Blurb Your Enthusiasm: An A-Z of Literary Persuasion (Hardcover)
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A dazzling dictionary of book blurbs, filled with writing tips, literary folklore and publishing secrets
The dazzling, staggering, astonishing, unputdownable* story of the book blurb, filled with writing tips, literary folklore and publishing secrets
They’re just a few words on books. But what are blurbs really doing (other than trying to twist your arm)? This book is all about those 100-or-so words that take seconds to read but can make a world of difference – and what they tell us about literary history, the art of writing, authors from George Orwell to Zadie Smith, genres from children’s fiction to bonkbusters, cover design, the dark arts of persuasion and even who we are as readers. It’s also about quotes, titles, first lines, hooks, adverts, puns, swearing, plots, someone called Belinda and much more. It answers questions such as:
Why do some authors hate blurbs so much they burn their own books?
What do movie taglines, six-word stories and, yes, geometry tell us about the creative process?
Should all adjectives be murdered?
Is it true that (checks jacket) you need an animal on a book’s cover to make it a bestseller?
*Including: why do publishers always describe books using words like these?
About the Author
Louise Willder has been a copywriter at Penguin Books for twenty-five years. During this time, she estimates she has produced about 5,000 blurbs. She doesn’t follow people round bookshops, willing them to buy books she’s written the copy for. Really, she doesn’t.