What is a Blurbologist?
In the film Forces of Nature, Ben Affleck portrays a professional writer who specializes in book jacket blurbs, the short biographies and glowing reviews usually found on hardcover books. Sandra Bullock's character asks him what he does for a living, which he reluctantly admits. "Oh, you're a blurbologist!" she exclaims, much to his chagrin.
In reality, being considered a blurbologist is not the worst fate to befall a professional writer. The skills of an experienced blurbologist are quite in demand by publishing houses, public relations firms and advertising agencies. A blurbologist specializes in writing short but evocative paragraphs called blurbs in the publishing world. A new book by an established crime writer might be handed over to a blurbologist for a positive spin on the book's potential: "Author John Doe has once again succeeded in capturing the seedy splendor and gothic sadness of organized crime in the Roaring Twenties. Following in the footsteps of his acclaimed crime novel, Knock 'Em Dead, Doe's new book explores a new generation of the Diamante crime family..."
A blurbologist might also be asked to create a short biography of the author for publicity purposes or to create copy for promotional commercials or ad campaigns. If a picture requires a humorous caption, a magazine editor may consult a staffer known to be a talented blurbologist for some creative ideas. The title of blurbologist is not always an official one, and any number of professional writers could generate short, effusive blurbs for their clients. An experienced blurbologist, however, is very proficient at creating blurbs which tickle the line of hyperbole but do not cross it.
There is no specific course of study to become a professional blurbologist, other than a keen interest in the creative writing field and an ability to write copy that is tight and condensed. A blurbologist is in the promotion and publicity business as much as the writing business, so he or she must feel comfortable using highly descriptive language and some hyperbole in order to generate positive public interest in a new book or other media release.
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