Blurbs are said to be most helpful to booksellers, indicating the publishing house’s belief in a book. For instance, take a debut novel with an Ian McEwan blurb. A quote from Ye Olde Booker-Prize Magnet helps contextualize the book within the house’s season more than it does within the pantheon of literature, and distinguishes it from the pile of other 2009 debut novels about the “transformative power of love, family, and memory” (etc. etc. etc.).
But what if you get a blurb from Twitter? Should the publishing house use it? If Bret Easton Ellis praised my book, I’d be hiring skywriters to spread the word all over Manhattan.
I think as long as you get the blurber’s permission, it should be fine. On a practical level this would work best for the paperback push, since it’s likely the Twitter praise would appear after the hardcover release. We do this for blogs already, of course: at Macmillan we were all very excited when Stephenie Meyer recommended Victoria Forester’s The Girl Who Could Fly on her site. I see no reason why the imprints shouldn’t be collecting praise from Twitter as well.
Does anyone know of publishers blurbing tweets already?