Experiments, Marketing Strategies

BlurbTrade: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Reviews sell books. So how do you get them?

You can’t buy them anymore, the way John Locke did. You can’t ask your friends and family to post glowing reviews–Amazon will remove them. You can do giveaways. You can write book reviewing bloggers.

…and tear your hair out in frustration in the process.

Short of writing books that provoke readers to have to comment (a strategy that seems to be working with this title of mine), you’re pretty much stuck. You could easily expend vast amounts of energy in return for little reward on this front.

What’s an aspiring author to do?

Waiting for organic reviews is fine, and it’ll come naturally if you build a large enough platform. Until then, a new kid on the block offers something of real value to authors:


Even more important than reviews are author blurbs. A corrupt practice? Indubitably. Effective? Equally indubabubility [sic]!

Get a handful of fellow authors in your genre to swap blurbs promoting each other’s work:

This fast-paced thriller had me on the edge of my seat, until I actually fell off and broke three verterbrae! Holy platypus, SquirrelMan, what a great book!

Who wouldn’t want that, or some minor variation, on their book cover / Amazon book page / author web site?

Now, it would be better if it were a blurb from someone famous. But if not? Readers will just assume the author who blurbed you is someone famous and worth checking out.

Note: Get in on this trend NOW. If this practice catches on, within a couple of years it will devalue all blurbs completely. Until then, let’s you and me blurb each other and sell some books!

P.S. BlurbTrade is exploiting a loophole in Amazon’s review policy: It is against their rules to swap reviews with other authors, but not to swap blurbs, a publishing tradition. Let’s hope they don’t try to close this loophole.

Written by: J.M. Porup

Novelist J.M. Porup is An American Dissident in Exile. Read More


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