I just saw a few copies of my newest paperback (Rusty Nail) in a bookstore, and did the standard author thing of picking them up and fondling them while grinning like an idiot. While fondling, I was stuck with a powerful emotion:
I'm the luckiest damn person on the planet.
I felt this because I'm living my dream, and because I'm well published by a smart publisher who knows what they're doing.
But I also felt this because on the cover, above the title, is this quote:
"Thrills, chills, and laugh-out-loud hilarity... Konrath expertly pours on both shivers and fun." - Tess Gerristsen.
I'm thrilled to get this blurb. Not because Tess is a NYT Bestselling author (though that doesn't hurt.) But because Tess is a stellar writer, and I've admired her work for a decade. Having met Tess, I can vouch that she's every bit as cool in person as she is in print. Having her name on my book makes me feel all kinds of cool.
But my happiness gets even happier. If you buy Rusty Nail (and you should) and open the cover you'll find wonderful blurbs by authors Anne Frasier, Alex Kava, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Gayle Lynds, William Kent Krueger, Jack Kerley, PJ Parrish, James Rollins, and Ridley Pearson. Plus favorable snippets from Booklist, Library Journal, PW, and the Midwest Book review.
If you happen to run into a paperback of Bloody Mary, on the cover you'll see this terrific blurb:
"Excellent smart-mouth thrills... my advice: Take an long sip." - Lee Child.
You'll also see praise from authors James O. Born, Blake Crouch, Bill Fitzhugh, David Morrell, Barara D'Amato, and MJ Rose.
If you move on the the PB of Whiskey Sour, on the cover you'll see the quote:
"Whiskey Sour is the best debut of the year." - Chicago Sun-Times (which is uber-critic David Montgomery)
There are also blurbs from Jay Bonansinga, Raymond Benson, Robert W. Walker, George C. Chesbro, F. Paul Wilson, Steve Alten, David Wiltse, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Andrew Vachss, Barry Eisler, Eric Garcia, Warren B. Murphy, and David Ellis.
Which means I've had 30 writers say nice things about me. That's thirty-one if you count Kay Hooper's remarks about Dirty Martini:
“It’s difficult as hell to balance wit with suspense and horrific violence with humor, but JA Konrath manages the feat deftly in his “Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Daniels” series of thrillers. Jack is a smart, sexy cop with a rocky personal life and a career that pits her strength and skill against the worst kind of evil – and she not only triumphs but does so with humor and style. Spend some time with Jack and the people in her life; I can promise you won’t regret it.”
So I've been extremely lucky when it comes to getting blurbs.
Naturally, I also try to return the favor.
Perusing the mystery section of the bookstore, I found eight books with my blurbs on either the front or back cover, and another four with quotes from me inside them.
Though I'm waaaay behind on my blurbs (I have a TBR pile the height of my desk) I still try my best to blurb everyone who asks. I went into a lot of detail about blurbing on a previous blog post (http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2006/02/secret-world-of-blurbing.html) and I don't want to repeat myself here. Suffice to say, both getting and giving blurbs is an important part of the publishing business.
We all should remember that.