Author Blurbs

I have two releases coming closer to fruition: Book 2 of my Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series, titled SNARE—in the last few phases of preparation before I submit the manuscript to the publisher. The other is the anthology, How NOT to Survive a Vacation, I’m co-editing for the Sisters in Crime chapter Desert Sleuths which will be released at their upcoming writers conference, August 14th.

For you readers out there, how important are back cover blurbs to you? When you’re considering a new book to read does an endorsement by a published author matter?

Recently I attended two writers conferences where I became closer to quite a few authors I admire. A couple are be positioned to become A listers: Sophie Littlefield with her hard-hitting, yet humorous A Bad Day for Sorry (Minotaur, 2010), and Rebecca Cantrell who presents a vision of 1931 Berlin that you can all but hear, smell and touch in her A Trace of Smoke (Forge, 2010). I cherish both of these writers’ work and their debut releases continue to be my favorite reads of the year. Rebecca’s latest release, A Night of Long Knives and Sophie’s A Bad Day For Pretty are next on my to-read list.

I am thrilled to announce that these two authors have agreed to provide blurbs. How did I go about it? Well, I’m a bit shy, and never intended to ask such a major favor of any author, but decided to put myself out there. I sent them what was essentially fan mail via their websites or social sites. If they responded, I took the next step and expressed how much I looked forward to meeting them at the upcoming conference. At those events, I actually sought them out. What I found were truly gracious, giving writers who have been in the same position, and were quite honored to be asked for their endorsement.

I’m set with blurbs now. For SNARE: Simon Wood, Kris Neri and Dianne Emley are currently reading or will soon receive the manuscript. For the Desert Sleuths anthology, Sophie Littlefield, Rebecca Cantrell, Juliet Blackwell, and thanks to co-editor Chantelle Osman, Kelli Stanley and Simon Wood are waiting to receive the pages in order to provide endorsements.

Are you willing to put yourself out there? Have you used a different tact in securing blurbs?

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle, and independent bookstores.


Filed under books, fiction, marketing

9 responses to “Author Blurbs

  1. That’s the way to do it, Deborah! Weave the web…

  2. Deborah, For me, the words are more important than who says them. I am delighted with my blurb writers though most people have not yet heard of them. But I am so proud of you for going out and getting people you admire to write your blurbs.

  3. It’s never easy for me to ask such a favor. For Backstop, I asked four authors for blurbs—one is the facilitator of my writers group, herself a published author (a collection of short stories) and she was easy; two other Michigan authors (one who agreed and another who turned me down—she was just too busy promoting her own recently released collection of shorts)—and a novelist in the rust belt whose work I discovered a couple years ago and from whom I expect to hear more about in the near future. He, too, agreed.

    As I wrote above, it’s tough for me to ask because, like submitting a query letter to an agent or a publisher, one risks rejection.

    I’ve been asked by other authors to write reviews of their work, and I learned long ago to ask for an excerpt first. My reading list is far too long as it is to waste my time on something I know I won’t care for, that’s poorly written, and maybe even self-published, and only end up writing a review that they won’t like—hey, I have a reputation, too, and I have no intention of tarnishing it by raving about something that’s less than mediocre. Funny, too, how many authors expect a rave review just because they sent you a free review copy.

    But you’re right, Deborah: all they can do is say, “No.” Always disappointing when that happens, but I’m happy to read you had success with your approach.

    All of that said, anyone interested in reading my forthcoming 2W release, One Hot January, and writing a blurb for me? Drop me a line and I’ll be happy to give you a brief synopsis to see if it might be your cup of tea!

    • To their credit, all the authors mentioned above asked to read entire manuscript, not merely a few chapters or the synopsis. Their reputation is on the line. I respect their integrity to the highest degree.

      • Thanks, Deborah. I guess I wasn’t clear. I’d be happy to send the entire manuscript; I meant to say I’d be happy to send an excerpt/ synopsis to help someone determine whether they wish to read the entire piece.

  4. christinehusom

    Good for you, Deborah! I am also a bit shy, so I have put my requests out in more general way–on our publisher’s email and a Facebook update. But I also asked at a Sisters in Crime meeting if anyone was interested, and an award winning author said “yes.” That was cool!!

    I’m not as hurt by rejections as I once was. I’m not sure if it’s older age, or the careers I’ve had, or the number of rejections I’ve had over the years, but it’s easier. It’s just getting up the courage to put myself out there and ask. I’m glad you did, with great results!

    • Christine, I am a proud member of the Arizona chapter Sisters in Crime. Desert Sleuths has been a huge supporter of my work. I cannot begin to tell you how many opportunities have come my way due to being involved in the SinC organization. All the women authors mentioned above are members–all very happy to support another Sister.

    I received the first blurb for SNARE from award-winning author Kris Neri. Here’s what she has to say:
    Offering a rare insider look at the ancient Taos Pueblo, Deborah J. Ledford’s Snare brings together detective Steven Hawk and a Native American singing sensation, whose violent past won’t let go of her, in a spellbinding thriller that will keep you guessing right up to its stunning conclusion. — Kris Neri, author of High Crimes on the Magical Plane and Revenge for Old Times’ Sake.

    Very pleased with this and Kris stated she enjoyed SNARE even more than STACCATO.

  6. My mistake, J. I meant that the authors who will provide blurbs for my books asked to read the entire manuscript.

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