Thursday, September 13, 2012


With only one month and three days until the release of HAVE A NICE DAY, the sequel to my first novel, GET WELL SOON, GWS has finally been released for Kindle and iPad! Whilst checking out the listing on Amazon, I came across a funny phenomenon. I don't know when they started doing this, and maybe it has already been noted in various other blogs, but at the bottom of the page Amazon has started pulling and highlighting blurbs from reviews. Not professional reviews, like they've always had on the site, but blurbs from Amazon reader reviews. And I'm wondering if a human being or a computer is the one pulling the blurbs. Behold the three for GET WELL SOON: [Forgive the font and size changes. That's what happens when you cut and paste from the web. The spacing is all jacked up, too.]

I enjoyed the crazy cast of characters Ana encounters, and although I haven't been in a situation like hers, the story rang very true for me. London  |  9 reviewers made a similar statement
Nice, right? And apparently, 9 reviewers made a similar statement. Same with the next one.
The really funny moments of the book make you laugh out loud. Colleen  |  9 reviewers made a similar statement I found this blurb to be weird. Not in the context of a review, but as a blurb that is supposed to highlight the book, this felt really random.  She brings up some really great points throughout the novel, such as the idea of eliminating stereotypes. Runa  |  3 reviewers made a similar statementNow let's look at INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER, winner of the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award! (I can say that officially now.)
It was different, funny, and filled with great characters. Addy Simpson  |  9 reviewers made a similar statement
I don't know. This isn't selling me on the book, yet supposedly 9 reviewers made a similar statement. Again, it's not a bad thing to write, but I don't know if it's a quotable quote.
I think teens and adults alike will really enjoy this book. Book geek  |  6 reviewers made a similar statementDid 6 people really make a similar statement?
I even have an interest in giving Dungeons and Dragons a try sometime! TeensReadToo  |  5 reviewers made a similar statementThis blurb is cute but makes me think that there isn't a real person choosing the content. Why, I don't know. Just, how did they decide what to pull?  Finally, let's take a look at my first book, the picture book TOBY AND THE SNOWFLAKES:TOBY AND THE SNOWFLAKES
One snowflake wishes for a warm piece of pecan pie...A snowflake voice calls out, `Come play in us. M. Allen Greenbaum  |  1 reviewer made a similar statement
Bravo to Julie Halpern and Matthew Cordell, a married duo, for their success with their first-time collaboration! Eva K. Esrum      The last blurb is funny because it was made by Matt's high school art teacher. I don't know why that's funny, but I like the small-worldness of that blurb being pulled. 
Do people read these blurbs? Are there humans pulling them, and if so, how do they choose which lines to pull? How similar does a statement have to be to garner a nod in the similar statement statistics? The science of blurbs is always interesting. My publisher has consistently pulled different blurbs from my professional reviews than the blurbs I choose to pull. From the first (and only, so far) review of HAVE A NICE DAY, my publisher chose this quote to post on Amazon: 

"...laugh-out-loud funny and immensely intelligent.”--Kirkus

 I chose these lines from the same review for my webpage: 
"Biting wit makes this quest for suburban normalcy in the face of depression and anxiety both laugh-out-loud funny and immensely intelligent... Fresh as a daisy and sharp as a tack."  

Read the full *starred* review from Kirkus here, and choose your own blurb! Not quite as exciting as a Choose Your Own Adventure. But what is?


James Preller said...

Julie, you are the best. The SC award is awesome. I visited there last year, met some great librarians, I wonder if you'll run into Donna Hagan (remember that name, she's awesome).

And, yeah, order the She Crab soup.

Julie H said...

Thanks, Jimmy! Sorry for the late reply. That craft fair was a doozy of a time suck. I will remember that name. That soup sounds scary.