A New Low

Don’t get me started on the evils of vanity publishing, or we could be here all night. Okay, just something new then:

A new company recently emerged on the publishing scene, offering writers the chance to buy and sell book endorsements. Aimed at self-published authors, Blurbings LLC traffics in “blurbs,” the often hyperbolic declamations on book covers alerting readers that they’re holding the greatest single work of literature since the Bible — or perhaps since “The Da Vinci Code.”

Blurbs are a fascinating one. I’m often amazed how how publishers can spin reviews, without taking things out of context. What’s seen on the back of a book is all to help sell things, of course, part of the ongoing battle to shift commercial units. Personally, as a reader, I only pay attention to blurbs if an absolute favourite author has something positive to say about a book. It’s actually how I discovered great writers like Conrad Williams.

But really, selling endorsements is a new low that devalues having any positive review on the cover of a book. Where’s the meaning now?

In the meantime, should Gene Wolfe or M John Harrison be reading, I have a crisp £50 note to hand should you be kind enough to throw some sweet words my way. Please? (Actually, I’d be petrified of that.)

Currently reading Dan Simmons’s Hyperion, and wondering why the hell I didn’t read it sooner.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.