December 9, 2010 at 8:08 am
Photo by Caro Wallis / by NCND 2.0 CC
Although copyediting is my least favorite part of the publication process, soliciting blurbs is the part that makes me the most uncomfortable. Blurbs are the short, positive endorsements from other authors, experts and people-more-famous-than-you which are printed on the back of the book. They’re part of the overall strategy to convince the average book buyer to purchase your book.
This is how it goes: First, I have to lure you in with a clever title and/or an intriguing cover. That gets you to pick up the book and read the back, which contains a snappy synopsis that tells you enough about the book to pique your interest, but doesn’t give away the whole thing. Then you read the blurbs, which are meant to give you a final push toward the cash register, reassuring you that well-respected, accomplished people who know what they’re talking about think you should definitely buy this book.
The part that makes me feel awkward is that I have to contact well-respected, accomplished people who know [...]
December 17, 2009 at 9:45 am
I get a lot of press releases. Email is cheap, so public relations companies blast out hundreds of copies of the same generic, boring messages to hundreds of people at a time. I think my email address got put on a mailing list that has been passed around to lots of companies, so now I get about six or seven emails a day trying to get me to write about products I know you guys have no interest in. I’ve gotten to a point where I read half the subject line and then trash the messages without reading them.
However, I occasionally get a press release with a subject line so ridiculous that I cannot help reading it and then guffaw at my desk, wondering if the person who wrote it is aware of how silly their message sounds. Case in point, a recent email I got for a hand sanitizer that says:
[Hand sanitizer brand name] predicts that the ‘elbow shake’ will soon supplant the traditional hand shake as the greeting of choice both in and [...]
February 5, 2007 at 9:45 am
I don’t usually buy the wet, canned cat food, but in order to use my coupon I had to bump my order up to $15.00 and the $0.60 cent can of Science Diet was the easiest way to do it. My cat got awfully excited over the treat as I peeled back the metal lid. He kept poking his nose into the can as I used a spoon to scoop out the ground up bits of animals I don’t want to know the names of. I scraped all around the edges and whacked the remaining sticky clumps into the bowl with a few thumps.
And then I licked the spoon.
It was only when the meaty mess was sticking to the top of my mouth that I realized what I had done. All those years of licking the beaters after mixing a cake and scooping up wads of chocolate chip cookie dough on the sly must have created an automatic response in my brain. I’d run down a well-beaten path in my neural pathways that said: Serve [...]