Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday Talks | Comparative Book Blurbs

This Tuesday we have another interesting topic for Tuesday Talks, one that I've been thinking about quite a lot in the past few months. If you don't know about Tuesday Talks, please visit the goodreads group to check out everyone's post and get involved yourself.

Comparative Book Blurbs: Good or Bad?
Like with most things there are pros and cons to comparative book blurbs. However, I typically feel that the cons far outweigh the pros. Let me tell you why. 

The main good thing I can see coming from a comparative blurb is more recognition and faster. When someone sees the words Hunger Games meets Game of Thrones or Romeo and Juliet in a Divergent World or The Next Harry Potter, or something along those lines, they are likely to recognize it. These aren't necessary the best examples (and not even real ones), but you get the idea. It's usually a very well known series or book that is plastered all over a new title to get attention. And it's great for that reason; it gets your book attention. But is it the attention you want. 

The big negative with comparative blurbs is the reader expectations that are created. In some ways it might turn people away from a book. If they see it compared to something they didn't like, they might not give it a chance thinking it will be a repeat when in reality they might enjoy it a lot. 

Then there is the flip side. If someone loved a book a lot and bought another book because it was compared to that book, their expectations are likely to be sky high. And when you go into a book like that, a lot of the time it ends in disappointment. 

I completely understand comparing books, although I try not to. Sometimes the books are similar in some way, sometimes you want that eye catching name on there to get an initial audience, there are a lot of reasons why it happens. And in some ways this can be really good. People might see it and pick up the book and it become their favorite, they might not notice and pick up the book anyway, it might get a huge audience and sales that will make it more noticeable to future readers. There are lots of pros to that that could happen. I just don't feel that the overall impression is really a good thing. 

These types of blurbs tend to change the way I read or enjoy something. I don't do it on purpose. I wish I could ignore it, but once I've seen those words it sticks in my head. And my expectations either rocket sky high or plummet. 

What do you think about comparative book blurbs? Are they good, bad, or it just doesn't matter to you?


  1. I really agree with pretty much everything that you posted. There are so many expectations that readers will have when they read blurbs on covers. Like you mentioned, they can be either really high expectations or very low expectations depending on which books are being compared. For example, there's a blurb on the Fallen cover from the author of the Marked series. I absolutely LOVE the Marked series (from what I read so far), so of course I'm going to expect Fallen to be pretty on par with Marked. However, while I did like Fallen, it didn't blow me away like Marked did. That's just a personal example, but I feel like this is a good example of why blurbs can have a bad side to it.

    1. Exactly. It just gives you crazy expectations which aren't always a good thing. That's why I try not to let this affect me. I couldn't think of a personal example (though I'm sure I have some), but I like that you could think of something specific to relate to. Thanks for commenting!