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Talking About Talking About Books

bullhornA conversation starter today, if you don’t mind. I was thinking about blurbs, and how eager we as agents and editors are to get the right people to blurb our books, and I posed the question on Twitter: As readers, how much weight do you put on blurbs? Will you pick up an unknown author because of a blurb?

The bulk of your answers agreed that good, original blurbs from authors you already know and like do carry a lot of weight, at least in terms of picking up a book. But if an author you DON’T like blurbs a book, you might avoid it. Which leads me to a couple of follow-up questions:

– If an author you don’t know provides a blurb for a book by a likewise unknown author, does that do anything for you?
– How much weight do you put on WHAT is said in the blurb, versus just who says it?
– How do you find blurbs? I mean, are you already in the bookstore browsing, or do you go to a store because of a blurb already read?
– Do you put any more weight on blogs versus blurbs? For instance, if an author mentions on her blog a book that she enjoyed, will go seek it out?
– What about blog tours, or group blogs of authors? If you like one author, are you inclined to find out more about the other(s)?

I’m honestly curious. There’s a statistic floating around the interwebs that 85% of book sales come from word of mouth, and I’d love to know how much which mouths are talking matters. And to make things interesting… one random comment will win another copy of Vacations From Hell!

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