Skip to main content

How To Get Book Blurbs/Testimonials For Your Book Cover

Most books have book blurbs on the book jacket, giving it instant credibility. As a first-time author, how do you get quotes from popular authors for the cover of your book? Here's how.

How do I get quotes from popular authors for the cover of my book? Most books have them, but I'm not sure how first-time authors get them. —Anonymous

how to get book blurbs

Testimonials (or blurbs, as they’re known in the industry) are an important part of the publishing equation. Getting the right blurb from the right person can give your work credibility, which helps entice potential readers as well as the buyers for retail chains.

There are a few approaches to securing blurbs from well-known people. The first is to have your agent (or your publisher) reach out to the famous person of your choice on your behalf. Agents (and publishers) are connected and have friendly relationships with others in the industry, so they know who to contact and what to say. I provided my agent with a “wish list” of writers I wanted to blurb my humorous parenting book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl. (Always target prominent voices in your genre whose opinions will carry weight with readers.) My top choice was my writing idol, Dave Barry, so my agent asked me to write a paragraph about why his blurb would mean so much to me. She used it to reach out to his agent. Within a week Barry had agreed to look at the book and, shortly after, wrote the wonderful blurb that now adorns the top of my cover.

[How Long Should Novel Chapters Be? Click here to find out.]

If, say, you self-published, or your agent/publisher isn’t having any luck, you can also attempt to contact your dream blurber directly. Thanks to social media, blogs and Google, you can find (nearly) anyone’s contact information pretty easily. (Also, if you know someone with a connection to your hopeful blurber, ask for help!) Send a polite letter explaining who you are, what your book is about and why you’d love to have a blurb from that person. Attach a copy of your book’s page proofs, which your publisher should be able to supply. After my agent had little luck reaching out to humor writer Dan Zevin, I dug up his contact info and wrote him a note, and soon he responded—agreeing to take a look!

If you do contact a potential blurber personally and don’t hear anything for three weeks, feel free to follow up once. If you still don’t get a response, it’s probably best to move on.

Keep in mind, the majority of famous people will say no. It can be for any number of reasons—too busy, doesn’t like to write blurbs, etc. (I was turned down several times.) Don’t get discouraged; it’s just part of the business. Keep a running list of people you would love to have quoted on your book jacket and continue to reach out. Like anything in publishing, this is a numbers game—the more authors you contact, the more likely you’ll get the killer blurb of your writerly dreams.

BEST RESOURCE FOR WRITERS:
GET A LITERARY AGENT contains advice from more than
110 literary agents who share advice on querying,
craft,
the submission process, researching agents, and
much more.
Click here to order now!

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 3.39.23 PM

Thanks for visiting The Writer's Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.

brian-klems-2013

Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer's Digest and author of the popular gift bookOh Boy, You're Having a Girl: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems
Sign up for Brian's free Writer's Digest eNewsletter: WD Newsletter
Listen to Brian on: The Writer's Market Podcast

Tags
terms:
How To Create a Podcast, Develop an Audience, and Get Your Novel Published

How To Create a Podcast, Develop an Audience, and Get Your Novel Published

We’ve discussed podcasting to help promote the book you’ve written—but what about podcasting as a way to tell the story itself? Here, author Liz Keller Whitehurst discusses how the podcast of her novel, Messenger, came to be.

Hunter or Hunted?

Hunter or Hunted?

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, we're in the middle of a hunt.

Announcing the Get Published in 2022: Breaking In Resource Directory

Announcing the Get Published in 2022: Breaking In Resource Directory

Announcing the Get Published in 2022: Breaking In Resource Directory from Writer's Digest magazine, which includes advice from 41 agents, 39 debut authors, and 27 small presses.

The Idaho Review: Market Spotlight

The Idaho Review: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at The Idaho Review, a literary journal accepting poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction submissions.

Abbreviation vs. Acronym vs. Initialism (Grammar Rules)

Abbreviation vs. Acronym vs. Initialism (Grammar Rules)

Learn when you're using an abbreviation vs. acronym vs. initialism with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

What Is Investigative Journalism?

What Is Investigative Journalism?

Alison Hill breaks down the definition of investigative journalism, how good investigative journalism makes for sweeping societal change, and how the landscape of the work is evolving.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 6 WDU Courses, an Upcoming Virtual Conference, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce six new WDU courses, a romance writing virtual conference, and more!

Going From Me to We: Collaborating on the Writing of a Novel

Going From Me to We: Collaborating on the Writing of a Novel

Past experiences taught bestselling author Alan Russell to tread lightly when it came to collaborating on projects. Here, he discusses how the right person and the right story helped him go from a “me” to a “we.”

From Script

Short Film Goals, Writing the Cinematic Experience on the Page and Sundance Film Festival 2022 (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, set your creative goals with a monthly guide to write and produce your short film, provided by Script contributor Rebecca Norris Resnick. Plus, an exclusive interview with Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan, a Sundance Film Festival 2022 day one recap, and more!