How to Get Blurbs for Your Poetry Collection

So I’ve actually covered getting blurbs previously–a few years back when my debut collection, Solving the World’s Problems, was released. In that post, I wrote about securing blurbs for a poetry collection, but I think there’s more that could’ve been covered. So here we are.

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How to Get Blurbs for Your Poetry Collection

Solving the World's Problems

Solving the World’s Problems

Blurbs are recommendations that go on the cover (and sometimes the inside pages) of your book. They may or may not help sell some readers on your book, but they’re a publishing convention. Here’s how to get blurbs for your poetry collection:

  1. Make a list of poets you admire. For my collection, I made a short list of four or five poets whose work I really loved. Each was a poetry rock star as far as I was concerned.
  2. Contact your list of poets. Start with your short list and then add to that list if necessary until you have two to three blurbs. For me, I actually got everyone on my short list; so I was super excited.
  3. Offer them a contributor copy. I’ve blurbed quite a few books over the years, and it means a lot to me when poets actually give me a copy of the collection I’ve taken time to read and recommend. If your poetic rock stars have given up their time to do the same, sending them a contributor copy is really the least you can (and should) do.
  4. Thank them for their time. This should go without saying, but… Also, it’s a nice nod if you can mention in the Acknowledgments if possible.

When to Get Blurbs for Your Poetry Collection

So should you rush out and get these blurbs today?

Only if you have a poetry collection that’s coming out soon. Actually, you want your manuscript to be as close to finished as possible, because the blurbs may cite poems and/or lines from the poems in their blurbs.

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Robert Lee Brewer is the editor of Poet’s Market and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He’s very grateful to all his poetic rock stars: Sandra Beasley, Patricia Fargnoli, Scott Owens, and Nate Pritts.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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