When it comes to writing, I hear a lot of authors saying how much they can’t stand writing their blurbs. Be that the back-cover blurb, or the one- or two-liner used for other things like catalogs, they seem to be more-or-less universally despised.
I actually don’t mind them at all, and enjoy writing them. It might be the bookseller in me. I see the back cover write-up as basically the same thing as a hand-selling pitch from me to the potential reader. So they don’t bother me much.
The dreaded bio? That I don’t love, but I’m willing to work on it, and hey, it got easier once I broke the two-dozen mark for short stories, as I could simply say “‘Nathan has published dozens of short fiction pieces…” rather than flail about trying to figure out which short story anthologies to mention. Oh, and having written a novel helped, too. I generally lead with that now.
And the dog. Gotta mention the dog.
So, really, blurbs and bios don’t much worry me.
Then I got asked for a support quote. From freaking Tom Cardamone!
First thought? Oh my gosh! I’m so freaking beyond flattered! I love this guy’s writing, and he wants me to say something for his book? That’s insane! That’s a dream come true! Of course I’ll do it!
Second thought? Wait. What do I say? I need this to be awesome. Because he’s awesome. Oh crap.
I sat down, and had a good think, and then thought some more. I read the reviews I’d written of his previous work. I re-read some of his short fiction. I walked around my living room speaking out loud. And finally, I sent him what I hope was a useful, helpful quote for his book.
Said book, Night Sweats, comes out next month. Y’all know how I feel about short fiction, and I’m going to be devoting some of my Sunday Shorts days to the collection (which I’m loving, not that there was any doubt about that).
But yeah. Book quotes. Turns out those are really, really hard to do. You want to say something honest and encouraging and hopefully something that will tip someone on-the-fence over to the yes-I-want-this side. And it comes with a healthy dollop of and who the heck am I to be giving people this advice?
But again, before I was anything else, I was a bookseller.
Thankfully, that doesn’t go away.