How to get an author blurb (Part 1 of 4).

One of the trickiest tasks of getting published is trolling for blurbs–those delightful, pithy, sometimes even useful little quotes that adorn a book’s cover and let you know what another author thought of the book. Many wonder how an author goes about getting them. Well, for their edification, I herewith reveal the type of missive we send to those authors in the hopes of getting a blurb. The first I’ll share is the letter I sent to Paul Auster. Read, and learn…

Dear Mr. Auster,
Would it be unseemly of me to start this correspondence by mentioning that you are my favorite writer?
I am writing to ask if you might be interested in reading my book, Numb, which will be coming out in August. I would would be most grateful it if you would consider providing it with a blurb. This would be tremendous not only for the support you would give to a fledgling writer, but to another Brooklyn writer.
In fact, you and I live in the same section of Brooklyn. We even frequent some of the same restaurants. There is a Japanese restaurant on 7th Avenue that is a favorite of mine, and on one occasion I was there when you came in. You were known to the waitstaff. You ordered something literary and Japanese. As you left I reached out to let you know how much I enjoy your writing. You might recall I accidentally knocked the bag from your hand while screaming uncontrollably about how you’d stolen all your ideas from me. I’ll be honest: I have no idea what I was saying. Me plus sake equals bad medicine. Anyway, you seemed in a hurry and so we didn’t talk much beyond initial pleasantries. I chased you onto the street and we screamed at each other for a time. To be honest, I would be surprised if you don’t remember me. You said something to that effect when they were putting me in the back of the squad car.
Please let me know when I can send you a copy of Numb, and thanks for your time.
Yours sincerely,
Sean Ferrell
PS. Let’s get some Brooklyn Rolls sometime soon and catch up.

For some reason I still haven’t heard back from Mr. Auster.

10 thoughts on “How to get an author blurb (Part 1 of 4).

  1. I’m amazed you haven’t heard back yet. Perhaps Mr. Auster is a little snowed under at the moment? Likely he’ll be contacting you shortly. (If only to let you know about the restraining order…)

  2. I did something similar with JK Rowling, except I wasn’t asking for a blurb. I was asking for her phone number so we could be BFF, since we clearly have the same interests. We’re meant to get coffee together and chat about those stupid muggles. Haha! It would have been a grand time. I never heard back from my buddy Jo though. I did hear from her lawyers. I take that to mean, “We’ll get coffee at a later date.”

  3. Ah, yes. The blurb-chasing. I think the Eskimos (Inuit?) have a word for this kind of humiliating pursuit. Which is so much more than regular, garden-variety humiliation. The Eskimos (Inuit?) have such precision in their language. I admire them for that, and for the way they use every part of the seal, even the liver.
    I’ve written to four authors for read/review requests: I’ve gotten back two no responses and two no’s. But one of the no’s was from Lois Lowry, and I was just so excited to get an email from her. I didn’t really care she said no.
    Well, yes, actually I did.

  4. I am so sorry that Mr. Auster a.k.a Paul hasn’t responded to your request to review your novel…or at the very least be your BFF so you can have coffee together at your favorite coffee shop. It’s his loss. Meanwhile, be assured that fame and fortune await you despite his lack of a blurb for your book. You are an amazing talent who will set the literary world on fire. Just wait!
    (Contributed by Sean’s mother)

  5. First you attack Mr. Auster, and now your mother says you will “set the literary world on fire.” Assault, arson… Racking up quite the rap sheet there, Mr. Ferrell… đŸ˜‰

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