Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another thread made mention of the idea of placing a book's blurb in the front matter. I wanted to explore this a bit further as I am about to republish some of my books with new covers and streamlined front and back matter. Does anyone do this? Is there truly a point to it? It seems redundant to me since the blurb is right at their fingertips on the website they are viewing the book at, but perhaps I am overlooking something. Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,478 Posts
One of the arguments I've heard for including the blurb in the front matter is for those readers (like me) who download a lot of sample chapters and then sit down with their ereader and don't remember what the book was about before reading the sample. Reading the blurb right off the ereader would save me time having to go back to the website to try and remember why the heck I downloaded the sample.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Yep. I've heard Jim's reasoning, and it's been something I wished for, when starting books on the kindle. Since you don't view the title or blurb before actually opening the book, it can be a bit jarring trying to remember  what it was, and why I was interested in it. I've been meaning to implement something similar in my books, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
It cant hurt. I don't know if blurbs sell books at all but I always pursue them. I have seen novels with every big name blurb in the world that didn't sell at all. So as a reference point I suppose it works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
I think front matter has information for book buyers. It has copyright information, as well as cataloging information. Often, rather than a full blurb, there is a single sentence hook that concisely tells what the book is about. I don't think there's room for a full blurb on the front matter (at least not in a printed book).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
I find blurbs inside the book incredibly annoying.  Since it's already on the product page, I don't want to be forced to read it twice.  I want to see the actual story when I'm looking inside the book, not an advertisement for it.  Besides, your blurb can take up most of your sample if your story is short. 

Keep in mind that if you want to persuade a buyer to spend money on the book, seeing a blurb twice with almost no writing sample is not the way to do it, especially if it's a mediocre blurb and you think your actual text is better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,409 Posts
Put the blurb at the beginning...the very first page.  Put the copyright info at the back of the ebook.  Of course, for POD versions, the blurb matter is already on the cover, so cut it and put the copyright info at the front.

Personally, I think it's smart to mark the "beginning" of the ebook at the blurb page.  I find it strange that the Kindle TOC typically plops the reader right on page one.  I think it's a better reader experience to have some orientation with a blurb page and a title page.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,478 Posts
Hilary Thomson said:
I find blurbs inside the book incredibly annoying. Since it's already on the product page, I don't want to be forced to read it twice. I want to see the actual story when I'm looking inside the book, not an advertisement for it. Besides, your blurb can take up most of your sample if your story is short.
A blurb shouldn't be longer than a couple paragraphs. That's maybe a screen flip or two at most? I'd much rather see that than pages and pages of glossary and breathless reviews stuck in the front of the book.

A good sample should be the cover, the blurb, and the first chunk of story. That's what I want to see in samples I download and what I'll include in samples I provide for my book (assuming it's possible to control what's in the sample, anyway).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
67,676 Posts
JimJohnson said:
One of the arguments I've heard for including the blurb in the front matter is for those readers (like me) who download a lot of sample chapters and then sit down with their ereader and don't remember what the book was about before reading the sample. Reading the blurb right off the ereader would save me time having to go back to the website to try and remember why the heck I downloaded the sample.
Yes, but not for samples. . . .for books you already bought. So that when you're looking for something to read you can see fairly easily -- without an internet connection -- what the book is about and whether it's what you're in the mood for just now.

DDark said:
Except if your blurb sucks, they might not go any further. ;D

I could see the benefit. But then again, I read a lot. None of the books I download have blurbs in the front and I fast-forward quickly through all front matter. That's just me; I don't know what the masses want. Someone run a poll in a reader's area.
Well, no. . . . . if the blurb sucks, they already rejected the book on Amazon. This is just a reminder of what it's about for those that have already bought it.

Steve W. said:
I think front matter has information for book buyers. It has copyright information, as well as cataloging information. Often, rather than a full blurb, there is a single sentence hook that concisely tells what the book is about. I don't think there's room for a full blurb on the front matter (at least not in a printed book).
We're not talking anything extensive. . . no more than what's up on Amazon that is designed to entice the reader. Or, thinking about it another way, about the length of what you find on the back of paperbacks or the inside flap of a hard back dust jacket.

Hilary Thomson said:
I find blurbs inside the book incredibly annoying. Since it's already on the product page, I don't want to be forced to read it twice. I want to see the actual story when I'm looking inside the book, not an advertisement for it. Besides, your blurb can take up most of your sample if your story is short.

