I sent the following email to the Sisters in Crime loop and received feedback that I should share it with others. So here goes...
As Tony said, asking established writers for blurbs is an imposition on them, a request for a huge chunk of their time to read your manuscript. The best way to help this process along is to start doing favors for the authors you want to approach. Show up at their signings and buy their books. Post complimentary reviews of their books on bookseller websites and mystery discussion groups. Do other favors for them, such as putting them in touch with experts they need for their current research project, volunteering to help on their latest MWA or SinC project, etc. That way, you've established a professional networking relationship with them, and asking for a return favor is not such an imposition.
Also, don't assume or imply that once they read the work, they should think it worthy of a blurb. When I asked my established author contacts to blurb my book, I asked them--in a professional letter--if they would be willing to read the manuscript and IF they liked it, to consider giving me a blurb. I asked them all at least 6-8 weeks before the blurb was required by my publisher and stated the deadline clearly, so they could determine if they had time in their busy schedules to read my manuscript. Afterward, I thanked them--in writing--for their efforts and gave them each a small gift basket (since my protagonist is a gift basket designer).
Very wise tips! Think a lot of that also applies when seeking authors to contribute quotes or short pieces to the work itself. Authors out there networking should have no trouble in this situation!
L. Diane Wolfe
This makes a lot of sense to me.
Great ideas. We asked another author who happened to be a close personal friend to read our manuscript and give us a blurb. That worked well although we felt bad because we knew how little extra time he had to devote to this. We would never have asked if he hadn't been a close friend.
I concur. We invited Tim Hallinan to speak at our SinC chapter while he was still in Bangkok working on his new book. I established a relationship with him by email and had a nice dinner with him after the SinC meeting. When I asked if he would read my new book and give me a blurb if he thought it worthy, he immediately said send it on. I got a nice blurb for my cover.
And by the way Beth, you might check my blog Wednesday where I have tagged you with the happy thing. If you've already been through this, so be it. Have fun.
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