Ever feel cheated by the blurb on the back cover of a book?
And I don't just mean the marketing stuff. I understand the superlatives. They can be tiresome, but that's the basic reality of the market. "This is the most fantastic book of the decade, the best since X, a sterling combination of Y and Z!" That's marketing, that's trying to sell something. I'm fine with it. I mean, I know they can't just go and say "Hey, this is a mediocre novel in a long tradition of mediocre novels on this subject."
But what about the story blurb itself? Ever feel a little cheated? And, while reading the book, you find yourself stopping and turning to that blurb, as if to reassure yourself that this really is the book you thought you were reading? It's not that the blurb is completely alien. I mean, there's usually a number of corresponding and identifiable elements. It's just that they don't seem to fit together in the same way. The story as outlined and promised in that blurb simply isn't the story inside the covers.
Of course, this is subjective. It's a reader's view only (and a single reader, at that). And the blurb probably wasn't written by the writer. (or it was?) It just seems strange. Such blurbs remind me, sometimes, of the phone game. Pass one sentence independently through thirty different people and what do you have? A very different sentence, usually. It feels like some of these blurbs have been edited and reworked and rewritten as little stories themselves, evaluated for marketing potential and then reworked again... without much thought for the actual story inside.
Have you come across this? Any thoughts? And as a writer would you want to write the blurbs for your own books? (or have a say in them, at least?)