Keep in mind that if you want to persuade a buyer to spend money on the book, seeing a blurb twice with almost no writing sample is not the way to do it, especially if it's a mediocre blurb and you think your actual text is better.
The sample length issue is certainly a consideration. I wouldn't see the need for a blurb on a really short work -- and if it's there it will make the sample less useful. But one 'kindle page' in a longer book (print length 300-400 pages or more) wouldn't have much effect. You'd still get a good bit of the story in a sample.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
I like short blurbs in the front matter, and I added one to my book as well. Like others, I often buy books long before I'll be able to read them, and by the time I'm ready, I've forgotten what it was about. If I'm somewhere without a connection (often while traveling), then all I have to go on is the cover and title.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
I agree--it was a brilliant suggestion. I first ran across it on JA Konrath's blog and it makes a lot of sense. I forget all the time what a book is about so having the blurb helps me to figure out if I want to read that particular book now.

Like others said, it's a great idea and I hope all authors will start doing that because it makes it a lot easier for me as a reader. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
473 Posts
I've been putting a snippet from deeper within the book, a good emotional stress point that features some of the drama going on within. It's similar to how a lot of professionally published books will place sample snippets right at the beginning.

I don't know what it does for book sales, but I think I've had a few readers ask me how I picked the snippet out, so they do notice.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
Jason Varrone said:
Another thread made mention of the idea of placing a book's blurb in the front matter. I wanted to explore this a bit further as I am about to republish some of my books with new covers and streamlined front and back matter. Does anyone do this? Is there truly a point to it? It seems redundant to me since the blurb is right at their fingertips on the website they are viewing the book at, but perhaps I am overlooking something. Thoughts?
I think adding the blurb to the front matter is a mistake.

Why?

It will eat up your sample space.

I wrote a blog post on this subject, lessee, over a year ago. Where is it? Oh, yeah, here: thelogoftheantares.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-lose-reader-how-to-lead.html

I read notes from others that say they want to see the blurb to remind them about the book. Different strokes.

Me? Give me a sample of your writing. Pare down your front matter to get me to your writing as fast as you can. Your front matter should be cover; title page (if you can insert your copyright here, okay, BUT KEEP IT SHORT); and maybe . . . maybe ToC (Chapter 1, Chapter 2 , . . . , Chapter 63 -- don't bother me with it; if your chapter titles are descriptive, maybe); and story. Put anything and everything else at the back: dedications, thank-yous, acknowledgements, copyright notice, ToC (I've seen it done), reviews, blurbs, To Do lists, grandma's secret magic brownie recipe, whatever.

But I get a feeling you asked this question to get confirmation to do what you already decided to do anyway. So go do that damned foolish thing.

But check your sample and see how much space your precious eats up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,749 Posts
Steve W. said:
Often, rather than a full blurb, there is a single sentence hook that concisely tells what the book is about.
You don't need a full-blown blurb, but even a sentence or two to remind me why I downloaded your book (or sample) in the first place would be helpful. I have a TBR queue of several hundred books, so usually I don't read the book immediately after purchasing. It could be days, weeks, months, or even years before I get to it, and if I'm scrolling through covers I'll stumble upon something that looks intriguing, I want to be able to tell at a glance if it's something I'm in the mood for right then.

I used to do this simply by picking up a book off my shelf and turning it over to read the back cover copy. I can't do this with an ebook, so please give me an easy way to virtually turn the book over. Give me a short blurb in the front matter. If I don't have that blurb and I can't remember why I downloaded the book in the first place, then I move on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
antares said:
But I get a feeling you asked this question to get confirmation to do what you already decided to do anyway. So go do that damned foolish thing.
Actually, I asked the question because I was curious how popular this idea had become, and if it was truly worthwhile doing. I've been following the thread closely and, quite honestly, have still not made up my mind. I prefer short front matter, as short as I can make it, but I do see some advantages for a reader who buys a fair amount of books and doesn't read them for some time later.

By all means, keep the thoughts coming if you feel strongly either way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,706 Posts
antares said:
But check your sample and see how much space your precious eats up.[/size][/font]
No need to check. The amount it would deduct from the sample would be 90% of blurb size.

For example, if your blurb is 500 characters, it would deduct about 450 characters from your sample. (The samples never cut a sentence off, so it will vary slightly.)

In my opinion, that little of a difference isn't going to affect a reader's decision based on the sample. If the sample is short enough to be drastically affected by 450 characters, then it's probably not very effective in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
886 Posts
antares said:
[size=12pt]I think adding the blurb to the front matter is a mistake.

Why?

It will eat up your sample space.


This really only matters for very short stories. A full-length book has a sizeable enough sample that a short 100-200 word blurb is not going to eat up much space at all. In mine, for example, there is a blurb, copyright, TOC (with titles), dedication, and still includes nearly two full (quite long) chapters. The book is 89K words, btw.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top