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June 02, 2010



Margaret Maron

As everyone who reads this blog probably knows, a “blurb” is not a rude noise, but an enthusiastic quote that appears on the cover of a writer’s new book.

Most of us look upon blurbing as a way of “paying it forward” for the helpful quotes that were given our own books back when we were trying to make a name for ourselves.  Although I myself never asked anyone for a cover quote (I didn’t know any other writers back then and was too shy to ask a favor of someone I didn’t know), they were solicited by my editors, so I do feel an obligation for the kindness shown to me.

I’m not totally convinced that blurbs help sell a book, but they certainly can’t (or shouldn’t) hurt.  Some well-established authors have become jaded and cynical about the practice.  I’m told that one man responds by saying, “I’ll read your book or I’ll blurb it, but I won’t do both.”   

Most of us though will read the book from cover to cover and will write truthful words that reflect our enjoyment and that will encourage a casual browser to pick up the book and give it a try.  Blurbing does require a serious commitment of time.  I’m a fairly fast reader, but even so, it usually takes me two evenings to read, then at least an hour next morning to come up with a set of complimentary phrases.  This is why I will not read even the first page of a manuscript or bound galley or ARC (advance reading copy) that arrives unsolicited and without my permission.  There are—or should be—certain conventions.  The new writer (NW) or editor or agent usually sends a personal note to ask if the established writer (EW) would be willing to look at the book.  That message should contain enough information that the EW can tell whether or not this is a book that s/he would be interested in.  A cosy writer should not be asked to blurb a blood-splashed tale of Columbian drug lords; nor should a balls-to-the-wall writer be asked to blurb a book with cats and recipes.  Even if both enjoy a foray into unfamiliar territory, their own readers probably won’t and the whole point of the exercise is to tempt EW’s readers into buying NW’s book as well.

I’m told that I’m a cosy writer. . . “cosy with an edge” wrote one reviewer.    Although I’ve been known to scatter body parts around the countryside and occasionally kill a cat, I don’t usually dwell on how the body becomes a corpse, and my readers trust me not to rub their noses in the explicitly violent, cruel, or erotic.

Last year, I gave a quote to a friend whose books are maybe two shades darker than mine.  Her humor is darker, too, but because I heard her voice in my head while I was reading and because she totally cracks me up, I wrote an enthusiastic blurb.  Shortly after the book was published, I got an indignant letter from one of my readers, scolding me because he didn’t find any humor in it at all and thought I was wrong to recommend such a noir-ish book.  These days I try to slide a little warning into my blurbs: 

            "Although more graphically explicit than I normally enjoy, I could not put this book down.”

    “Witty, gritty, and wry.”

    “Despite the malodorous chamberpots . . .”

This lets my readers know what to expect.  Or at least keeps them from blaming me if it falls outside their comfort zone.

But what if you’ve agreed to read a book and you wind up hating it?   Like many of my colleagues, I will not give a positive quote to a book I don’t like, yet no one wants to hurt a fellow writer’s feelings.  For me, it’s the old “If you can’t say something nice . . .”  Still, it does happen to all of us sooner or later and there are different strategems for dealing with it.   Sometimes I just say I’m too busy to get to it within the time frame.  Sometimes this is actually true.  I take on too much work, I underestimate my free time, a deadline gets pushed up, life itself intervenes.  

The mystery world is so small that there are never more than two degrees of separation, therefore you are relieved when you meet someone new and discover that you enjoy their writing.  What’s wretched is when you really like the writer but can’t read their books.  That’s happened to some of my colleagues.  “I try to avoid being asked,” says one. 

“I can always find something positive to praise,” says another.  “Plot, characters, setting or voice.  One of them is bound to be decent or it wouldn’t have been published.” 

“If I get cornered and it’s a choice between honesty and friendship,  I’ll keep the friendship,” says yet another.  “I just grit my teeth and lie through them.”

All agree that this is when they wish they could write the equivalent of “This is a perfectly adequate book by one of my friends.”

What about you?   Have you ever been misled by a cover quote or do you take them all with a grain of salt?  And you writers:  how do you handle the requests when they turn awkward?


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Oh, Margaret. Yes, yes. I'm just a girl who can't say no. Last year I blurbed 11 (ELEVEN!) books. And I'm a slower reader than you are. Thank God, I liked each one well enough to write an upbeat blurb.

