Blurbing books before submission

Dear Miss Snark:

My agent is getting ready to shop around the proposal for my fourth book.

An author friend suggested that I solicit author blurbs now to send out with the proposal to editors. You know the type of thing: "Laughed 'til I peed my pants," Carl Hiaason; "Cried 'til I hiccupped," Anita Shreve.

Only problem is, I don't actually know Carl Hiaason or Anita Shreve. I do know some talented authors, well-respected in their genre, more successful than moi, but not household names. Would including blurbs like this make my proposal stand out in the editor's over-flowing in-box, or is this just unicorn stationery by another name?

Appreciating any insights Your Snarkiness can provide,

This is not unicorn stationery.

It's never a bad idea to show that your work has the respect of your peers, and that they will be available to blurb the book itself. And since I know you (ha! you didn't know Miss Snark knew you did you! but she does!) and I've read your novels, I don't think you'll have any trouble.

Just email the authors and introduce yourself. Or write to their agents. I do this stuff all the time. It's one of the fun things.

And don't be discouraged. You're a very good writer. You can quote me!


Aphrodite the Flighty said...

Miss Snark,

I'm reading suggestions on many sites that say a publicty photo sent along with your ms. can make the difference if the publishing committee is on the fence about buying your book.

I'm a former broadcaster and have been in front of the camera for years. Our resume and tapes are what landed us our jobs. Despite television being a very visual medium, sending an 8x10 glossy along with your resume and tape was considered the ultimate in tackiness. Though of course, there were always the fringe people who still suggested this to fledglings.

Is this the case in publishing? Tacky-no or Hoochymama-yes?

I do recall one Sr. Ed showing off the back of a flap and pretty openly drooling over the male author they'd highlighted.

Is this the case with some of these site?

Anonymous said...

Some unicorns are snarklings, too.

Andrew Wheeler said...

This editor just has one extra piece of advice to add:

If you're asking someone for a favor, please be sure to spell their name correctly.

(It's Hiaasen, not Hiaason.)

This applies to anyone asking anyone for a favor, of course, not just this particular case. And I say this having just looked up his name again to make sure I was spelling it correctly. (I always want to make it one-A, two-S, which is wrong, too.)

Remodeling Repartee said...

"You're a very good writer. You can quote me." Miss Snark.

Extend the print run by 50,000!