My wildest dream right now is that a famous author, a highly regarded reviewer, and a national newspaper will all call me within the next month and say, "We hear you have a book coming out. Can we please, please, please write a blurb for it?"

Blurbs seem to be an essential these days, but if you don't know anybody with a big name in the industry, it's hard to ask for one. I know lots of writers, but very few who write what I write. So does a historical murder author use an enthusiastic comment from someone who writes contemporary humor?

And then there's the asking thing. I'm damned independent, and I hate begging anyone for anything. Now I have to request, on the strength of maybe one meeting at a conference, that a person will read my work and (hopefully) praise it publicly?

Authors are busy people, and when you ask them to do something that entails time and trouble, i.e., reading online or from a manuscript that isn't bound, you aren't asking for peanuts. And what can you give in return? Nada. Well, your humble and fervent thanks, but still.

I'm not sure how much a blurb even helps. I guess I'm interested if Stephen King says he liked a book, but I'm not sure I'd buy it on that basis. Even my best friends like books I hate and vice versa, so what do I know from Stephen King's TBR?

There's no sense grousing about it. We're expected to ask for blurbs and until we make a name for ourselves, it will be painful. "Excuse me, Famous Author, but might you consider..." Luckily, most of them are very nice about it, and the ones who aren't generally don't answer at all. I'd hate to get a return email of what they're really thinking. "Listen, Ms. Nobody, I don't have time enough in the day for what I HAVE to do, much less read your dreck!"

Maybe that's not what they think. But in my worst nightmare, it is.

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