Jeff Pearlman

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Blurbage

“This blog post sucks especially badly.”

— Jeff Pearlman, author, Sweetness

The UPS truck pulled up to my house a few minutes ago.

I absolutely love the UPS truck. It’s not quite the ice cream truck, but it far surpasses the mail man. The UPS truck is filled with limitless possibilities. Does it contain a book I ordered? My throwback Tampa Bay Bucs hat? A gift for my son’s upcoming birthday? One never, ever really knows—and that’s the joy. To cite Robyn Furman, it’s serendipity!

I digress.

Today, the UPS truck didn’t have anything especially interesting for me. Merely, the draft of a book. See, as a semi-established author with a couple of grams of street cred, I get hit up quite often to blurb other books. What’s a blurb? A blurb are those short passages on the back of book covers, where other writers glowingly praise the work at hand. I’ve probably blurbed, oh, 15-20 books. If this seems like a brag, or even a #humblebrag, believe me—it ain’t. I get asked to blurb books when there’s no one else to ask. Or, put differently, when Maraniss and Eig and Kriegel and Wertheim and Montville and Jenkins and and Reilly and Rushin and Ballard and Bryant and Leavy and Lewis and Lupica and Schaap and Freeman and Silver and Wilbon and Kornheiser and Posnanski and Fasbach are all unavailable, and times are particularly desperate, someone will ask me. Especially since I almost never have the heart to say no.

Why? Because asking for blurbs sucks. I mean, it really, really sucks. You know you’re inconveniencing people; know nobody really wants to read your new book on blah blah blah topic. We’re all professionals, with busy schedules and limited time and families and gym memberships. If I am reading something, it’s almost always related to the book I’m writing. But, since it’s such a humbling process, I have a hard time rejecting someone’s request. Sadly, what ends up happening (to be honest) is I’ll read a couple of chapters, get a feel for the subject, then write a blurb. I’ll never lie, or even exaggerate. But, if the book is just sorta meh, I’ll limit the praise to, “X book really tackles the topic with passion, etc, etc.”

Anyhow, I’m babbling. Please don’t ask me to blurb your book. Because I’ll inevitable say friggin’ yes.

  • Keith Ryan Cartwright

    Does this mean you’ll blurb my second one? If only I had known three years ago I would have hit you up then.

Showtime Book
Love Me, Hate Me Barry Bonds Book
Sweetness Walter Peyton Book
The Bad Guys Won Book
The Rocket that Fell to Earth Book
Boys Will Be Boys Book

Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life