Thursday, February 11, 2010

These Things Don't Write Themselves

Another element of the business of turning words into a shelf-occupant has been revealed to me recently: getting the cover blurbs. I'm not sure what magic I'd thought caused these wondrous commentaries to appear on back covers -- perhaps, in my naive imagination, famous authors and critics spend their free days wandering through quaint, cramped book-repositories until some imp of serendipity pushes an unsung novel off the shelf; the author seizes upon it, reads it, falls in love with the words and simply must write to the publisher of such a jewel, singing its praises.

Apparently not. If there are such imps, they are firmly in the employ of my publishers, and they work very hard to get the blurbs. "Approach" is the word my editor uses: she's going to approach a number of authors on her list. We'll try to make contact. We'll see what a certain highly-recognizable-name author might be willing to provide. The amount of networking going on behind the scenes to garner the quotes I've previously taken for granted is daunting, and I'm certain that I'm seeing only the smallest fraction of that work. I'll be receiving some copies of Stuff of Legends in pre-galley form (we're apparently in a rush) to distribute myself, which makes me regret not having a close circle of author-friends to call on for blurbs. I fear I'm not going to be help at this stage, unless I can find a bottle with one of those imps in it...

On the more creative side of things, last night I believe I found the key to the opening scene of my sequel: re-telling the epilogue of Stuff of Legends, from Kess's perspective as she re-visits those events in a lucid elf-dream. Personal moment of literary satisfaction: re-using the same line of dialogue with a completely changed meaning by framing it differently within the dream. I have no idea if this conceit will survive to the second draft, but it's good enough to keep me running, and to quote Jordan the Red, "it's working for now, and now's all that matters."


  1. I'm looking forward to following your journey through this publishing process. And if I run into Stephen King, I'll send him your way.

  2. Oddly enough -- or perhaps you knew this -- Stephen King has been mentioned a few times as a great writer for blurbs. He's apparently a very fast reader as well as a writer, and good-natured about it (though I expect it takes some skill to get a book to him).

  3. Hi Ian. Best of luck with this blog. I look forward to following your publishing adventure.