cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,

The lost art of the engaging blurb

What the hell has happened to original publishing? I know I kind of gave up on it after that time I went into one bookshop and asked for something without misogyny and they couldn't sell me anything, and then the second bookshop sold me a story about a serial killer whose victims were mommy stand-ins, and another story about a vampire who lusted after a woman despite himself. Ugh.

It seems to have gotten worse, though, which I didn't think possible. I figured enough time had passed, you know? And I could maybe branch out from trusted recs and fanfic again.

So I just went and read a whole heap of book blurbs from various genres, not only looking for ones that sounded genuinely interesting, but ones that sounded engagingly ridic that I could maybe use as a jumping off point to write my own take on the idea (without the horrible gender politics, and much more tongue in cheek).

After about 30 blurbs, the only one that sounded half-way interesting was about a returning war vet who needed a service dog to help him recover. And I was all, "Yes, give me more!" and clicked for the full blurb, and immediately lost interest, as it wasn't a heart-warming story of a man with PTSD and his service dog after all, it was a romance between a manly veteran and the service dog's fiesty womanly owner. THE DOG WASN'T EVEN MENTIONED AGAIN. The dog was the only thing that made the first two lines stand out from all the other boring teasers, and it wasn't even a major part of the frigging story, it was just the meet-cute.

After that one, I clicked on another dozen or so, but I could feel them sucking the lifeforce from my eyeballs. They were so horrible. They weren't even horrible enough to be good or funny.

Has my taste really changed that much, or were they always that horrible? Am I miss-remembering how entertaining I used to find blurbs? They used to be genuinely good fun, right?

You know what I'm going to do now? I'm going to mark some more first-year annotated bibliography assignments, because they are better written and more interesting than blurbs put out by original publishers.

PS - I swear, the blurbs on the AO3 with spelling mistakes and notes saying, "It's better than it sounds!" are more entertaining.

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Tags: feminism, rant, reading
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