Thursday, December 13, 2007
The fine art of endorsement
Almost every book in the bookstore seems to have an endorsement on its jacket or cover—either a favorable quote from a review or a blurb from a fellow writer telling readers how much he or she enjoyed the book. Additional quotes and endorsements sometimes appear in advertisements for the book. In the case of No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay, these quotes are truly impressive in quality and number—see Linwood's website for the complete collection.
Publishers consider endorsements from other writers vital to a book’s success. If a reader sees a blurb from a writer she’s read and liked in the past, then it stands to reason that she might like what that writer likes. That’s why publishers spend so much time and energy choosing just the right people to solicit endorsements from. Is Writer A’s work really comparable to Writer B’s? Do they appeal to the same audience? Answering these questions can be very tricky. Also, writers decline requests for endorsements all the time, so publishers have to spread a wide net—which makes Linwood Barclay’s array of positive blurbs even more remarkable.