First line/the hook: distinguishes for the reader why this book is different, through tone/intriguing line/excerpt from the novel/etc.
First paragraph: introduces the characters, plot, and setting in a highly distilled form
Second/Third paragraph: tells a little about the consequences of the actions the MC(s) take(s)
Final Paragraph: promotional language about how excellent, riveting, and/or captivating the book is, plus some comments on the author's brilliant writing
That final paragraph is the one I'm wondering about. I have nothing against a bit of promotion, but for some books it's longer than the other contents of the blurb. In other cases the roles are reversed and the final paragraph becomes the first; the blurb starts out with promotion, and continues to go on and on about the author's talent and the book's significance.
It's in such cases as those when I become less and and less inclined to turn the page. I want to know what the book is about; who the character's are, what they're up against, whether I should look forward to hyperspace jumps or magic runes. In addition, while I find reviews by major reviewers such as The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) interesting in their own right, I don't really pay much attention to them when they're on the front flap; which is where they're placed for a lot of blurbs.
One exception to promotion is when I've read something by the author before. I wouldn't mind a paragraph about a writer I really liked in a blurb--though I still prefer it if they mention "NYT Bestselling Author" at the bottom, after the information about the story. A novel should stand on its own regardless of who wrote it.
What do you think? How much promotion is too much for you when you're browsing and looking for something to read?
-----The Golden Eagle