Only once have I read something so dreadful I wrote the person and said my deadline had been moved up and I had to cancel.

I've become adept at the descriptive blurb. As in, "if you like books like this, you'll love this book." Or, "It's Cleopatra meets Captain Kangaroo!"

Welcome, Margaret!
Your novel SAND SHARKS looks so exciting I can hardly wait to read it.
Blurbs are sometimes reassuring if I am reading a series and can expect to read more of my favorite writer's newest offering.
Mystery novels can entice a reader with a plot twist blurb but I also realize that it is also the writer's style that draws people.
I was wondering if I may ask is if you like to be compared to other writers or do you prefer to be noticed for your own unique style?
Thanks for being here and thanks for indulging me in my quest to be the first person to comment.

Terrific blog, Margaret!

When I was first having to seek blurbs, my editor asked for some and I asked for some. I still have the most abiding utmost respect for the stellar writer who was honest with me and told me that she couldn't in good conscience blurb my book because my character used such blue language and her readers would have really objected to it (and other things). I will also appreciate until I am too senile to know my own name that Harley here took a risk and mentored me through ITW and gave me such an amazing blurb for the front cover of my first book.

I've tried to pass it forward, getting to blurb such terrific writers as Sophie LIttlefield's next book.

There have been a few times I've gotten books that weren't my style and I've tried to find positives--and have been pretty lucky so far. I was mortified that one book I was given (that I actually liked) got buried under other stuff and I forgot to blurb it in time. Really regretted that.

All that said, there have only been a handful of times that a blurb even mattered to me, but maybe because I'm too jaded and know how it all works. The few times it has worked, it's because I knew the writer well enough to trust that he/she wouldn't blurb unless they really did love it, and even then, I look carefully at the wording to see if it's intentionally vague or really specific. Specific wins. ;)

My name isn't known well enough for anyone to ask me to blurb their books, but after sifting through the proposed blurbs for several books I was associated with, I have an appreciation for the challenge of blurbing--tricky stuff!

As an editor, I have confronted the distressing need to tell an aspiring author that their book was, um, not ready for editing (it was not even a book yet, despite occupying hundreds of pages). I was diplomatic, firm, and as kind as I could be; but, still felt like a meanie because it clearly wasn't what the author wanted to hear.

Welcome, Margaret!!

Toni - I was hoping you would tell that story - it's a classic.

Personally, I do not pay attention to blurbs. I've seen too many 'big name' authors blurb anything with a cover. When I actually heard one (none of our tarts, of course - it happened to be a man) say: "What do I care? It gets my name out there" it put me off blurbs for good.

You don't need any blurbs to know that Margaret's Deborah Knott series is basically required reading for mystery lovers. Start with Bootlegger's Daughter if you are a series person, or pick up any of them. http://www.mysterylovers.com/index.php?target=products&product_id=19104

Hi Margaret,

It's nice to see you here with the Tarts.

Yes, I've been taken in by a blurb from an author that I enjoy, but I take it as not all books will please me, just like every reader is different.

As a shamelessly voracious reader, I must confess blurbs hold no weight with me at all, unless it's from someone I know and trust. Otherwise, I make up my own mind. (There's a shocker, huh?)

According to Industry Legend, there was once an enterprising PR fellow who went through the Manhattan phone book and found people with the same names as Famous Authors. He then sent them ARCs, which for someone not in The Biz is tremendously exciting, and was then able to legitimately put things like "I loved this book! - Norman Mailer", or "Couldn't put it down! - Joyce C. Oates" or... etc. etc. etc. on the covers and in advertisements.

Blurb, shmurb. I want to sign my name on the bathroom wall at Mystery Lover's.... that's my goal....:)

Ooh, this is such a delicate subject. I think the people who do use blurbs are the publisher's sales and marketing staff, when they're trying to get distributors interested in a new book. If distributors can't figure out what the book is, they want no part of stocking it into stores. (Dreaded returns!) So blurbs are truly a necessary part of the biz, even if readers essentially ignore them.

Hi, Margaret! When I was an innocent girl I believed blurbs and bought books because of them: "Oh! Bill Shakespeare loved this book! It must be wonderful!" Alas, I am now both a blurber and a blurbee, and I know better.

