Your manuscript is edited and off to copyediting. It won’t come out for another six or seven months, so it’s too soon to do much marketing. So you go for that traditional next step: sending it to any and every author acquaintance you have and occasionally some complete and total strangers in the hopes that they’ll offer a blurb that can go on your cover.
But does it ever really make a difference?
I don’t really know. Anecdotally, yes. Booksellers care, and if they’re excited by the blurbs, they’ll be more excited about the book. That’s what I hear, at least. I’ve never seen terribly compelling evidence that it’s true.
This came up because after I finished Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers (which was lovely), I read the blurbs on the back and saw that a couple of authors I think are tremendously overrated* had given their praise. If I had seen them before picking the book up, I wonder if I might actually have been less inclined to pick it up.
So really, by titling this post with a question, I’m wondering: when you’re book shopping, do you ever notice blurbs affecting you one way or another?
*No, I will not say which ones.