A Small Reminder to Authors Seeking Book Blurbs From Me

Please please please read my blurb guidelines here before you ask me for one, because as a general matter of policy, an author asking me directly for a book blurb results in me automatically turning that author down (yes, I explain why in the link). Get your editor/publisher/agent to ask instead. Thanks.

10 thoughts on “A Small Reminder to Authors Seeking Book Blurbs From Me

  1. Thanks for re-posting this. I write crime fiction, so I doubt you’d get–or would reply to–a blurb request from me, but your guidelines have helped me to get over what will be an awkward moment, should I ever need to get blurbs.

    I’ll send my agent a list of half a dozen writers who might be winning. She will send requests to four of those authors, but not tell me which four. This way everyone is spared the awkward moment of saying (or hearing) “I didn;t care for your book that much.” If a writer passes, I can assume that writer didn’t get a request.

    Cover for everyone.

  2. Just thought I’d post a quick “thanks” John that you post things like this on your blog. While I’m not an author, I’m in the “aspiring” segment so insight into things that most of us never even consider being part of a Writers life is very intriguing to at least me.

    I think people think being successful at something only comes with $ + :)

    I had no idea things like recommendations, critique-my-stuff requests, hook-me-up-with-your-[insert earned relationship here] requests and the other things you’ve wrote about were commonplace.

    Anyway, odd comment but thought I’d just throw it out there that I dig the insight into the profession.

  3. Common sense and respecting an individual’s right to privacy. It is not too much to ask. Well, maybe on the internet it is. :)

  4. As a sidebar, there’s also the small matter of blurb inflation — there are some authors who, it seems, will blurb absolutely anything and everything that crosses. Fairly or not (and making no assumptions about the sincerity or otherwise of blurb factories), I’m always more impressed by one from a name whose prose seldom adorns jacket copy or adverts.

  5. But John, you only post this about every two months. And have links in the sidebar… You must think people actually read this blog. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  6. Gah, webpage reset and my reply was prematurely posted.


    Not that I am currently in a position to ask for a blurb, but I always felt that turning down an author as a preemptive measure to avoid hurting their feelings is kind of a weak excuse. If I were to submit something, whether it be to an editor or Scazli himself, I would know in the end if Scalzi actually enjoyed the book based on if I received a blurb or not. If I did not recieve one, it would let me know that my book was either, A) not something that interests Scalzi, or B) not up to snuff.

    However, I do believe that this cuts down on the amount of email you would be required to have to read and reply greatly. You’re a busy man, and it’s your agent’s/publisher’s job to sort and separate the chaff from the wheat, so to speak. So kudos to that.

  7. Raynre:

    “I always felt that turning down an author as a preemptive measure to avoid hurting their feelings is kind of a weak excuse.”

    I didn’t say I was doing it to avoid hurting their feelings. I do it because it would be awkward for me. There’s a difference.

  8. I put your name on a list for the agent, but silly agent went and got a blurb from Scott Adams instead.

    I can’t complain though, he gave us an awesome blurb.

    And at least I can tell myself that you would have done likewise had the agent asked.

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