I wrote a query. I got an agent. I wrote a book proposal. I got a publisher. I wrote my 80,000-word manuscript. I’m now in editing hell, but my book is coming out in September and I should be happy! Hard part is over!
Now, I must find “famous people” who are willing to read my book and give a quote for the cover. Huh? After climbing all of those mountains I just described, this one is giving me the biggest headache. I don’t know any famous people. I don’t know how to get close to famous people. Help!
Why is this necessary? And how does one go about doing it?
Thanks for any advice…as always, I love your blog.
PS–do you still represent NAME DELETED? I think my book would be right up her alley…..
Hey…can’t blame me for trying!!
Dear Name Deleted:
Getting blurbs is the most heinous part of the process unless you are connected up the wazoo. It’s mortifying asking for blurbs. I once saw a galley in a used bookstore in Cape Cod that I had sent out with the letter still inside: Dear Stanley Kunitz, It is with great pleasure that I’m sending XX with the hope that you might offer an endorsement…
The bottom line is that one good blurb can really open some doors, or compel a reader to open your book. Look at newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Harding’s book, Tinkers. One very sweet blurb on the cover by Marilynne Robinson did not hurt. I may not use Cover Girl make-up because Ellen Degeneres shills for it, but I will read a book because one of my favorite authors blurbs it even if it is another case of log-rolling in our time. Think about how few elements there are to interest a reader strolling through a bookstore crowded with merchandise. A great blurb might grab a reader, it might also grab a reviewer, a producer, etc. They’re like vitamins. They could really help and they won’t hurt.
That said, if you you’re a nobody from nowhere, it really sucks trying to get blurbs. You’re like Oliver at the orphanage: please sir. Hopefully your editor or agent can call in a favor or two. Or perhaps you ‘ll tap into some insanely self-promoting gene that’s been dormant until now and stop at nothing until your back ad is sagging under the weight of so many blurbs. My favorite story of blurbomania involves none other than Walt Whitman who took a line from a letter that Emerson had written and splashed it all over the second edition of his book, ” I greet you at the beginning of a great career. “
Finally, dear writer whose pain I feel, I no longer represent NAME DELETED. But I have a feeling you’re going to be just fine. Let us know!
BLURBS: Where do you stand? As a reader and as a writer?