I have written a book. It is unpublished and undergoing revisions. My book was read by a former co-worker at a major national newspaper (circulation around 600,000). This co-worker was a book reviewer in my genre (she had a column for 8 years) and had many positive things to say about my book. Should I include this fact in my query letter to agents? Or is this just a snootier variation of “My friend read my book and loved it!”
I thought my instant reply of "fuck no/fuck yes" might be a tad too abrupt so I called in reinforcements.
Herewith, the colleague's replies:
"At this first stage, the work, not its accolades, needs to speak to the agent. Blurbs are fabulous- but can be discussed later." --Agent Who Looks Fantastic in a Unitard
"Unless this person can give a blurb ("[NAME], [GENRE] reviewer for [PAPER I’VE HEARD OF], says [TITLE] is a fresh new voice in [GENRE], and will appeal to readers of [FAMOUS AUTHOR],”) I wouldn't bother." --Beth Miller (Writers House)
I would include it. I would say something like, "X, formerly the book reviewer for X newspaper (circulation 600,000) had this to say about the book: XXXX" Keep the quotation short and snappy though and leave out the part that you are friends. --JennyBent (The Bent Agency)
"This wouldn't matter to me in the slightest. I don't need to know." --Joanna Stampfel-Volpe (Nancy Coffey Literary Management)
"Vague, so it sounds like embellishment. All endorsements should include name and credential—if you’re wondering if it’s impressive enough, it’s probably not." --Meredith Barnes (Lowenstein Associates)