Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud.
What If Bloggers Had Blurbs?
Blurbs provide a comparative and summative look over-and-beyond the synopsis for marketing purposes; often downgrading the brand to stand on its own. What if blogs, booktube, booklr, bookstagram, and the people behind these brands blurbed the content they write?
Read the following with a movie trailer voice:
From the author of He Said, She Said comes a new discussion challenging the vision and complacency of book blurbs in literature. Equal parts persuasive, satire, and snark, thoughts and afterthoughts, delivers a direct hit to the rhetorics of marketing.
Pretty ri-damn-diculous, right?
Synopsis blurbs are notorious for lumping everything under the same umbrella as the next “someone” or “certain book title”. I’m sure you’ve seen many of these comparisons made; extending into the realm of substitutable products. I’m not downplaying the possibility to say “this book shares some similarities to book-title-here” after you’ve read the book. The point is that it doesn’t set the precedent of “A is going to be like B” prior-to. Anytime you hear a “next John Green” or “fans of Hunger Games” so much detail becomes lumped into one bulk catch-all term. Yes, propping up a book up against another can help build traction, but it also dilutes the possibility to become a self-sustaining entity to leave the shadow that’s being cast onto it.
Then I had this thought: what if book bloggers (or BookTubers/Booklr-ers/Bookstagrammers) had blurbs to market themselves (e.g. branding) or their content (e.g. new multimedia)?
Imagine if you came across any of these:
(All links reference back to their respective blogs. I tried to come up with representative examples of the average blurb.)
Internationally trending blogger, Jenny in Neverland, captivates readers with a new blog on Disney—princesses who book shimmy, princes who slay the hashtag, and a new twist on anthropomorphic sidekicks that connect us all.
From the minds behind 2014 Curator & Curatee nominee Oh, The Books! comes a new intricate blog that weaves robust indexing with the imaginative power of The Bookish Games about a community’s sound reverberating through the voices of many.
From the acclaimed author of I’m an EXO-L Groupie comes XingSings, an unflinching love story about past obsessions intertwining with the realities of waning interest. This insightful debut is a profound exploration of communities, memes, and a blogger at the heart of it all.
From the down under comes a refreshing new voice in the vein of Brett Michael Orr meets Josie’s Book Corner. Liam’s Library delivers a penetrating look at beauty within fantasy romance through compelling discussions chock full of honest wit and soulful vindication.
While some of them do sound pretty neat, it’s ridiculous if brands (and their voice by extension) start getting compared to one another in lieu of the reading ages or genres that typically define the content you see on their respective domains.
But for the sake of argument (because why the heck not?), what if voices in the community adopted this marketing tool?
As bloggers/booktubers/booklr-ers/bookstagrammers, we preach individuality; the acceptance of being yourself and embracing the difference and uniqueness of your voice in a sea of similar-yet-dissonant opinions. If this categorical emphasis on comparative branding were to occur in various forums of communication, who’s to say originality and identity exists separate to who those we’re being compared to?
Moreover, who would be the one to write these abstracts—you? The integrity just seems lost when you’re blurbing yourself for yourself. With the struggle to stay on top of your blogging game (or otherwise), the only one eager enough to fan your ego [realistically] is that brain of yours. But I digress.
See, the point isn’t that bloggers can’t aspire to on the same level as someone else…it’s that they aren’t automatically being dubbed a carbon copy on the get go. Even if you genuinely deem yourself similar to another brand, the relationship might not be reciprocated. If that were the case, then I’m the next Epic Reads or Book Riot or any other stellar site out there.
Heck, you can call me Goodreads.
The point I’m getting at is that if you draw parallels between book-blurbs and blogger-blurbs, and hold the constants of “drawing comparisons”, it simply marginalizes the voice behind the brand. While there’s a novelty and coolness to being compared to an icon, letting the voice of the story and content speak for itself ought to be the defining criteria of merit than blind judgment based on the baggage of claimed substitutable products.
The blogger brands/handles used in this post were pretty random (most were taken from scrolling through Twitter or Reader feeds). I attempted to be somewhat accurate with their descriptions though…sort of. You might not know of the other party referenced but that’s okay. So, yeah, by no means was I trying to offend anyone mentioned.
Some things for you to think about:
1) What do you think about blog-blurbing?
2) Which comparisons in book blurbing (e.g. book titles or authors) do you find are the most overused? How fair are those statements (do they ring true)?
3) For vanity’s sake, if you had to compare your blogging style to other people, who would it be? (You’re encouraged to write your own if you so please).
This post is inspired the confusion I get when I read a blurb and the outcome is nothing remotely similar to it. And my brain. My brain is wonderful. I initially imagined this to be a feature to spotlight bloggers but I didn’t know how well received it would have been and/or my scope of bloggers is mostly limited to WordPress users.