It’s not uncommon for writers to approach other writers for “blurbs” for the covers of their books. We all need them – and when we ask, we’re really hoping not for a neutral critical response, but just, you know, a few nice words. This is never said, explicitly, but if you’re asked, and find it impossible to say anything nice about the 90,000-odd words, the form is generally to plead that you haven’t had time to read it.
A friend – a successful writer whose name I am deliberately omitting – recently received one of these requests. I’m just guessing, but I suspect the “just haven’t had the time” excuse is not going to work here. I quote:
“I’ve attempted to make your involvement as easy as possible. If you are willing to help, I have developed a few guidelines and a selection of sample testimonials for you to put your name on or adjust accordingly, if you feel this is appropriate.”
These guidelines and suggested testimonials can be viewed at www.deleted to save her blushes.com . There are – count ’em – ten. My personal favourites (edited) included number three: “A must-read”, number ten: “What a fantastic, straightforward and honest book. I’ll be recommending it to all my single friends”. But for sheer chutzpah, I have to recommend number nine: “This book will surely be a classic.”
Now I know where I’m going wrong. So for the paperback of Silver Bay, when it is published in January, I shall tell Hodder’s publicist to avoid pesky reviewers. We’ll send out a list instead. For ease of everyone’s involvement, of course…