Hope all is well and you're chomping some tasty queries this week.
(I bypassed the queries and went directly to chomping on tasty writers at ThrillerFest. They were delicious!)
Question for you:
In recent blog posts, you've talked about author blurbs, stressing how unhelpful it is to try and get blurbs before your book is acquired and how important it is to save those author reads for when the book is done and ready to be blurbed.
This got me to thinking about blurbs (something I really hadn't been considering at this stage) and made me wonder: who should we hope for blurbs from?
If we have a network of author friends, when it comes time to ask about blurbs, should we focus our energies on the people whose books are most similar to ours? If we know a bestselling author in another genre (who might have a crossover audience), should we put them on our list?
I know I've seen non-fiction on the Middle Ages touted as the book George R.R. Martin used for research, for example. So, is the person's bestseller status the key or do we need to stay within the bounds of our own genres and categories?
The bigger the author name, the better the blurb.
If George RR Martin likes your book, and you write dino porn, it doesn't matter that he doesn't.
Most blurbs however are going to come from writers working in your genre or category. You want names that your readers (or prospective readers) will recognize.
But there are also blurbs that tell industry folks that you're something special. A lot of readers may not recognize the name James Crumley, but within the crime writing community he's something pretty special.
The flip side of that is blurbs that industry folks know are worthless. I believe it is Robert Parker who is credited with "I'll read your book, or I'll blurb your book but I won't do both" which I think is hilarious but doesn't help the author with a Parker blurb.
Blurbs from bookstore owners are also helpful for building buzz inside the industry. Those people are real readers, and generally have pretty good taste in books. They also are pretty savvy about what will sell. Their opinions really matter to other booksellers too.
The good news is you're not going to be working on this by yourself. Your agent and editor should be doing some of the heavy lifting with you.
And you're not even going to think about this until you have a book deal.