An A–Z of Literary Persuasion
By Louise Willder
Published by Oneworld, 1st Sept 2022 £14.99 hbk
The dazzling, staggering, astonishing, unputdownable* story of the book blurb, filled with writing tips, literary folklore and publishing secrets.
They’re just a few words on books. But what are blurbs really doing (other than trying to twist your arm)? This joyful book is all about those humble 100-or-so words of jacket copy that take seconds to read but can make a world of difference – and what they tell us about literary history, the art of writing, authors from George Orwell to Zadie Smith, genres from children’s fiction to bonkbusters, cover design, the dark arts of persuasion and even who we are as readers. It answers questions such as:
Why do some authors hate blurbs so much they burn their own books?
Should all adjectives be murdered?
Why does the Netflix description barely resemble the film you’ve just watched?
Is it true that (checks jacket) you need an animal on the cover to make it a bestseller?
*Including: why do publishers always describe books using words like these?
When we buy a book, we usually identify something in the blurb that speaks to who we are. Louise is the secret ingredient in that split-second decision. This is a must-have for book lovers, writers and for all who delight in the wonder of wordplay.