Thursday, July 12, 2018

Published authors have read my ms! Three cheers, right? right?

If I've had published authors read my manuscript and have given positive feedback, can I / should I use this in my query letter. I know you shouldn't mention beta readers, but I wondered if pubed pubbed* authors also fall in this category.

I've found people that say yes do it and people that say hell no! What's the real deal about doing this?

Well, yes you should tell me but not for the reason you think.
You should tell me so I know what blurb opportunities you've squandered.

You don't get two trips to the well on a single book.
Once someone has read your book for a blurb (be they pubbed, not pubbed, almost pubbed, regretting their life choices in pubbing) that's it.

You don't get to go back and say "hey, the book underwent substantial revisions with the agent and the editor. Can you read again and give me a blurb?"

And let's face facts. The number of books that came in and went out without a fair amount of revision is

The question you didn't ask but should have is: should I ask someone to read my book for a blurb before I send it to an agent? The answer is NO.

And if you think I'm just a fussy cross patch:

Bottom line: don't ask anyone for a blurb before you have a publishing deal.

What you CAN do is mention that you know Published Author and s/he had indicated she's up for blurbing the book. That's actually of far greater value than a blurb on a book now.

*I love this typo with all my heart, and you know I make a LOT of typos my own self!


Sam Hawke said...

That's my favourite typo of the month. :) Cracked me up.

Donnaeve said...

Agree - no real value until after publishing contract as a possible future blurb candidate.

IMO, it's not much different than telling agents your mother and Aunt Betsy loved it too - because it's (yes this tired but true point) subjective, and like QOTKU said, likely going to go through revisions.

Totally giggled at pubed vs pubbed.

AJ Blythe said...

Me too, Sam. I had to follow Janet's asterix to the bottom to see the additional comment before I finished reading the post =)

The only published authors who read my ms are those in my writing group (3 of 7 are published). But as none write in my genre 'tis of no matter.

I wouldn't have thought it would be a problem unless said published authors were big names in the genre.

Timothy Lowe said...

"The number of books that came in and went out without a fair amount of revision is . . . ZERO."

From the depths of editing Hell, I thank you!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

I am resisting every impulse to not let loose on the 'pubed' typo of the day. In deference to the innocence regarding the private parts of what we write made pubic, I will not go there.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Laughter. Much. Typo favorites are almost as fun as favorite sins

Kregger said...

Well, sure...because who'd want a blurb from a prepubescent anybody?

I include typos in my queries just to see if the agent is awake.

Don't ask if it's working for me.

Sarah said...

I aspire to someday write typos that magnificent. Mine (and there are many!) are so mundane.

More to the matter at hand, I think there's this part of us that fears our writing alone isn't enough. I don't imagine it ever goes away. (Does it??? I'd really like to know.) I have to keep reminding myself that it's the strength of our work that keeps an agent or editor reading, not a blurb or comment.

Kristin Owens said...

I have found through running the query log roll of death it doesn’t matter who likes the book - only the agent. If you write a terrific query, they will want to see more.
Good lick, I mean lack, really luck.

Brenda said...

As Anne says, Otto the Corrector strikes again!

Brenda said...

Or perhaps it’s Freudian.

Lennon Faris said...

Ha, I once read an article where someone had spoken 'in pubic.' Made me giggle then, too. What an unusual language!

OP, hopefully those authors are friends and won't mind giving it another read down the road.

Unknown said...

Okay, so I'm owning that typo and can I just say how ridiculously embarrased I am! OMG! But glad it was good for a laugh and thanks for addressing my question on the blog.

lamandarin said...

I used to a technical writer for investments and corrected many a “pubically-traded mutual funds” and “asses under management”. Good times. :)

MA Hudson said...

Lisa - hopefully your published author friends will have some other published author friends who might be willing to blurb your book once it's ready. Good luck in the trenches.

AJ Blythe said...

Lisa, no need for embarrassment. We've all snaffued at times and yours made us smile, so thank you =)

Good luck in the query trenches.

Craig F said...

Must be one of those subliminal things, Lisa. Welcome, by the way.

I have met some published writers, gotten almost friendly with a few. Some of them, though, are truly pubic, and they think it doesn't stink. Most writers are pretty decent types, though. Treat 'em like people and they will do the same for you.

KariV said...

Does this advice also apply when a published author mentors you and your manuscript say for Twitter contests like PitchWars?

Gigi said...

I may be misreading, but I thought the author meant that they had CPs who also happen to be published authors, not that they've been asking for blurbs. I'm guessing that doesn't matter to agents, but it's probably pretty normal for serious authors and not a no-no like soliciting blurbs pre-agent, right?

Unknown said...

Exactly Gigi. I have an author friend who was kind enough to read my MS for me. I did not approach her for a blurb. She was a set of professional eyes offering feedback.