As a first-time, indie, or even veteran author, the task of requesting and securing blurbs can be a daunting one. Putting your book baby out there for other authors to see takes immense courage and confidence in your work. That being said, it’s no doubt that blurbs are an integral part of the publishing process, and you’ll want to secure at least a few for your final cover and marketing materials. Blurbs give your book credibility, and they also give readers, booksellers, and librarians an idea of what to expect from the book.
Whether you have a traditional publisher helping you along the way, or you’re a self-published author doing it all on your own, the below steps will help guide you through the blurb process.
Create a dream blurb list
Make a list of your author idols, as well as big hitters in your genre. You’ll want to aim for authors who discuss similar themes and target comparable audiences to yours. Work your connections. If applicable, share your dream blurb list with your agent or publisher, and they can identify any connections as well. Your author friends, family, and other contacts may also be able to help you brainstorm great potential blurbers.
Research and write
For each dream blurber on your list, write a letter about why their blurb would mean so much to you. Explain the similarities between your work and theirs. Tell them a little bit about you and the book. Express gratitude and appreciation for their time, as well as a blurb due date. Here’s a general template outline you can use to modify and tweak for your own use:
I hope you’re doing well. I’m an avid follower if your work, and I particularly enjoy X, Y and Z. Include other complimentary details here.
I’m writing to ask if you would consider blurbing my new book, <Book Title>. It comes out <pub month/year>, and your support would mean the world to me. As a great admirer of your work, I thought you would make a perfect blurber for my book because our audiences are similar and I think the message of the book will resonate with you.
<Include highlights and a description of your book here>
I know you have a busy schedule and asking for an endorsement is a huge favor, so please let me know if there’s anything I could do to make this process easier. I’m happy to provide you a bound copy of the manuscript, a PDF version of the book, a sampling of the best chapters or a long summary. The blurb would be due on <date>
I’m extremely grateful for your time and consideration.
Thank you so much,
Thanks to the internet, contact information for authors can be extremely easy to find. Make a list of emails, and send off your customized blurb letter to each author. If you can’t find an email, reach out to them on Facebook or Twitter. The more authors you reach out to, the more likely you are to receive a “yes” from one of them!
If you don’t hear back within a few weeks, send a follow-up email to make sure they saw it. After that, it’s safe to assume the author isn’t interested or doesn’t have the time.
Send a copy of the book
Once an author agrees to look at the book, send them the book and other materials they requested through their preferred method. If you don’t have advanced reader copies of the book yet, you may need to print a bound manuscript to send to them. Follow up before the blurb deadline to see if there’s anything else they may need.
Share the blurb!
Once you’ve received the blurb, sharing it far and wide is one of the best ways to show your gratitude. You can put the blurb on the cover, add it to your description on bookseller websites such as Amazon, create social media graphics to share, add it to your website and more.
Ultimately, blurbs are hugely important in the promotion and credibility of your work. A targeted effort early on in the publishing process will ensure that you’ll receive at least a few blurbs from your dream authors. Don’t be afraid to let your work shine!
SAVANNAH HARRELSON is a publicist with BookSparks PR. She and the team promote authors as they publish their books. She helped guide many authors towards securing the perfect author blurbs for their covers and marketing resources. To learn more about BookSparks, visit www.gobooksparks.com.
City Book Review provides book blurbs for author’s marketing needs. Find out more information on that service HERE.