I often receive email pitches from publicists, asking for a testimonial—a “blurb”—or offering to send me a book to review or mention on this blog. (My little blog!)
Recently, there were two on the same day. One was a model of a successful pitch, and the other an example of what not to do.
I’ll begin with the NOT:
The letter begins: I’m are writing to you about …
Say no more!
The second publicist knew my work and had chosen to approach me for a reason. She included a short description of the book, several glowing blurb quotes, plus a Q&A with the author. It was enough to get me interested.
I only wish publicists would also include an attachment of the opening pages of the novel. That would be all I need to judge if a book might be one I’d like.
That said, I rarely accept. As for all writers, I have a frightening pile of books I am supposed to be reading. Plus, I’m slow: the last WIP I agreed to read for a very good friend took me over a month, even reading it every day.
It takes quite a bit of time to read a novel, so an indication of a book’s length is important, as well as the deadline, should a quote be needed before publication.
What to include
In summary, a pitch for a quote or review should include:
- why the book might be of interest to me
- the opening pages
- the cover
- the deadline (if applicable)
- book length
Nice extras would be:
- publication details (i.e. promotion plan, print run)
- advance review quotes, if there are any
- a Q&A with the author
Later, as a courtesy, an autographed copy of the published book should be sent with thanks to those who have taken the time to read and craft a testimonial or review. An appreciative note from the author is always nice. It’s surprising how rarely this is done. I understand! It’s expensive, for one thing, but most of all, it’s time-consuming.
Come to think of it, I’ve yet to finish sending out my own “thank you” copies of The Shadow Queen. (Reminder to self: do it today.)