I wrote this two years ago and never published it for some reason…it’s been hanging around in the drafts on this blog, which shows how long I have been dithering about with getting this blog off the ground! But it’s a funny story so I thought I would share. –MCS
John Scalzi has a post on his blog telling publishers to not take his innocuous comments about the “Big Idea” posts on his blog and make them book blurbs. The “Big Idea” posts are written by various authors to publicize their books, and Scalzi’s comments are just introductory in nature, not meant to be praise or censure; yet publishers are using them as blurb comments, because Scalzi’s a big name in science fiction (and I WILL praise one of his books, Redshirts–hilarious and touching, and you can blurb me on that) and a blurb from him is worth something, even when it’s essentially meaningless, I guess. It does strike one as a violation of Wheaton’s Law, of which one would expect a reader of Scalzi’s blog to be aware.
Turning innocuous comments or outright bad reviews into outstanding blurbs has a long and illustrious history
I wonder if his blog post will do him any good, because it seems to me a lot of folks at publishing houses (and authors, when they self-publish, or are forced to do their own marketing) tend to not read the instructions carefully. Besides, turning innocuous comments or outright bad reviews into outstanding blurbs has a long and illustrious history, especially on movie posters.
I had an experience in that direction myself. Continue reading