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Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting Blurbs for your book

When your book is about to come out the first question out of the publishers mouth is: can you get any blurbs? A blurb is an endorsement by a hopefully well known author. They are not easy to come by because if authors are well known and you are say moderately known then it is up to the Gods whether they deign to lower themselves to read your even lower book. Of course you try and knock on every door you can find. My most interesting blurb experience was trying to get Harper Lee to read my second novel. I came as close to getting the book on her bedside table. There is stayed according to her "man" Roy.

But some people have all the luck. Or the inside track. My dad recently heard George Saunders read and bought me his book. I am into the first story and he seems like a very good writer. But what hit me over the head and maybe it is because I have two books coming out within the year...was the sheer amount of blurbs. The book is awash in blurbs and from just about every big name there is.
So lets go:

Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace(how did he do that?) Karen Russell, Thomas Pynchon, Joshua Ferris, Tobias Wolff, Sarah Vowell,  Jennifer Eagen, Dave Eggers, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, Thomas Pynchon.

WOW! HOLY HECK BATMAN! I mean Saunders it the one percent of literary publishing and he has the one percent endorsing him! It's like he got the A list of Hollywood to line up and their endorsements are glowing! So...the book is really unbelievable or his publisher (Random House) really lined up the soldiers for this one. I mean this is a very very rarefied crowd of writers and old George should do very well...if blurbs sell books and no one is quite sure of that. So I had to doff my hat and my coat and my shoes. The man had knocked it out of the park in terms of blurbs.

So then I read his bio. A professor at Syracuse University. Not bad. Not bad. Then...GENIUS GRANT. A cool half million in the account of one George Saunders for that (at least that is what a friend of mine received.) Anyway, George is a very lucky man or...maybe he is an extremely talented writer. Maybe both.

We will see. In the meantime. I wonder if old George would give me a blurb for Rocket Man? Or I wonder if any of the A List would give me a blurb? It doesn't hurt to ask. I'm sure they are listed.
Rocket Man...the American Dream Upside Down


Books by William Hazelgrove