Book Update

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ask a Publicist: How Do You Go About Getting Blurbs?

Ask a Publicist: How Do You Go About Getting Blurbs?
January 27, 2009

Sorry for no post yesterday; I've been fighting off a nasty cold and sore throat. Fortunately, Ask a Publicist means that other people write the entries for me!

Today's question: How do you go about getting blurbs?

Jill Maxick, Director of Publicity, Prometheus Books and Pyr:
With Pyr, we tend to go outside our own list for blurbs, to friends of the author or people the author thinks will have an affinity for the book. Often the author pursues the blurb, though other times we might enlist authors that we think are appropriate. Lou Anders doesn't think a blurb on its own sells a Pyr book, but combined with a good description and cover, the combination can be very effective in helping a book catch the right reader's eye.

On our nonfiction side, for Prometheus Books, we think blurbs can sometimes be extremely influential. One blurb ("I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book.") by Richard Dawkins, author of the New York Times bestseller The God Delusion, was incredibly influential in helping our book God: The Failed Hypothesis become a New York Times bestseller itself. The timing (when The God Delusion was huge) and the suitability (appealing to the very same science and religion and/or atheist readership) made it a perfect endorsement for garnering attention to our title. I'm pretty sure we, the press, requested that Dawkins blurb, but the author may have done so directly as well. And sometimes a blurb request results in more involvenment, like a foreword or a preface.
Sylvia Hubbard
Author, Blogger and Founder of Motown Writers Network
NOW AVAILABLE: Secrets, Lies and Family Ties

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