“When I’m a successful author, remind me to be kind to those still struggling to make it.”
It encouraged me, then, that Twitter cheered, ‘hear-hear’ed for kindness.
I was reminded of this recently when contemplating the fact that in a few months The Night Rainbow will be heading off to unsuspecting authors whom I admire, with a request to have a look, and - please, Missus, if you had the time, if you could read it and then, if you like it that is, maybe you could say something positive that we could put on the cover, so that people in bookshops will see that I’m a good bet, what with me being new at this and not known and all…
*author blushes and backs out of room curtseying*
Can you tell I feel a bit bashful about this?
Bashful because I understand that asking (even indirectly via my publisher) for a blurb is asking people to work for free. And since I don’t have many actual real-world friends who are published authors, well then it’s asking someone I don’t know to work for free.
Of course I hope that they will not find it like work, and will really enjoy the read, but that’s not the point.
I also understand that not everyone has the time or inclination to to read a book to provide a blurb. Also that the more successful and respected you become, the more requests you get for blurbs and of course the more people you have to turn down. This brings me back to my question of kindness. Compare these two approaches:
This kind and eloquent approach from Margaret Atwood who explains why she no longer does blurbs. She has already blurbed with the best of them and now her doormat is exhausted. Contrast it with this New Yorker article, which made me cringe.
So I just want to say this:
Anyone who writes a blurb for my novel will be doing me an enormous favour and I will be thoroughly, genuinely grateful.
What’s more, I promise, here and now, that I will pay it forward with good grace when the time comes. And you can hold me to that.