NancyP's hard-learned rules for blurbing:
1. Try not to lead my own fans wrong.
2. Find something about the book that people who like that kind of book might like.
3. Write it so it is book-specific, and can't be used for the next 352 books that get progressively worse. (People and reviewers who furnish my blurbs should pay no attention to this rule!)
4. Stop blurbing every now and then so I don't look like a blurb slut who will blurb anything with words in it.

Hi Margaret! I pay attention to blurbs in the same way I pay attention to covers--they might get me to pick up the book and read the back cover copy, but I won't buy a book on blurbs alone. I'm still new enough that I get excited when a writer/editor/publisher asks me for a blurb . . . and am more tickled than I probably should be when my blurb is actually used on the cover. And, when I am blurbing, I try to follow Nancy's rules . . . although I didn't really realize it until I just read them!

Hi Margaret:

I don't really pay attention to the jacket blurbs as I have read so much over the years, I follow the authors I love and don't branch out too much any more unless I read in a writer's blog a rave, or hear by word of mouth. Works for me. Enjoyed your blog, and the books of course!

I've been off the grid for a few days, so it was quite a refreshing surprise to see the changes here at TLC.

I don't take blurbs too seriously -- they are kind of like pop-ups on the computer, don't expect me to click on your pop-up just because it's there and don't expect me to read a particular book just because someone else likes it.

Since I'm not a writer but a good reader, I like this forum for finding new authors and series that I know come highly recommended.

So welcome one and all and I'll be reading the book jacket, and perhaps page 69, to determine what's next in my TBR pile.

Hi, Margaret,
Since I don’t participate in the publishing industry except as a consumer, let me tell you what blurbs mean to me. If I’ve just finished a book I like by an author I like, and I’m not sure what I’m going to read next, I check to see if there’s a blurb anywhere on the front or back covers. If there is, and if the author of the blurb is identified as being, for example, “national bestselling author of (insert book title here),” I’ll go get that book and read it. That’s how I hopscotch around the bookstore and the library.

Blurbs, a totally useless waste of space on a book jacket. I never read them, ever. The only thing I care about is a synopsis of the book if it's a new author whom I've never read before. Otherwise, if it's a writer whom I've read before I just get straight to reading.

Love your Deborah Knott books, Margaret. Can't wait for the Christmas book this year.

This is fun, getting to know the new Tarts!

Blurbs do not interest me as much as the author first, then the genre, then the cover, then the summary. If there is no summary, either on the back or inside, I'm reluctant to buy a book unless I know the author. Even then, some authors have become so successful that I, as a former copyeditor, can tell that the famous one's work is too precious to change a word of, even though it could use a good tweak. (I'm looking at you, Danielle Steele and James Patterson.) The last Carolyn Hart I read was like that--so poorly edited that the story hardly flowed. Ugh.

But I digress. As usual. ;-)

Back when my name meant something to a small (very tiny, almost infinitesimal) segment of the crafts market, an online friend asked me to blurb her book. I was delighted, especially as her idea was truly original and honestly useful. She said mine was the best one she received, and when her copies came she sent me a framed flat, signed with thanks. Which was a charming gesture (although I still don't know what to do with it, 20 years later).

I have to admit that I don't read the blurbs. I read the synopsis and then if I am still unsure I do the thing that drives my family insane. They have literally screamed at me for this, I read the last page. Horrible habit I know. But it rarely spoils the book. It gives me a better idea of the style of the writer. Also, very rarely is the entire plot given away. Though when the first chapter of the next book is thrown in at the end of the book I am always confused. I guess that is karma.

Let me just take this opportunity to thank everyone who ever has, or ever will blurb me. There's another reason for an author to be grateful for those blurbers who say, "yes, okay, send me that ARC" -- it saves ones publisher for having to go out scrounging for them and thus makes that publisher happy, which is a nice thing.

Another thing I've noticed -- Publishers Weekly sometimes "reviews" the blurbs. As in, "with blurbs from big names like Ms. Bestseller, this book should do well."

Thanks everyone. Love the comments and the different takes on blurbs. Have to admit that I'm like Peach: I prefer an introductory synopsis on the back jacket, too.

And thanks for the warm welcome, expecially since I was reading TLC long before I was invited to join in. Amusing to be part of the LIPSTICK Chronicles since I only learned about lipstain from "Kathy in Ohio" a week or so ago. I'm throwing out all my regular lipsticks and using only lipstain from now on. Thanks, Kathy!

