the diminishing description

anyone besides me notice that no one tries to ‘sell’ their books anymore? they just describe them. I like to cruise the flickr images of books…hey it’s my porn so what? and quite often i see an image of a book that looks interesting, so I slap the title into a database and see if there are any out there. Sure what I find is usually adequate to BUY a copy if I absolutely know i want it…but fewer and fewer sellers describe the CONTENT of the books anymore. Just entering part of the blurb on the back of the book would suffice. Granted they are plenty of NEAR FINE MAY HAVE UNDERLINING OR HIGHLIGHTING and such like and so forth, but no one tries to make me WANT The book. WE are all just assuming that only a person who knows the book already would bother looking it up. I remember when the internet was all new and sparkly and just waiting to have one poke around all the corners and edges to see what turns up, one could browse for weeks on end just through the hundreds of uploaded text databases on Compuserve alone. Sellers were just uploading their mail order catalogs and internal databases which contained lots of descriptive text, making each book sound better than it actually was. Now I am lucky if ONE seller for every title enters any commentary at all about the book contents. Too bad to, cause these days I am only looking to buy books I don’t know i want.

One Response to the diminishing description

  1. Ian C July 25, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    "…these days I am only looking to buy books I don't know i want"

    Exactly! Where's the spirit of adventure these days? The internet's greatest strength is that it's one giant lucky dip. There could be anything in there.

    I've been doing a bit of small-scale selling on eBay for quite a few years and the way they've changed the browsing experience seems to be all about assuming everyone knows what they want and only wants what they know. But I persist in writing tailor-made descriptions of book contents.

    It's actually a lot more fun doing that than just cutting and pasting blurb copy – so much so that I'm now more interested in that than the selling and have turned it into a blog on random books called Bumped and Foxed.

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