History of false advertising, the author’s best friend

Not all misinformation is found on the back cover of books, as with this prequel endorsement of “Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez. Photo: Associated Press

Brilliant blurb.

It evokes exactly what it is: a praise for a book, generally found on a dust jacket, to entice the reader to buy it. I must admit to reading misinformation when deciding to buy a book, but I am only impressed by the applause from publications I trust or authors I respect most.

blurb from commercial newspaper Kirkus reviews for example, which publishers pay for and are often a paraphrase of the book’s plot, don’t work for me. or one of clerk Gary Steingart, who was previously known, as Salon magazine described him, as a “blurbe”. revealed in a 2014 open letter published in The New Yorker who – which “TThe volume of orders has exceeded my capabilities, and I will throw my “mysterious pen” into the Hudson River.

According to Merriam-Webster, the term “blurry” was coined in 1907 at an annual dinner for the American Booksellers’ Association by American humorist Gillette Burgess, one of the distinguished guests.

At this dinner it was customary for guest authors to present souvenir copies of their latest corporate book. Burgess made a mock jacket for his latest book showing a forged photograph of a woman he had lifted from an advertisement for his teeth.

The woman was nicknamed ‘Miss Belinda Blurb’, and is depicted in the photo as calling out ‘Blast,’ referenced in the caption ‘Miss Belinda Blurb in an act of publicity.’ The jacket is also decorated with self-congratulatory text.

Was essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson the first writer to utter another frankness? Photo: Otto Herschan Collection / Getty Images

But this practice may be older. The New York Times reported that upon reading the first edition of “Leaves of Grass” in 1855, the already highly regarded Ralph Waldo Emerson sent the relatively unknown Walt Whitman a glowing note. The following year, one line of that letter – “I salute you at the beginning of a great career” – is printed on the back of the second edition of the book.

Speaking of impressive propaganda, among the false propaganda on Samantha’s back Power The 2019 memoirs, Teaching the Perfect, are Barack Obama, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Brian Stephenson, and Madeleine Albright. Not very shabby.

Oddly enough, some of the most famous reclusive writers, among them Thomas Pynchon and J.M. Coetzee, do not hesitate to publicize. Other famous authors often resort to publicizing the work of their former students, notably Joyce Carol Oates on Jonathan Safran Foer and Chinua Achebe on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Some of the most frequently used advertising phrases:

laugh out loud funny (Really? In my long career in reading, very few books have accomplished this.)

as x-intercept with y (Do not use this if the book being reviewed is not as good as either of the two books mentioned.)

Page Turner (Applies to literally every book.)

Strong literary tour (Does using French words make you sound smarter?)

roller coaster ride (Disgusting meaning?)

Author Frank McCourt gave a blurb to Mitch Albom. Photo: Marie Altaver/Associated Press

In one of my all-time favorite blurbs, Frank McCourt once compared Mitch’s movie The Five The people you meet in Heaven” to the “Odyssey”. Whoa!

I shudder when I admit that I used some of these worn-out expressions in my book reviews. After all, there are a lot of words available. But it’s different when you have room to expand on your data and provide supporting evidence.

One of my favorite book titles, which seems like a blurb and was undoubtedly ironically intended, is Dave Eggers’ memoir (with fantasy elements), “A Heartbreaking Work of Incredible Genius.”

Is there any good publicity? naturally. I loved New York Times critic Dwight Garner advertisement Irish writer Sally Rooney’s fiction: “In my experience when people who have read it meet, they tend to turn in corners to talk.” And Harper sang about Orhan Pamuk’s novel “Snow”: “From the Golden Horn, with an evil smile, the political novel returns victorious.”

Here’s the misinformation I want in my own version (which has been on the shelf for years because of my procrastination about a serious edit that it needs): “Undoubtedly worth the wait. Clearly a mature writer delayed publication until every word was complete.”

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