Making Survival First: Part 21 - Blurbs
This is Part 21 of the Making Survival First book series. For the previous sections click here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20
A book is one long sales funnel.
The inside of a book is designed so that each page, paragraph, and sentence makes you want to read the next. This was the first three years of the book journey - making the best manuscript possible.
After that came the outside of the book - the title, cover, and book description. Each of these are designed to make you want to open the book and read it. I think I’ve done a good job with those so far.
But there's a smaller element that isn’t as critical as the others, but is still a part of the sales puzzle - blurbs.
Blurbs are short messages by other people recommending the book, usually listed somewhere on the cover.
This Scribe video, describes blubs this way. Blurbs provide social proof for your readers who don’t know about you.
For example: This book is fucking sick! - Fancy high status person
Blurbs are useful for obvious reasons. Blurb-writers loan their status and credibility to the author which helps sell the book. A blurb from Oprah/Tim Ferriss/Joe Rogan or any audience-relevant high status influencer can make a huge difference. The more high status blurbs the better.
However, I am not well connected or famous. I’m an unknown entity in the greater influencer-sphere. Maybe I’m overly pessimistic, but I didn’t think I was going to convince any busy high-status person to read and blurb a book from somebody they don't know. Nor did I think random blurbs from random non-status people would be useful.
But I wanted to have blurbs anyways. So I did what I've always done throughout this process.
I did it my way and wrote my own blurbs.
Of course, this is absurd, but that's the point. Absurdity, when done right is fun and practical.
I wasn't going to borrow somebody else's status as a proxy signal for my book, and of course I wasn’t going to make up fake blurbs from real people. But I could use blurbs to send the right signals to the right people. So I put myself in the shoes of the people I wanted to send signals to and got carried away.
Here’s what I came up along with the signals I'm intending for each.
Blurb 1: “Never heard of him. Did not read.” —Major Media Outlet
Here I'm signaling that I'm not some famous high status person that already has a lot of attention. Instead, I'm signaling that I’m an ordinary non-famous entrepreneur who can relate to other ordinary entrepreneurs.
Blurb 2: “Didn’t say “crush it” once! NOT ONCE! 1 STAR.” —Annoying Internet Influencer
I'm not some annoyingly unrelatable gum-swallowing psycho jamming a book with empty-air nonsense platitudes.
Blurb 3: “Survival First lacks academic rigor and instead relies on pedestrian logic. The author’s vulgarity constitutes literary vandalism, and he suffers from the admirable delusion of comparing himself to the great Dante Alighieri. 2 stars.” —Pompous Academic
This one has a few signals. This book isn't for (academic/corporate business types), which better helps explain who the book is for (ordinary people who probably never went to business school).
It clues you into the kind of frothy language I use in the book, and creates some intrigue by getting people to ask what the fuck does this book have to do with Dante Alighieri?
Blurb 4: “The spiritual successor my Divine Comedy deserves! 5 stars.” —Dante Alighieri’s ghost
Calling my shot on this one. In a playfully absurd way I want the reader to think: Who the hell is this dude and why is he comparing himself to one of the greatest poets of all time?
Blurb 5: “I came in thinking I was reading a business book, and now I’m crying to my therapist. 4 stars.” —Entrepreneur who recently discovered feelings
This a another signal to the relatable non-psycho entrepreneur who sees themselves as a real human with emotions first and entrepreneur second.
Blub 6: “Better than ayahuasca. 5 stars.” —Burnt-Out Millennial Entrepreneur
I know my audience is psychedelically and spiritually inclined. This is a not-so-subtle nod.
Blub 7: “Reading Survival First saved me from making a lot of stupid decisions. Thank God I found this book. 5 stars.” —Relatable, Down-to-Earth Entrepreneur
After all the playful and ridiculous energy I wanted something ordinary. This is the least vague, least ridiculous, and most direct response I imagine my typical reader would have after reading the book.
I don't know if or how much impact these blurbs will have. But I know I had fun making them, and I suspect people will have fun reading them, and that will get more people to read the book.