Welcome to Blurb Boot Camp!

I had a serious wake-up call last May when my editor asked me if I had any promotional blurbs to print on the outside of Naked and Hungry. You’ve heard of blurbs, right? Those jazzy little snippets kindly provided by more successful writers. Oh, and we had about a month to get these. Gulp!

The good news is that I didn’t have time to panic. So I reached out to friends and other writers, some whom I knew and some who were referred to me by dear friends such as the inimitable John Graham, literary muse and more to hundreds. To be fair, some folks said no but most, surprisingly, said yes. This yielded three blurbs as well as three more proofreaders, all of whom generously pointed out errors in my manuscript that I had missed.

Next, I reached out to a publisher who declined to publish my book but hired me as a copyeditor for his own books. And since every “no” may hide a “yes,” I reached out to an editor who denied my short story (too long for his publication) but had offered to review my novel in his literary journal. And last, I reached out to the editor of my hometown newspaper and a local environmentalist  (another friend’s referral) since my book had an environmental theme. Fini!

Now that I passed basic training for writing publicity (albeit barely, whew!), I thought I’d share these hints as well as my blueprint for the next time. For my second book, I plan a bolder and slightly savvier approach First, I’m starting much, much earlier and reaching a little wider. I plan to reach out to the same kind of writers who inspired me. What do I have to lose? I also plan to reach out to more area journalists and local booksellers whom I’ve met as I’ve promoted my first book.

I also plan to submit more of my writing such as shorter pieces or publication and to contests. Hopefully, this will not only yield more exposure it will introduce me to more influence leaders who might be willing to lend their name to my second book. Worst case, I’ll make even more friends!

Because I’m still learning, I’d be remiss if I didn’t reach out to all of you and ask your thoughts. Referrals, ideas and thoughts are welcome!