How important blurbs are on the cover of books is not a settled issue amongst writers, but I believe they could be very helpful especially for a first time novelist. At least, I figured a blurb couldn’t hurt.
Or could it?
Take my extraordinary case for my first mystery novel, Lincoln’s Hand.
I did not know any nationally known mystery novelist who’s name on my cover would give the high sign to legions of his or her fans that my novel was worth a read. However, I did know someone famous who had a reputation for picking good stories. He might, despite his extremely busy schedule, take the time to read the book and give me a cover blurb.
I made contact with his office and asked if this world-renowned person might read my book and offer an encouraging blurb. I was told that it was unlikely because requests like mine came to him all the time but … send the book and we’ll see.
A couple of months later, I got an email that said I would get the blurb. Short and sweet it was, an affirmation from someone who had been associated with story telling informing the world that I had written a good story.
Here’s the blurb that appeared on the cover of my first mystery novel:
“Lincoln’s Hand is a great story, a page-turner from start to finish” –
Being involved in politics, I knew Schwarzenegger in my role as a policy advisor to him both during and after the recall election that made him governor of California.
I was thrilled to get his endorsement. I felt the blurb would tell readers that appreciated the stories he made on film to take a look at Lincoln’s Hand. I also knew that a blurb from a film action star was not the standard fare on the cover of mystery novels, but I thought it was worth the risk.
Then, however, the story of Schwarzenegger’s personal transgression surfaced. His wife left him and the whole ugly mess was played out in the tabloids and in the mainstream media.
But his blurb had been printed on the cover of copies of my book. Does the blurb now hurt, help, or have little consequence?
The fact is the blurb cannot be erased so I pushed forward, adding a new dimension to the discussion of my novel, hoping not to take the focus off of what is between the book’s covers rather than what is on the cover.
: The Mark on Eve
: Joel Fox
: Bronze Circle Books
Joel Fox has spent over 30 years in California politics, serving on numerous state commissions, working on many ballot issue campaigns, and advising candidates. An adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, Fox has authored hundreds of opinion pieces for numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal,Washington Post, USA Todayand Los Angeles Times. Joel Fox is also the author of the Zane Rigby mystery series—Lincoln’s Hand and FDR’s Treasure— in which an FBI Special Agent must solve a puzzle from the past of an American president to solve modern day murders. A native of the Boston area, Joel Fox lives in Los Angeles.