You Think You Know Anxiety? Get Blurbs for Your Book

A couple of posts ago, I casually declared that the rewrites/edits for my upcoming novel would be done “in the next couple weeks!”

Fool. Moron. Idiot. Buffoon.

Finishing those edits took longer than I anticipated (luckily my editor is beyond patient and told me to take my time, so as to ensure quality), but they are being turned in this week. Yay! There will still be more edits to come I’m sure, but they will be small things—typos, the errant comma, etc. That means that it’s time to look ahead. We have cover design, marketing, and one thing that I’ve been encouraged to pursue sooner rather than later: Blurbs.

You probably already know, but for those who don’t, blurbs are the little quotes praising your book (or sometimes just you) coming from either your contemporaries, a prestigious reviewer (The New York Times, for example), or other such luminaries. We’ve all seen them (although whether we actually read them is another story):

“The greatest story about competitive duck racing ever told.” — The New Yorker

“A tale of lovelorn Postmates drivers that will have you gasping at the final page!” —Reader’s Digest

Those are obviously fake, but there is one I’ve always remembered: “I’ve seen the future of horror; his name is Clive Barker.” —Stephen King

I don’t have to tell you the kind of weight a quote like that carries from Uncle Stevie. Clive Barker has even spoken about how that simple blurb changed his life completely. So all I have to do is go on Twitter and ask Mr. King nicely for a blurb, and I’m all set!

No, of course not. But the process of getting blurbs can seem almost as ridiculous. To a large degree, it amounts to this: contact authors you (hopefully) know, and that have some relevance to your genre, and ask politely. What if you don’t know any authors to ask? Good luck. That’s the importance of networking, people!

As for me, I don’t know how it’s going to go. I’ve got a list of about 10 authors I’m friends with on Facebook that I plan to ask. Of those, I’m almost certain 3 or 4 will say no (but I’m asking anyway because I’m big fans of theirs). Another 2 or 3 are somewhat likely to say yes. The others, well…I just don’t know. There are two that I would be floored to get blurbs from, both because I hold them in high regard, and they are well known in the world of dark fiction. I’ll keep you posted!

What about you, do you read blurbs? Do they make you more or less likely to give a book a shot?

Published by Kenneth Jobe

Kenneth Jobe is a writer, photographer, musician, and Native Californian living in the Midwest with his wife and son. His fiction has been published in Jitter, The Rusty Nail, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror, and the horror anthology Robbed of Sleep, Volume 2.

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