A dazzling dictionary of book blurbs, filled with writing tips, literary folklore and publishing secrets
‘The bookiest book about books you’ll ever read – I loved it’ Lucy Mangan
‘Truly delightful...I couldn’t have had more fun’ Benjamin Dreyer
‘Very funny, erudite and profound. A delight!’ Nina Stibbe
They’re just a few words on books. But what are blurbs really doing (other than trying to twist your arm)? This book is all about those 100-or-so words 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’s also about quotes, titles, first lines, hooks, adverts, puns, swearing, plots, someone called Belinda and much more. It answers questions such as:
Why do some authors hate blurbs so much they burn their own books?
Should all adjectives be murdered?
Is it true that (checks jacket) you need an animal on a book’s cover to make it a bestseller?
About the Author
Louise Willder has been a copywriter at Penguin Books for twenty-five years. During this time, she estimates she has produced about 5,000 blurbs. She doesn’t follow people round bookshops, willing them to buy books she’s written the copy for. Really, she doesn’t.
‘Truly delightful… charming and gracefully learned… Louise Willder, a copywriter with decades of experience, brings so much joy and, indeed, enthusiasm to her book about books that anyone and everyone who revels in reading will find real enchantment here. I couldn’t have had more fun.’
— Benjamin Dreyer, author of the New York Times bestseller Dreyer’s English
‘The bookiest book about books you’ll ever read – I loved it.’
— Lucy Mangan, author of Bookworm
‘Very funny, erudite and profound. A delight!’
— Nina Stibbe
‘I love this book’s sheer happiness and humanity. It is rich, wise and soul-awaking, exhilarating-like-the-snowman-flying-through-the-air-of-human-gloriousness. And, God, she's funny. Buy it, read it, give it.’
— Martin Latham, author of The Bookseller’s Tale
'This total gem is an illuminating, dazzling, quirky, fascinating, erudite, thought-provoking, hilarious and totally essential celebration of the outside of books. Willder is my new style icon.'
— Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller, Editor's Choice
‘Jammed with funny, curious and stylish thoughts and insights, Blurb Your Enthusiasm will be loved by absolutely everybody with an obsessive interest in books and their appearance.’
— Simon Winder, author of Germania
‘This book is ace! A must-read for any and every writer or book-obsessed person!’
— Sophie Hannah
‘For anyone who needs or wants to use words persuasively, this is the most enjoyable masterclass you’ll ever read.’
— Rob Williams, screenwriter of Killing Eve and The Victim
‘Uproarious, gossipy and utterly fascinating: a masterclass in how to judge a book by its cover. It makes words seem weird and wild again.’
— Henry Eliot, author of The Penguin Classics Book