Friday, 22 April 2016

Why fill a blurb with spoilers?

Things that blurbs are supposed to do -
  • Peak your interest.
  • Give you a vague idea of who the main character is.
  • Introduce you to the major conflict.
Things that blurbs are NOT supposed to do -
  • Spoil.
 (I thought you didn't mind spoilers?)

 I don't, when I go looking for them, that is, or when I've put myself in a position where I am fully aware that I might see them. I wouldn't complain about spoilers seen whilst browsing Tumblr, for example. But there's something about seeing a spoiler in a blurb that just ruins my week.

Spoilers do not belong in blurbs because...

1. Have you ever been in a bookshop? 

(Objection! That question is stupid.)

Objection! That question is perfectly valid. Just think about it for a second, when you go into a bookshop, how often do they have entire series? It's very easy to pick a sequel up off the shelf without realising that there's a book before it. If the blurb of book two reveals the big twist of book one, it spoils an important part of the series. If you enjoy the first book, chances are that you're going to read the rest of the series. Knowing the ending will take all of the tension out of the book and may dampen the reader's enjoyment.

2. Catching Fire was not aimed at people who hadn't read The Hunger Games

If somebody is buying a sequel, chances are they've read book one. No, they won't remember all of the little details but the twist is supposed to be the memorable part. More to the point, they can recap by flicking through the last book, or using the internet, or talking to somebody else who's read it. 

Have you ever had a series spoilt by a blurb?