'You send the manuscript of your book to another writer, hoping they'll like it, hoping they will give you a favourable comment to put on the cover,' writes Leith. 'So you're asking somebody who is probably busy, and possibly even a rival, to do some work on your behalf, for nothing in return. Nothing, that is, beyond getting their name and comments on the cover of someone else's book.'
By coincidence, yesterday we finalised the blurb for Nik Jones's forthcoming novel 9987. Here at Tonto, the 'blurb' is not just the author quote, but also a short, hooky paragraph that appears on the back of the book. Here's the author quote - supplied by Caroline Smailes, author of Black Books:
Gripping, cinematic, voyeuristic. A delightfully disturbing debut.
And here's the rest of the blurb for 9987:
The shop is everything to him – always neat and tidy, safe and reliable, the rental DVDs carefully categorised, alphabetised and memorised.
He thinks he knows his customers, until the bloodstains begin to appear – on grubby banknotes, on porn DVDs, and on the shop's fresh new carpet.
Then the girl comes into his life, green eyes and fresh scarlet slashed beneath her thin cotton blouse. He wants to rescue and protect her. He wants to be with her. Forever.
Murky and disturbing, 9987 is a jagged, tragic crime story set in a disturbing, uncaring world where only three things are constant: fantasy, loneliness and love.
Does that work? Does that make you want to buy 9987? It's released in January, but you can pre-order now at Amazon.
(PS If you are from Ashington I appreciate that "blurb" means something entirely different...)