Monday, October 7, 2013

10 Key Points to Getting Great Book Blurbs


Every title at Just Write Books goes through a publishing process that includes getting blurbs for the back of the book for our Maine authors.  Our state, Maine, being so small in population is a hazard and a blessing when it comes to getting endorsements to print on the back of the book or inside before publishing.

With a small population you can know nearly everyone in the state separated by only two or three people. Those connections can be very helpful in getting celebrity endorsements. Friends of friends help each other here in Maine. If you are attempting to get endorsements from out-of-state it can also be a benefit because people love Maine and seem to be more than willing to help a Maine author.  

On the other hand, many times Maine authors are reticent to put themselves forward requesting the help they need for their book to get the publicity they need. That can be overcome. So on to how you might go about this.

1. Know what you need. What is a book blurb?  A celebrity-written endorsement of your book about three to eight lines on the back.
2. Decide who you will approach. Pick several authors or individuals who have some relation to the subject of your book. It helps if you know the person or a friend knows the person. Contacting the person is probably the most difficult part of the process. Then allowing them to have enough time is critical. Offer to allow at least three months for them to read your book and write the testimonial.
3. Send a nice small package. It should include a cover letter, a synopsis and press release about the book, sample endorsements and the book itself.
4. Write a thorough cover letter. The cover letter should tell what the book is about and how she/he might benefit from having his/her blurb on the back of the book, on your book's website, etc. And of course, tell how it would help you.
5. Include a synopsis of the book. Short, sweet and full of the best of your book.  Remember short.
6. Insert a generic press release for a book event. Whether it’s the book release party or a signing, include an event so the person writing the blurb knows you’re planning to market the book to live audiences.
7. Write and include a page of sample endorsements. Provide at least three and hopefully five that the celebrity can pick one that will fit the style of the person you are asking.
8. Why include the book? Would you write a testimonial about a product that you hadn't seen? Most other people won't either.
9. Send your package early. Call six months before publication to ensure the correct address and to ascertain if your target celebrity is interested in providing endorsements/review blurbs. Send the complete package at least three months before publication.

10. Why is it important? When you see the cover of the book, you pick it up and turn it over to see what others say. Nearly everyone wants to know what others say about a book that they are considering reading. You and your book gain credibility from an expert in your field supporting your book.

Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com

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