by Kristi Belcamino
Do blurbs mean something to you or are they useless?
I still cringe remembering having to ask for blurbs for my first book.
So not fun.
I was extraordinarily lucky that I happened to ask some of the nicest crime fiction writers in the biz for blurbs, which made it a heck of a lot easier.
Recently, one of my closest friends got a two-book deal and is in the position of having to ask for blurbs. So far, she is doing everything right. And believe me, I think there are many ways to go astray in seeking blurbs.
We've written a lot about blurbs on Do Some Damage, but it is probably worth revisiting every so often.
Rather than blab too much about my limited experience on blurbs and blurbing, I'll offer up three rules I believe should be followed and then a few links I've found on blurbing.
Here are my rules for what they are worth:
1. Read the author you are asking for a blurb. Blurbing 101? You'd think, but I was asked for a blurb I was unable to provide, and a month later saw on Goodreads that the author who had asked for the blurb had just started reading my first book. Doh. The problem with this ISN'T indignation that someone DIDN'T read my book! The problem is how can she know my writing is copacetic with her, which leads me to my second rule:
2. Ask authors who have something- whether it is style or subject matter-similar to your book. For instance, I asked Bruce DeSilva for a blurb because he is a lifelong journalist who writes book featuring reporters. A natural fit, no?
I also asked Alex Marwood, another longtime journalist, because although we have a different writing style (uh, yeah, hers is AMAZING), we both have darker books.
For instance, I would never ask a crime fiction writer who pens historical novels or cozy mysteries. There are a few reasons for this, but an obvious one might be that they won't like my book - it's totally different than what they like. And the second reason is that if I have a blurb from an author who writes a historical cozy, the reader who picks up my books because of that blurb is going to be very disappointed when they crack the pages of my dark, more contemporary world.
3. Be gracious and don't take it personally. When you ask for a blurb explain why. Because I'm a published author is not usually a good reason. I only asked authors I truly admired and thought might be similar enough to not only enjoy my writing but be a valuable blurb.
Here are some more thoughts on blurbing from others much smarter than I am: