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To blurb or not to blurb

I got a lovely shout-out on Nathan Bransford’s blog for my presentation at Saturday’s Agent’s Day, and I wanted to follow up some of his comments about using blurbs in your query letter. Nathan describes four possible tiers of blurbs, with an actual personal referral from a client as Tier 1 down to praise from random children as Tier 4. He was very polite, however, in not sharing one of my biggest reasons for not caring too much for blurbs in your queries — sometimes, they make me feel dumb.
And I hate feeling dumb.
I mean, you must be so excited about some random praise from author Joe Schmo to put it in your query. And I’m sitting here reading it going, “Who the heck is Joe Schmo? Should I know him? Did he win a major award? Is he an international bestseller?” And then I have to go look it up, and find out more about him, and maybe check to see if my local library has any of his books, so I can see what’s so great about his blurb.
And do you see what you just did there? You managed to completely take my attention away from YOUR book!
So skip the blurbs in your query letter unless they’re Tier 1 or the top of Tier 2, and check out Nathan’s post for further descriptions of the tiers. And thanks for not making me feel dumb.

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