I just read something interesting by Jennifer Crusie.http://www.arghink.com/2006/09/25/confessions-of-a-reformed-quote-whore/
I hate those quotes on book covers used to sell books. All of them. If I find a quote I agree with, then I can sort of understand it, but some of my favorite authors read particular sub-genres I find unappealing. (Which is the polite phrasing of, "You read that? It's pure crap.") But I've always known that Steven King doesn't read 500 books in a year, so after the 10th book someone's got their name tagging a quote on, I know that's not someone's who is recommending
Probably most authors don't read the things they're quoting for.
The post (linked above) says authors want to help each other out. I understand that since it's hard to get an agent without an established author vouching for your completed book. It's hard to get a publishing contract without an inside pathway. It's hard to get your foot in the door anywhere if you're not a social git whose extroversion swamps any intellectual accomplishments you might have. So basically authors' first loyalties are to themselves, their family, their story, their editor, their publisher, their agents, other authors, the industry supporting them, people who can get them inside the bubble....... it's not until somewhere just above frog spit that readers even register with authors.
To quote for a book without reading it is to lie to readers.
I have assumed, for a very long time, that all of the quotes were lies. I try, whenever I see an author's name quoted recommending the book, to not buy that author's books
This is quadruply true whenever a book has no summary on the back and just quotes. Like Sunshine
by Robin McKinley. About half that book was decent-ish, but the other half is a completely different book that is unrelated and incoherent. EVERY SINGLE PERSON who is quoted as loving that book is WRONG. It's not just that I didn't like Sunshine
, it's that no one
could have liked it. It should not have been published without someone
reading the whole thing through and realizing it was half of a book and the rest sounded like a cold medicine induced delusion. Sunshine
doesn't have a summary anywhere, probably because the author forgot what the book was about and then wrote that. The front cover has 5 quotes, the back cover is all filled with quotes. They even had to put in extra pages before the story to fit all the quotes.
I never put up Yelp reviews. I don't write reviews of Amazon items. Simply put, if I cannot say anything negative, then they are telling me what to say and I think they should write the comment themselves and leave me out of it. Publishers aren't going to include quotes unless they're wholly positive. So they might as well not bother having someone read it, they'll just write the quote themselves and ask someone famous to tie their name to it.
I figure with that kind of situation, no matter whose name is tied to it, anyone who is quoted on the book is lying. Chances are they didn't read the book. Chances are they didn't even write the quote their name is on. So whenever I see an author's name quoted as liking a book, I think that author is someone who doesn't give a shit about their own reputation or the quality and truth of their words. If an author is known to not care what they say, why would I read their books?
If an author is quoted on the front of a book recommending it. I might still buy the book, but I haven't read a single thing in 2 years which was worth staking a professional reputation upon, except the brand new book I read when it was new, The Warded Man
, which did not have any quotes. I am holding every
quote against the person whose name is tagging it.
If you quote for a book you haven't read, you have no interest in the quality of your words and I am not going to buy your books.