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Ask Daphne! What About Anonymous Reviews?

crew-liza-patterned-peep-toe-heelsJust plain adorable summery heels (no other reason except I like ’em) for Peter, who writes:

Most of us understand that you don’t include peer-review “awards” as part of your credits in a query. But if you’ve had a novel reach the Editor’s Desk on HarperCollins’ Authonomy website, and received a review from (an unnamed) HarperCollins editor, does that review carry sufficient mojo to be included (assuming it was a positive review)?

NO GOOD: Members of the Vampires In Fiction readers forum pronounced my book “Fang-tastic!”

GOOD?: My book received a rave review from the editor’s desk at Harper Collins’ Authonomy writer’s website in February of 2009 – although they said the genre is dead.

What do you think, Daphne?

You could include it, I guess, if you really wanted to. It doesn’t say much of anything to ME, personally, but other agents who may have had a positive experience with finding authors via Authonomy may feel differently.

Unless you’ve been previously published and have legitimate reviews or blurbs from people other than your immediate family, I don’t care about anything anyone’s said about your book. It needs to stand on its own adorable electronic feet, and if you don’t include these blurbs, well, then, you have more space in your query to tell me something interesting about your story.

You know what does work for me, though, in terms of “pre-pub” blurbs (by which I mean blurbs before a book is sold, not just before it’s been published)? If an author I admire or whose blog I read, mentions a manuscript he or she has read that they love. If THEY contact ME about the manuscript, then that’s something that carries weight. If you mention an author who loves your book to me in a blind letter, it might get my attention, sure — but it might do so in a bad way, if I don’t much care for the author. (Not saying I dislike certain authors, of course, just exploring all possibilities.) If I don’t have feelings for the blurb-er one way or the other, well, then, we’re back to you wasting time in your query better spent on pitching me your story.

Make sense?

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