Today I have a great tour to share with you all. The author of Dog-Ma: The Zen of Slobber, has sent me a great guest post on Covers. I hope you enjoy! Later today I will be posting my review of this book as well, so make sure you stick around to check out what I think of this book.
Getting The Elusive Book Cover Blurb
When I got to the point in the life of my book that I was starting to think about a cover I knew I needed blurbs to help make the sale. Blurbs provide enticement for the casual book browser to pick up the book and look at it more closely. Blurbs from celebrities are very helpful. When a prospective reader sees a name they recognize, they may think “I like this person, so I will probably like the book they are endorsing”. It can give the reader a sense of “celebrity six degrees of separation”.
I have a few minor celebrity friends and they were first on my hit lit for blurbs; a film producer, a marketing genius and a celebrity chef. All were dog lovers and I thought each would be a shoe in for a blurb. How much time could it take, I thought? Read a couple of chapters, write something appropriately insightful and sign it. Simple?
Not so much. Although my book was very important to me, reading it was not even in the “top 100 things to do” on anyone else’s list. I imagine it came in somewhere below taking out the trash but above mowing the lawn. It took multiple follow ups and pleading to finally get a couple that I thought would be good to use. They took some editing and chopping up, but they would be ok, I thought. Then a fellow author shared a trick with me. Contact a few of my personal favorite authors and ask for a blurb. Authors are a generous group and everyone was a first time author once, so they could be willing to help.
I dug out my favorite dog-oriented books and searched the internet for contact information. Thank goodness for Google search. I sent out email after email, hoping one of them would answer me. To my surprise, one of these authors answered me almost immediately stating their willingness to offer a blurb. How nice! AND they were pretty famous! I was stoked and wanted more. Late one night and admittedly very tired, I sent out one final email to a writer I really respected and whose book was one of my favorites. I will not name the book or author to protect the innocent. My greatest piece of advice is to never send out email when you are tired (or perhaps have had a glass of wine or two).
I located the author’s web site and his Contact Me page. I wrote a very flattering request, telling him how much I enjoyed his book and as a newbie author how much I would appreciate his time if he could offer up a blurb for my cover. I no longer have that email but it went something like this:
Dear _________, I am a first time author seeking a blurb for my back cover. I am a huge fan of yours and especially loved __________. It touched me like no other book has. My book title is Dog-Ma, the Zen of Slobber. It is a humorous tale of my life with nine rowdy dogs. I would love to send you a copy for a blurb if you have the time to read it and are willing. Thank you.
I waited and waited and never got a response. My book went to print with several of the earlier blurbs I mentioned and I forgot about my request to “famous author”. Finally, several months later, I received this response:
I'm actually Mr. _________. Or (insert first name), more likely. (Mr. ______ is my father.) Mr. ___________ is my agent and doesn't do blurbs!
I'm afraid I'm not taking on any new books to blurb, either, at the moment. Way too busy. But thanks for thinking of me.
In my sleepy stupor, I had addressed my heartfelt letter to the author’s agent, not the author. Super, super, super bonehead error.
Lesson learned. Never send out such an important request when tired. On a brighter note, Mr. Author sent me a follow-up note a few weeks later, apologized for his terse tone in his initial response. And wished me luck with my book. He had actually noticed it was live on Amazon and said he will leave a review of the book sometime in the future. Very cool ending to my big ooops moment!
Thanks so much for sharing this great post with us Barbara. Remember I will be posting my review shortly of this great book! This tour is brought to us by Jitterbug PR and Lighting Book Promotions.
About the Author
Barbara grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her parents, sister and always a dog, or two or three. She founded three successful businesses in the Pacific Northwest and is a prolific fundraiser for breast cancer research. She and her husband currently live in Southwest Florida with two dogs and copious amounts of dog fur.