Love it or hate it, jacket copy is the first window into any book, singing its praises while also intimating at what’s really between the covers. Louise Wilder’s witty guide Blurb Your Enthusiasm is a treat for insiders and book-world fans; she details what it takes to encapsulate a story’s essence while magnifying its connections, winking at the pleasurable craft that’s part of a marketing “fib.”
From design to opening lines, Wilder combines quotations with now-legendary examples across genres. She also pays tribute to other blurb writers, from T.S. Eliot to contemporaries. Literary history illustrates her point with a lighthearted touch: best foot forward does matter. (The Great Gatsby, after all, was hampered with the working title Trimalchio at West Egg.) And when even papyrus scrolls and medieval testaments sound like pitches, it’s a fun look at the publishing industry’s enduring enthusiasm.
Anecdotes, comments about how authors feel when they read their own blurbs, and the art of copywriting with clarity, brevity, and punch form the book’s generous mix. Wilder celebrates the practice of turning literature into a catchy product that both illuminates people about a book and retains the book’s mystique.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.