Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Can We Trust Book Blurbs?

An article in today’s SpeakerNet News (scroll down to “Do book testimonials work? — Ian Percy”) posits that many, if not most, book blurbs are signed by people who’ve never examined the book.

I surely hope Mr. Percy is wrong! Certainly, when I’m asked for a book blurb I spend some serious time with the book and read at last several sections as well as the Table of Contents, index, etc. I will confess–I don’t generally read the whole thing–but I read enough of it that I can comment accurately. I find it scandalous that some people apparently consent to blurb a book without looking at it at all.

Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to them that ultimately, it’s *their* reputation at stake as well as the author’s. To endorse a book you don’t actually believe in is asking for trouble on both moral and practical grounds.

And when I request a blurb from someone else, I want that person to give me something based in honesty and a true appreciation of the content of the book. The blurbs I get, as a result, have enough substance that they actually do sway a sale. Yes, I believe readers can tell the difference between an honest enthusiastic blurb and a fake. (In fact, I spend some time explaining what makes a good blurb and how to get them, in my newest book Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers).

Blurbs are a crucial tool in creating a marketing buzz, and one that helps equalize the playing field between those books published by big houses and those published by small independents. Let’s not cheapen them, please!


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