Lipstain? Sorry to pounce on a digression, but really, this is crucial information. Is that the stuff that's a two-part process--color, then "polish" so it doesn't dry out?

Obviously that was KAREN in Ohio, who told me about lipstain. Sorry, Karen. That's what happens when I don't fact-check.

That's okay, Margaret. And yes, Nancy, it's the two-part stuff, but only the one from Revlon Colorstay Overtime works for me. I put it on in the morning, and only need to reapply the gloss (or some other softener) one other time in the day.

Your mileage may vary. ;-)

Yea Margaret!!

I just received a new manuscript to blurb in the mail last night: Santa Has an Agent. It's by my mother's new boyfriend Hans, describing his work as a professional Santa Claus in Carmel. He's rather skinny in real life...

Welcome, Margaret.
As a new writer, I was required by my publisher to ask for blurbs. The process was painful. I knew the famous author would just say no, and that wouldn't kill me. But the mild rejection hurt anyway.
Fortunately, Tim Dorsey, Charlaine Harris and Parnell Hall were kind enough to blurb my book.
I try to pay forward by blurbing, but only if I like the book. And I still have to say no sometimes to reading a manuscript if I'm on deadline.

I hate to say this in a room full of authors, but I couldn't tell you what the blurbs on any of the books in my house say. I do not read them. I did learn today that they are not faked, or at least not all of them are. Note, several movie distributors have been caught setting up their own reviewer to "quote" in ads. I thought it was the same with books.

There are a few thousand books in my house. I have learned a few things about the blurbs. They are all positive. While I may read John BigName, I may not like other books like his. Any review under one sentence will be positive and may be wrong. NPR has not disliked a book in years. At least not on the air. Amazon titles average 85% 5 star ratings. Read the comments at the bottom of the list then decide. More than two pages of blurbs is just added weight to make money for UPS.

Okay, I MUST go buy some Revlon Colorstay Overtime. Is this a drugstore item or do I have to schedule a trip to the mall?

Boy, talk about the educational benefits of this blog!

Drugstore, Harley. They're usually around $9, but they last a good while, and are so worth it.

My favorite shade is Perennial Plum.

If I haven't read the author before, I'll check the blurbs. But I will mostly decide to try a new author by the synopsis on the flaps, or from reviews by people who seem to like the same books I do.

OH, blurbs. (Hi Margaret! And thank you...)

The first time I was asked to blurb a book--I jumped up and down. (Metaphorically.) I really felt--part of a group. (Literally.) And I am alwasy alwasy honored to be asked. But I just can't always do it. FOr so many reasons.

And asking for blurbs is the WORST--because you're putting yourself out there so brazenly, asking someone you admire and respeoct to say, in public and in print, that they like you. That's a major-league request! And when they say yes, waiting for the blurb is like waiting for a college acceptance letter.

Do I read 'em? Yes I do! And sometimes I think--oh,I know they're pals. Oh, they have the same agent. (Wasn't there an article about this is HArper's in like, 1972? Blurb-rolling?)

Off to the drugstore. I hope there's red.

Margaret, Hi! How fun to have you here; you make a great group even greater!
I love to see who is blurbing who. It generally won't have any bearing on whether I'll buy the book or not, but I love reading them!

Hi, Margaret et al.! I've also been off the grid (in Atlanta eating way too much soul food!) and love the new look. About blurbs - I pay attention to them first if they're by an author in my "top 10%" list of favorites. That will be enough to get me to look at everything else (summary, first page, etc.) and may tip the balance toward reading, all else being equal. Unfortunately, a lot of the authors doing blurbs in the non-mystery genres I like are folks whose work I don't enjoy (I have quirky tastes, so that list includes a lot of bestselling authors!) - so I may actually wind up missing some good authors by association.

Welcome, Margaret!!!!

This is definitely an interesting topic, and one that I have wondered about. Not being a writer, I have never asked nor been asked about a blurb. Phew! Since I also live by that rule of 'if you cant say something nice...'.

However, I do tend to glance at blurbs, but then wonder if this is book specific or a stock blurb, as has been pointed out to me by other author friends. I think that only once have I actually picked up a book for the blurb (John Grogan had blurbed for Sy Montgomery's 'Good Good Pig'), and I did enjoy it.

I am more the type to base new author purchases on recommendations from trusted friends who hopefully know me well enough to know what I like. Or to try. LOL!!! Sarah recommended Nancy to me... and look what happened!

