In the LDS market, are blurbs on a book cover from established authors an effective marketing tool? Especially in the case of a release from a first time author?
Personally, as a reader, I never look at the blurbs. Since I don't know the blurbers personally, I can't determine whether their blurb is an honest eval or something they've done to please their publisher. Therefore, I assume all of them to be hype and ignore them accordingly.
However, the powers that be must feel that blurbs accomplish something because they're all over every book. Since that is the case, I say go ahead and jump on the blurb-o-wagon. Get them. Give them. Whatever.
Readers: Have you ever purchased a book based on a blurb from someone you didn't know personally? How and why did it influence you?