Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Can I Quote You on That?

Have you ever taken your hat in your hand and gone to someone to ask for a favor but had nothing to offer that person in return? Oh yeah, and to make it just a little more interesting, you barely know the person?

That's the situation I find myself in as I begin the process of seeking out authors to provide blurbs for FINAL VECTOR. Publication is now less than six months away, which means the time is now to line up potential blurbs.

You know what blurbs are, right? They're those quotes from authors whose work you love that convince you to buy another author's book. For example: "The suspense in FINAL VECTOR builds relentlessly, ticking like a time bomb to a final explosion. Be sure to set enough time aside to read this thriller in one sitting, because you won't be able to put it down!" - James Patterson.*

*James Patterson hasn't actually given me a blurb for FINAL VECTOR, although if he had, it would be a cool one, wouldn't it?

No, the above quote was the product of my own imagination, which is growing increasingly feverish as February inches closer. The point here is that I really want to get a few quotes from other thriller authors which will aid in promoting this debut offering from a more or less unknown commodity (me) to the general public.

All of which brings me neatly back to my opening paragraph. I've had the opportunity to meet a few of my favorite authors in passing; meetings which undoubtedly meant much more to me than to them. Others I've never even met. And yet here I am, asking some of them to take time out of their busy schedules, time which could be spent writing or promoting their OWN work, to read my book and write me a (hopefully) favorable quote.

It's nerve-wracking and a tough sell, especially when I have nothing to offer in return. A blurb from me for their next novel? Why would they want that? I'm the guy nobody's ever heard of. Hopefully that will change, but until it does, my recommendation for their book doesn't mean much.

As you might imagine, the success rate is pretty low for this type of undertaking. But writers are nothing if not relentlessly hopeful. Why else would you spend thousands of hours working on a manuscript that, in all likelihood, no one besides your wife is ever going to read?

And so far, perhaps surprisingly, I have met with some success. Two authors - people you have heard of if you read thrillers - have agreed to read a copy of FINAL VECTOR and, if the novel is worthy, provide me with a blurb. One has made it clear that the offer is contingent upon freeing up enough time to do it, which is all I can ask.

I'm not going to name these two authors yet, just in case things change and the offer doesn't work out for whatever reason. I don't like to count those chickens before they're hatched, you know what I mean? But I will say this: For these two very generous people, if I'm ever in a position to help them out (not that either one of them is likely to ever need my help) they will get it without question and without reservation.

In the mean time, does anyone have James Patterson's current email address? I think I must have his old one; he hasn't returned any of my emails...
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