I’ve been busy! Between defending my dissertation (yay! Finally!), wrapping up EAGLE & CRANE edits, copyedits, etc, and prepping things for the book’s publication later this year – not to mention sneaking in time to start writing something new (we writers always have to be working on something new or we kinda can’t function), the days have been… full.
But having just given my author site a nice new makeover to accommodate EAGLE & CRANE (check out my new author site here), I wanted to take a beat and talk about the subject of blurbs.
In case this sounds like some kind of coded curse word to you, no – in fact blurbs are those nice little 2-3 line summaries that OTHER authors write to endorse your novel and help it find its way into the big, bad book-world. Blurbs are printed on the book jacket and help folks milling around the bookstore figure out if your novel is something they’d like to read.
How do authors get blurbs for their books? Well, basically: They ASK FOR THEM. Sometimes their editors ask for them. Sometimes their agents ask for them. And sometimes authors just suck it up and ask for blurbs themselves.
Can I just say? – awwwwwkwaaaaard! You’ve basically set yourself the task of making a list of authors whose work you ADMIRE, only to then approach them (email, Facebook, perhaps via a friend-of-a-friend) while shaking the literary world equivalent of a tin cup and trying not to look too pathetic or demanding throughout the entire process. And it’s kind of a big ask, to boot. You’re asking that author to take time away from his/her life and his/her own work to stop and read your book and then say something nice about it. You’re basically interrupting someone’s work day and demanding they do a “book report,” hah!
Needless to say, it can be quite daunting when you’re a shy person (I am, and I think a good many authors are far more timid about this than you might imagine). The hard truth is, there's an unavoidable element of self-promotion to this lil ol' "novelist" job, and it can really push you outside of your comfort zone.
So, on that note, I just wanted to take a minute and mention how GRATEFUL I am for the blurbs we were able to get for EAGLE & CRANE. Except for the thought that not everyone loves alliteration as much as I do, I almost titled this entry "Blurb Beatitude" because these folks (let me not forget, too, others who helped in the past!) have made me feel blessed. Between me, my editor, and my agent, we were able to get five extremely generous blurbs – and so quickly! Having been on the other side of this equation myself once or twice (as in, having blurbed other authors’ books) I know what a kindness this was. And I am super appreciative. As I made my website over to include all my EAGLE & CRANE stuff, I realized again just how lucky I am, and I wanted to share that sentiment!
Here are the blurbs, below, in case you’re interested. My sincerest thanks to Lyndsay Faye, Caroline Leavitt, Fiona Davis, Dominic Smith, and Adriana Trigiani!