Hello Margaret!

I glance at blurbs but don't use them to buy books. Or I wonder if the blurber really read the book . . . I am with William, I pick my own books to read based on the first few pages.

Lipstain? I'll stick with Bert's Bees.

Can I put Chapstick over Revlon lipstain? (Have you heard about Chapstick addicts? I am nervous that I might be one.)

Yes, you can, Nancy. And as far as an addiction goes, that would be pretty tame. Or lame. Your choice. lol

Gaylin, I use Bert's Bees over top, sometimes. Love that flavor!

It's Me, Margie.

So it's Margaret Maron's first post and at the blocks she picks up on Lipstick advice from our own Karen - that is some good karma shit right there.

Side note: be careful with the lipstains when you first put them on. They can leave, uh, traces (so some of you LEOs might call it, y'know, evidence) and be really, really careful about being the only one in the neighborhood who wears a certain shade because women know stuff and if they see that color somewhere it should not be they will jack your ass into next month.

Just ask our cousin Regina. Little did she know she picked up the same color as that herpbucket Tina Tortelli. Every dry cleaner in town knows not to even touch any of her stuff.

You, Margie! I was all ready to say something dignified about how if the blurber says nice things about the author but not the book, you know the blurber didn't read the book.
But, now, I'm all shook up. Poor Regina. I hope word didn't get back to Uncle Sal.

Good news, Margie: the Revlon stuff stays put, and doesn't rub off!

You might want to let Regina know about it, you know, for next time.

Harley, I got mine at the drugstore. Had to hunt through the whole Revlon display, but found them at half-price on the bottom.

I just blurbed a book that I totally love - Allie Larkin's Stay - and not just because my editor asked me. That's a very exciting thing to do. It's fun introducing a new author to readers.

I will never forget Sparkle Hayter's blurb coming across my email at 1 a.m. It was my first blurb ever and I was so freaking excited.

Harley, got mine at the drugstore. (AND it was half-off!)

I forget blurbs are even there. It's as if they have some sort of Doctor Who perception filter all around them; I barely even register they are there. If a blurb author's name does catch my eye, I figure he/she has the same or differing tastes than I do (depending on whether I liked the book). I don't expect an author of cosies to read only cosies for the rest of his/her life. In other words, my POV is that the blurb comes from the author, not their books or their characters.

The only ones I will give any credence to are the "if you like that, you'll love this" blurbs, and even then it often seems like whomever made that comparison was smoking crack. However, it will prompt me to check out a book at the library so that I can judge for myself. Overall, I'm more likely to use the recommendation feature on Amazon to find new authors than anything else.

I am late to the new TLC party, but the new look looks fab, y'all.

Interesting topic today, Margaret, and many good thoughts posted. I had my first blurb request not long ago--for a writer's workbook--and I was honored to be asked. My blurb was sincere in its praise, but I do like NancyP's guidelines.

For the lip stain wearers (I wear Cinnamon)--I think whoever invented it should win a Nobel Prize, but they can be drying. I've been using a lip exfoliator (Sally Hansen) to combat that. Leaves my lips looking smooth and feeling tingly. (Shut up, Margie.)

This post could not come at a better time for me! My first book is coming out in AUgust and my publisher is on me for blurbs. While there are some authors that I would be thrilled to have on my book as a blurb because I admire them, how do I approach and ask??

Loni, a kind and thoughtful editor would ask you who YOU would love a quote from and then he/she would write to that person, describe you and your book in glowing phrases and ask permission to send it. You shouldn't have to do this yourself. On the other hand....August? That's awfully close. Usually they work 6 months out at least to be sure and get the quotes on the cover.

Best of luck with the book!

I do sometimes glance at the blurbs and am fine with them unless they spoil the plot. However, I take personal recommendations by people I know and trust far more seriously (TLC'ers have expanded my TBR list far beyond human abilities already).
I did have comments to Kathleen Ragan appear as a blurb on _Outfoxing Fear_. I had given permission for her to use my words, but was surprised and thrilled when a friend wrote to tell me they were printed on the paperback edition.
The dilemma of what to say when you don't like it reminds me a bit of students asking for letters of recommendation. I once replied, "Don't you have someone who could write you a better recommendation?" He said, no, I was his best chance, poor boy, so I told him that I would be as kind as possible but not lie for him. It was a very general and vague letter . . .

