She thinks the hard part is over. She’s written the manuscript. She’s done the homework. She’s sent the queries, imploring someone—anyone?—to take her work on. She’s learned to handle rejection and the constant nagging that her email folder labeled Rejections is teetering on the brink of no storage. She’s chipped away at her self-confidence, and doubt resides in every corner of her soul. She’s not only spent the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears—she’s promised her past and future lives on a single, solitary yes. From someone—anyone?
And then, she gets an acceptance: her book—the one she spent almost a decade on; the one she missed little league for; the one her friend said they would read but never did; the one her boss scoffed at—will see the light of day. Her body trembles and her heart beats against her sternum as she marvels at the fantastic news. Cheeks almost bursting from smiling, she floats on cloud nine, even as she signs the contract, she fills out the questionnaire, she sends the publisher the edited manuscript. As production begins on her book and she sits back to rest (for just a minute), she’s left with a task she thought she’d be happy to tackle someday:
Asking for a book endorsement, aka THE BLURB.
She shakes her head. What was she thinking? Writing the book is easier than asking someone she doesn’t know to do her a favor. But she must. And so she will. She scratches her head and tries to think of the name of one person—just one person—who might do her a favor. She thinks back to all those days she sat reading books from authors she admires, the books that took her to another place, the authors that held her hand in sorrowful times, and she brings those memories to the surface, artfully arranges them into letters, and sends the emails off.
Then, she waits and checks her emails excessively over the days that follow.
Of course, she knows the possible outcomes since she went through the query process:
- No answer at all.
- A lovely, polite rejection.
- A yes!
She hopes for number 3, and when she calculates how many of the return emails resulted in number 3, she rejoices and high-fives herself in the mirror. She emails them back with effusive thanks, stopping short of promising her first-born child to them (after all, she had twins). But as the weeks go by, and the actual number of blurbs in her inbox refuses to grow, she realizes something about time that she had forgotten: it is hard to come by for many people, and even worse, it eats manuscripts and dreams. The results? Several of those number 3s morph into number 1s. So even though she thought she’d be receiving fifteen book endorsements, due to “time,” she only has ten.
But have no fear, she tells herself. For those ten—ten!—are fantastic blurbs. AND, they include words from people she doesn’t personally know. Those who have been in the business a while. Those who have respected followings. Those who still remember what it was like in the trenches. Those who share their time and talent and wisdom in hopes of supporting creatives like themselves.
And she is grateful. She is so, so grateful.
All kidding aside, if you’re at the point where you need to ask an author for a blurb, and you want to see my sample letter, email me at email@example.com. If you’re a women’s fiction author who might want to add a blurb to my upcoming novel, REWRITE THE STARS—I’m always on the lookout for more blurbs—feel free to contact me as well! If you’re interested in ordering my book, you can find links on this page.