Sunday, April 29, 2007

Creative blurbing

If you aren't already highly suspicious of the praise that adorns the dust jackets of most books, read the essay on creative blurbing by Henry Alford in this week's NYT's book review section. He's focused on fiction, but the situation is no different with business books. Between the favor-doing and the doctoring, there really isn't any point to reading blurbs. I've gotten more than my share of blurbs from very generous folks, I've written a few myself (I have no idea why anyone asks), and many have been lifted from my reviews. But to be honest, as a reader, I don't find endorsements or review blurbs either helpful or credible. They just take up valuable space that could be used to tell readers something useful about what's between the covers and that might actually help them decide whether or not to buy a book.

By the way, you can sign up here for the Time's free weekly "Books Update" via email. They rarely cover business books, but it's a great place to keep track of what's worth reading in fiction and general non-fiction.

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