Private Blurb to Author

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Private Blurb to Author

Post by CommMayo » 21 Mar 2019, 18:43

I know issues dealing with an author's confusion about the private blurb have come up in the forums, so this experience isn't unique to me. My most recent review seems to be a great example.

My Blurb:
Please note that this short blurb is only supposed to be three or four sentences provided for the purpose of verifying that I read the entire book. The full review and rating will be made available to you after approval of the blurb.

[Name Redacted] is a Cuban-American who was put on a form of prescribed speed to manage his asthma as a child. He got away with a less than stellar diet thanks to the medication upping his metabolism. As an adult, his foundation of a poor diet really started to become an issue when he started working in jobs that involved less activity, travel, and entertaining clients/business associates. He tried increasing his exercise (biking was a big one) and participated in different diet programs like Jenny Craig, WeightWatchers, and Atkins. Reading Self Mastery and Self Discipline by Basil Maturin was a big influence in helping him to find his inner strength to knuckle down and create a successful custom diet. In the end, the American sugar addiction makes it almost impossible to cut weight and keep it off.

Author's Response:
I believe he may have "sped read" through the book. His blurb lacks any reaction to the actual stories which many are comical and some are sad. He gets the facts right but lacks any mention of the personal stories which are unique in its form of sharing the events. But maybe it is supposed to be written in this manner.

It often seems like the author doesn't really understand what they are approving when they are presented with the private blurb we are asked to provide. Even with my preface, he is still looking for opinions and personal reactions that we are pretty much directed to not include. His last sentence just proves how evident his confusion is about the purpose of what he is approving.

My questions are:
1. What is the text that the authors are seeing on the page when they asked to approve the blurb? Knowing this might help us tailor our introductory blurb to reduce confusion.

2. How can the instructions they are seeing be improved to help them understand that they haven't just drawn a lazy reviewer who sped read their book and have no opinions of it?

I think addressing this issue would reduce a lot of back and forth between authors and reviewers (that sometimes escalates to waste Scott's time) and would perhaps improve the opinions that the authors have about OBC. I currently have an author that thinks I didn't give his 2 star book full consideration because I sped read the thing. That is unfortunate and can't reflect well on OBC.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 21 Mar 2019, 21:43

I also experienced a "meticulous" author recently, even though my private blurbs normally rival my reviews in terms of length. I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestions. I wish all writers would also know how to read. (Oops! Please don't mind the last sentence.)

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Post by EvaDar » 21 Mar 2019, 23:22

I would love to have the blurb issue addressed as well. I "borrowed" CommMayo's suggestion of a disclaimer long ago, but as illustrated here, it doesn't always provide the protection we would like. I had an author reject my very comprehensive blurb because I detailed three out of four short stories in the book and gave one of them (the shortest of the four) a more general overview. She said I hadn't read the forth because I hadn't provided enough detail. Had I gone into any more detail, it would have turned into a very long "short blurb."

Here is the disclaimer I use:
This short blurb is meant only to demonstrate that the reviewer read the entire book. It is not meant to be a complete summary of the book and will not include any analysis. The full review will be available to you once you have approved this blurb. Thank you.

I also wonder what it is the authors see and what they are likely expecting with the blurb. It does seem that some authors are not understanding the short blurb concept. I agree that addressing it could save much time and hassle for authors, reviewers, and Scott.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

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Post by MsTri » 28 Mar 2019, 08:38

Due to an issue that I had with an author a few months ago, I was able to see exactly what the author sees, and you'd think it'd be enough!

Just above the blurb, in red font, it says, "
NOTE: This page does NOT contain the review. The private blurb below is NOT from the review."

Then there's the blurb, and under that, in bold font, it says, "NOTE: The above is NOT the review. The page you are looking at does NOT contain the review. The additional private blurb above is NOT from the review. This page only displays an additional short private blurb the reviewer wrote about the ending and/or the book as a whole, solely to demonstrate the full book was read."

And then at the bottom, it says, AGAIN and in red font, "
NOTE: This page does NOT contain the review."

I don't know how it can possibly any clearer!

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Post by kandscreeley » 28 Mar 2019, 08:54

I think some authors are just this way. They want more. I think we've all had to deal with it. I don't think there's anything Scott can do to MAKE them pay attention to what the private blurb is supposed to be.
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