Last year, I posted here about how to use the blurbs one author gives to another author as a tool to help readers. In fact, I use "blurbs" quite often at the desk when I am helping readers.
Again, read this post where I go into exact detail on how I use blurbs as an RA tool. I don't want to repeat myself.
I am not the only one out there contemplating the place of the author blurb in today's literary landscape. The New York Times is currently running a very interesting discussion entitled, "The Quandary of the Book Blurb." The series includes essays by bestselling author Stephen King, author and editor Sophfronia Scott, journalist and novelist Bill Morris, and literary agent Sharon Bowers. Together, the 4 essays cover every aspect of the blurb and how it can help or hinder authors and/or book sales. There is also a place for your comments as part of this discussion.
I feel that the author blurb is an important resource for helping readers, one which is often forgotten about. Reading these essays from the author, reviewer, and agent side of the issue will help you to understand how and if you can use these blurbs to help your readers find their next good read.
I am all about using "outside the box resources," a category into which I place author blurbs. As readers become more savvy about finding their own readalikes, especially with the popularity of sites like GoodReads (where readers are already having intelligent and useful conversations about their reading), librarians who help leisure readers need to make sure we are using the wealth of information and resources available to us as efficiently and effectively as we can. We need to make out training and expertise count.
We need to stand out as an invaluable resource to our patrons, not only because we have the books there for free checkout, but because our knowledge and assistance enhances their reading experience.
Which leads me to...well...me. I can come out to your library or conference to help you to close the training gap with your staff. I am currently booked through the summer but am beginning to schedule appearances starting in Fall 2012 (after August 21). Click here for more information.
I will also be appearing at the PLA conference next week (more details in the coming days). For a full list of all RA related programming at PLA, use the handy link from my friends at Reader's Advisor Online.
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