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Blurb Your Enthusiasm

A Cracking Compendium of Book Blurbs, Writing Tips, Literary Folklore and Publishing Secrets

Published by Oneworld Publications
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

A dazzling dictionary of book blurbs, filled with writing tips, literary folklore and publishing secrets


'A small masterpiece. There is something funny, notable or awe-inspiring on every single page’ Jenny Colgan, Spectator

A joyful celebration of books – the perfect gift for bibliophiles, word lovers and anyone who’s ever wondered, should you judge a book by its cover?

We love the words in books – but what about the words on them? How do they work their magic? Penguin Books blurb wizard Louise Willder joyfully divulges what those 100-or-so words can tell us about literary history, the craft 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 why we read. She also answers burning questions such as:

• Should all adjectives be murdered?
• Is blurbing sometimes maybe lying?
• Which classic novel was nearly called The High Bouncing Lover?
• What are the worst blurbs of all time?

‘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

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.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (October 11, 2022)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780861542178

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Raves and Reviews

'A small masterpiece. There is something funny, notable or awe-inspiring on every single page. Some books simply slide into your life like good-humoured old friends. This is undoubtedly one of them.'

– Jenny Colgan, Spectator

The bookiest book about books you’ll ever read – I loved it.’

– Lucy Mangan, author of Bookworm

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 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

'A little marvel...consummately brilliant'

– Daily Mail

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

‘Wise and witty...she is full of vim, blessed too with an unusual sense of enquiry, a comic turn of phrase and a talent for investigation into almost every nook and cranny of the business and pleasure of books.’

– Carmen Callil, The Oldie

‘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

'Bookworms will devour this'

– Good Housekeeping

‘This book is ace! A must-read for any and every writer or book-obsessed person!’

– Sophie Hannah

‘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

'Studded with jewels'

– Literary Review

‘Tracking the blurb through history, literary practices, authors’ lives, reading habits, and more, Willder opens up the world of wordplay that lies at the heart of writing and publishing.’

– Idler

‘Willder’s breezy book sweeps across publishing history, imbuing her research and professional expertise with the tantalizing thrill of dinner party gossip … so smart and witty that you barely realize how much she is teaching about writing’

– Ron Charles, Washington Post

‘[Willder] is a charming guide not just to blurbs, but to first lines, hatchet jobs, puffs … I couldn’t, as the cliché goes, put it down.’

– Laura Freeman, The Times, Best Books of 2022

‘With chapters on swearing, spoilers and silliness (all acceptable in moderation), Willder makes a fine case for the blurb as an art form in its own right.’

– Daily Mail

‘Delightful … charming … this book feels like the surprising pleasure of a mimosa with breakfast or a bawdy song after dinner… Willder is the perfect guide’

– Carrie Callaghan, Washington Independent Review of Books

‘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

‘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

'A zingy compendium… A crisp reminder of how profoundly words can affect us.’

– Sunday Business Post

'With chapters on swearing, spoilers and silliness (all acceptable in moderation), Willder makes a fine case for the blurb as an art form in its own right.'

– Daily Mail

‘Louise Willder’s witty guide Blurb Your Enthusiasm is a treat for insiders and book-world fans… Wilder celebrates the practice of turning literature into a catchy product that both illuminates people about a book and retains the book’s mystique.’

– Foreword Reviews

‘A delight… She is a delightful and amusing guide to the subject. One for the book lover in your life.’

– Herald (Glasgow)

‘Funny and anecdote-crammed history of the art of the book blurb. You’ll definitely never read book jackets the same way again.’

– Reader's Digest

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