Here's a BIG WISH -- any books that should be read in sequence, put a list at the front of each book and on the author's web site (and on TLC for "our" authors). KDL What's Next doesn't have everyone . . . . and it's just so much nicer to read a series in order . . . .

Blurbs are always taken with a grain of salt. Marketing, you know. I like to read blurbs, and I do pay attention to who's writing them. But I also open the book to a few random pages and read a bit to see if I like it. You win some, you lose some.

I tend to take them with a grain of sand. I'll pay more attention if it's by a writer I really like and follow. Even if it's a writer I read, that doesn't mean we like the same things, though.

Straight From Hel

I read books of fiction because a personal friend has recommend it or I like the genre and the book cover summary of the story. I rarely look at blurbs. While I still read business books that have recieved good reviews I often find them disappointing. So I personally don't give much stock to professional reviews let alone blurbs.

I think a new author needs to get blurbs. Many readers, some of those who commented included, go first by authors they know, then synopsis. Well, if you are a new author, it has to be synopsis, then...blurb, right? I understand better now why the one known author I approached said she "doesn't do blurbs under any circumstances," but that makes it even harder on the new author. The blurbs are also from unknowns! So, even though I am (so far) an unknown author, I have been asked for a blurb by another unknown -- whose work I didn't like that much. I did find something positive, and honest, to say about the book. I couldn't do a blurb if I couldn't find something honest to praise. For my second book, I asked my Sisters in Crime sisters and three of them stepped up for me -- am I grateful!

Hi Margaret!

I've been away as well and the page was a surprise today. I like it! As a reader only, I do not pay attention to the blurbs. I look for the synopsis to see if the book would be something I'm interested in. Lately, I've come across a few books that have only had blurbs and no synopsis at all. I actually put the books back I was so annoyed. Sometimes, I can go off the cover picture to tell what it might be about. A knife with blood drops coming off would be obvious. But rarely can I tell from a blurb.

I choose my books based on friends reviews mostly or just whatever I might be in the mood for. I have not read something from each of the authors here at TLC. So that's my next task. (which just got bigger) :) I'm looking forward to it. I feel a little out of the loop without having read them.

As a bookseller, I can tell you that blurbs matter to more readers than I realized. When an author blurbs a book, a reader will believe absolutely what the blurbing author says.

I've had customers buy books solely because a favored author blurbed it. I had one lovely lunatic customer who only bought books with at least three pages of blurbs inside.

People may not consciously realize that blurbs matter, but a Big Name endorsing a book makes an impact, even if it's seemingly in passing.

Anyway, that's my take on it.

I'm a reader. For readers I know, I won't read reviews, blurbs, or jacket copy, because I hate even the smallest spoiler for a series I'm already involved in.

For authors new to me, I'll read jacket copy and blurbs, as well as enjoying the cover art, and I'll read the first few pages. I'll pay more attention to blurbs from authors I like, as long as their blurbs have proved useful in the past. I do know how to read between the lines with blurbs. I'm most interested in blurbs that indicate if a story is well-written, because choppy writing, writing that doesn't flow or otherwise pulls me out of the story, dialogue that doesn't sound natural, etc., will cause me to quit a book unless I really love the characters and have gotten hooked into the plot.

I hate it when all the blurbs say the story is hilarious and I don't get the humor. :-)

One of the worst books I ever read had the following two phrases in it:
"Horrors!" she gasped monosyllabically.
"She flushed palely."

(The first is slightly paraphrased, because I can't remember the actual word she gasped, but it was more than one syllable).

Hi Margaret. I love your books and was so pleased to find you'd joined the Tarts!

I love blurbs. I don't know why exactly but I find them fascinating. Probably goes back to when I was a kid in elementary school and used to "print" books. I worked on the blurbs first (fake of course.) and then the rest of the book. I must have thought it added to the "realism." Anyway I've loved them ever since. As far as selecting a book based on them, they're just part of the picture. The bold primary colors on Harley's second book are what caused me to pick it up and then subsequently to find this wonderful blog. I'm willing to try any author one time. It's the only way to make new discoveries.

Anyway, can't wait to read Sand Sharks.

Sorry I am so late........welcome Margaret and such a thoughtful topic. Many customers say when they can't talk to someone they trust about a new author, they are guided by the blurb--------------------usually for degree of violence.

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