow writer — or celebrity — that sings the praises of a book's author right on the cover of their book. They're claims couched in quote marks, homes for words you might never hear otherwise — like compelling, or luminous, or unputdownable. Heck, at least three books have reportedly inspired celebrated memoirist Frank McCourt to say "you'll claw yourself with pleasure." More