I feel bad having to do this, but I've had something of a flood of requests recently and so I think stating an official policy will be useful. I'm shamelessly stealing the basics for this from John Scalzi.
So, my blurb policy is as such:
- I'm very happy to read stuff with an eye toward blurbing it, especially for debut authors...
- ...but those requests must come from your editor/publisher or agent, ideally sent to my agent, Sara Megibow. She knows how busy I am, she knows what my deadlines are, and she can also weed out things that might be... inappropriate.
No matter how well you know me, please don't ask me directly. Don't email me your manuscript or send me a printed book in the mail unsolicited. Send it through your publisher, or your agent, and don't tell me it's coming. If I have time, I'll read. If you don't get a blurb back, don't take it personally. The most likely reason, by far, is simply that I don't have time. That's the honest truth.
This is basically standard etiquette for authors. Read Scalzi's post on the topic if you want more insight from someone who gets truly inundated with this sort of thing daily.
If you're a soon-to-be-published author, your editor will likely ask you at some point for a list of authors you think might be willing to blurb. That's the best time and place to drop my name. My advice? Drop a ton of names. One thing you'll learn very quickly is that you need to use a shotgun approach when it comes to this sort of thing. I sought blurbs from all my favorite authors for DARWIN (asking none directly), and you know what? Not a single one of them came through. I'll admit I took this kind of personally at the time, but now that I'm on the other side of things I can see why that's the wrong reaction. And anyway I still wound up with a slew of great blurbs from amazing authors. You will, too. So don't fret, don't take it personally, and please don't put me (or any of the authors you love) in the position where we have to tell you that we're not going to blurb, or even that we couldn't clear our schedule to read your book. It's no fun for anyone.
Right then! Back to fun stuff...