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Policies & Practices > leader text in book descriptions

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message 1: by Ken-ichi (new)

Ken-ichi | 11 comments Since a lot of the book descriptions get copied from outside sources, they often contain some leader text before the description that I personally consider pretty useless. Here's a current example:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27...

"Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?" doesn't really tell me as much about the book as the rest of the description. Sometimes there's also some leading text about other books the author has written, like "In 2002 Vlad Vladivostok wowed critics with his chilling thriller, THE FROZEN TENTACLE," which I also find annoying.

Usually I delete this stuff, but maybe I'm biased by my personal preference. Do other people find these annoying? Any chance we can update the manual to discourage this sort of stuff?


message 2: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Well, I have been deleting it if it doesn't add to the actual description of a book myself because it doesn't add anything to the review.

I also tend to dump things like "52 weeks on the best seller list" or "another sexy vampire mystery!" or whatever.


message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 22757 comments If I come across bumf like this, I delete it as well.


message 4: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 362 comments Thank you, all, who delete it - I too find it annoying and distracting and, ironically, *detracting* - I'm *less* likely to want to read a book that has that stuff in its description.


message 5: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I've been including that sort of thing when I write up book descriptions using the back cover copy, on the idea that it tells me exactly what I'd know if I were picking up the book and looking at it.


message 6: by Dori (new)

Dori (adorible) | 198 comments Cait wrote: "I've been including that sort of thing when I write up book descriptions using the back cover copy, on the idea that it tells me exactly what I'd know if I were picking up the book and looking at it."

So have I...


message 7: by Ken-ichi (new)

Ken-ichi | 11 comments Cait wrote: "I've been including that sort of thing when I write up book descriptions using the back cover copy, on the idea that it tells me exactly what I'd know if I were picking up the book and looking at it."

I can see where you're coming from, but my view is that a) Goodreads isn't trying to hook you into buying a thing in your hands like the publishing company that wrote the jacket copy is (we would like you to, of course, but not based on some silly teaser copy), and b) the contextual info (author of bestseller blah) should be provided by the rest of the content of the page.


message 8: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 362 comments Exactly. Hype is hype, not part of the helpfulness that GR provides. It's like that "buy button" that's being dissed on the comments about the new book page - GR is not a bookseller. We can click on the Buy button if we want that kind of stuff.


message 9: by [ A ] (new)

[ A ] | 51 comments Personally, the only thing I think is appropriate for the "Description" field is the book description itself.

If the back of a book is full of quotes about the author or reviews (etc), I disregard them since that is not actually about the contents of the book itself.

I'm with Ken-ichi, if I come across info that is not actual book description, I remove it.


message 10: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments I tend to leave what is on the back of the book, unless it's all reviews.


message 11: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I suppose it depends on whether you see the desription field as a "plot summary" field or an "attention hook" field. Myself, I'd actually rather know how the author plans to hook me than what's going to happen after I'm hooked -- Ken-ichi's "Could you survive..." example from the original post is exactly the sort of thing I expect on a book description.


message 12: by Cait (last edited Aug 27, 2010 08:57PM) (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I don't copy out blurbs or author bios, though -- author bios, when I find them, go in the author bio field!


message 13: by Brian (new)

Brian (furicle) | 23 comments Cait wrote: "I don't copy out blurbs or author bios, though -- author bios, when I find them, go in the author bio field!"

+1 - I think hook lines like that belong. Bios or reviews don't as others have already pointed out.


message 14: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 579 comments I leave 'hook lines' in descriptions, but either delete, or move to the end of a book's description, things like reviewer quotes and info about other books the author may have written (especially if they are related/series with the one I'm looking at.)


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

+1 for Ken-ichi: I find it terribly annoying. If it's not an abstract or a description of the *content* of the book, IMHO it has nothing to do in GR's description since it's essentially marketing material.

As a non-native English speaker, I'd also add another point in favour of retaining only information pertaining to the content of the book: as I see it, such "blurbs" are typically Anglo-Saxon. Very rarely you'll see reviews on French or Italian books, and when it's the case, you can almost always be sure it's a translation from English.

While not disturbing for me as a buyer, such blurbs are overwhelmingly distracting when (like on GR) I'm trying to make myself an opinion on a book as a *reader*.

Of course, YMMV and all that, but my vote is for "do not include them".


message 16: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 362 comments Thank you Serge K.

(also, I like all your photos :)


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you, Cheryl! :)


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