Monday, June 12, 2006

If You Can’t Annoy Someone, It Does Take a Bit of the Zest Out of life*

No wonder debut authors get frustrated. No blurbs, sometimes no reviews, until they make friends with everyone and say all the magic words.

Should new authors play the two-faced game until enough people have endorsed them so that they can stand on their own, and then let the real them come out?

It isn’t like I deliberately start by planning to piss someone off. I end up knowing I’ve done it, in some cases. Like with Mark Billingham. Don’t ask. He’s too nice admit it, probably, but I’d bet money that he spent at least a month last fall thinking I was some freaky stalker-chick.

I digress. Thing is, I’m a bit enthusiastic. Always have been. One of those hot or cold, all or nothing people. Some say obsessive. And it can rub people the wrong way, without me even realizing it.

One thing that does really annoy me is when people jump to judgments without ever talking to me. I’m not talking about casual conclusions, as in, “Read her blog, wasn’t for me.” Cool, I’m good with that. I’m talking about dislike on a level that they feel the need to email people or have conversations about me behind my back with the door already slammed shut – “want nothing to do with you”. And I don’t even know them. I may have met some people online I’d like to meet more than others, but beyond that, there are only a few people I’ve “met” online in the past year I’m really leery about meeting.

Because I’m sure they hate me. Because things said have a way of coming back to you, and it doesn’t seem to matter if you do your taking in another country anymore…

That isn’t even what’s important here. This is about new writers, and the very steep hill they have ahead of them. The journey to a half-decent book launch is no longer climbing Mt. Baker – it’s scaling Mt. Everest, and you’re using second-hand gear that’s outdated while you’re at it, plus you’ve got bronchitis.

At least, that’s how it feels. You’re damn lucky to even do a tour, never mind have a better-known author endorse you. And then you find out so-and-so in Nowhere won’t stock your book because they don’t know you… What’s a new author to do?

Where’s this coming from? Well, I’ve seen this numerous times, from a number of authors. The “I don’t do blurbs” statement. And I’m not talking about a response to a request from me. I’m talking about being quoted in an interview saying, “I don’t do blurbs.”

I could barely muster the courage to ask a few people to look at my book. It was enough to make me sick, I was so nervous about it.

One of them did say no. No big deal. Still love the author’s work, still a big fan. A few said yes and haven’t had time to read the book for a variety of reasons, and with what’s been going on with them, I feel guilty for asking. A few said they wanted to wait until I’d done revisions. So, no blurb. It’s totally okay. If someone had said they didn’t want to blurb the book because they didn’t like it, I’d understand that, too. Nobody has yet, but still. What I handed them months ago is a substantially lesser book to what it is now, with the rewrite done. (Just a bit more tweaking and it’s off to you, my dear editor!)

There’s been a big discussion recently that I’ve been part of, about authors promoting other authors.

I always took the view before, with Spinetingler, that I could promote the books I liked because I didn’t typically plan reviews. I’d buy the books I was interested in reading, read them, like them, then Kevin would bug me to write a review. Even with interviews, I picked people I was interested in talking to, because I enjoyed their work.

So, it was luxury. I never had to review anything. Didn’t put deadlines on myself. Didn’t care if the author was a first-class jerk or the sweetest person on earth.

It’s just a bonus that some of the authors I’ve reviewed books by, like Stuart MacBride, Simon Kernick and Mark Billingham are great guys.

And, of course, I adore Cornelia Read. Smart, incredible writer, funny as hell. Who wouldn’t?

It’s actually Cornelia that started this whole chain of thought, in a way. She’s one of the people I’d been paying attention to on blogs for a while. I’d see her comments. Thought she was a smart person, the kind of person I looked forward to reading opinions from.

So, I went to check out her website.

Blurb heaven.

Now, this was last year, several months before the release of her book, and she had people like Lee Child and Ken Bruen singing her praises.

I was intrigued, and I approached her about an interview. Now, lucky me, I got an ARC of her book and was able to form my own opinion before I interviewed her.

But those blurbs contributed to my decision to roll the dice on interviewing a brand-new author. Did those blurbs matter? Did they sell a book? Yes. For me, they did.

It’s discouraging to me when I see established authors taking the “I don’t do blurbs” stand. First, as a reader, I pay attention. Particularly if it’s an author that’s new to me, I go by author referrals. That’s been the cornerstone of my reading system for the past few years.

And in the past two years I’ve had three books I’ve been not overly enthused about. Not one of them I bought using that system, either. All from external referrals from people or a selection for a reading group.

Beyond that, 100% satisfaction. So the referral system has really worked for me.

Second, I can’t help wondering if some have forgotten how much blurbs and reviews meant to them when they started out their career. I bet every writer has someone they felt a lot of appreciation for, an idol of sorts, someone who found the positives in their early stuff and gave them some encouragement and endorsement. So, while I understand the increasing time-crunch that goes with being asked to blurb, the “no blurb” stand, or worse, the “I only blurb my friends” stand, frustrate me as a reader. It means that person’s referrals for books carries less weight. I don’t know if they’re blurbing a book they think is actually good, or just blurbing it because the person’s a friend. I mean, when “friend” is part of the criteria, blurbing the best books out there doesn’t seem to be part of the equation.

I’ve noticed this. There are some authors who routinely blurb each other. Book after book, there’s a comment outside or inside. I saw two authors do an exchange once, they each reviewed the other’s book. There were actually people who felt the move was so staged and tasteless, I got emails from people complaining about it, although I had nothing to do with it and didn’t publish the reviews – I get drawn into weird stuff sometimes. Interesting to read the opinions on it, though.

For me, authors don’t need to know me or ever meet me for me to do backflips and praise them to the stars. Not that my opinion matters much, but if I like a book, I’ll rave about it. End of story. If I love anything I’ll rave about it.

Now, I get sent review copies, and I have to read on deadlines sometimes. And this is where you put the personal aside and act like a professional – it matters not if I like the author. It’s about assessing their book, not whether or not they’re someone I’d care to go bowling with.

Many people have a hard time with that. And I don’t get it. Sure, you might look forward to releases by friends who’ve satisfied the reader in you in the past. I mean, my friends who write kick-ass books, I can’t wait for more.

But at the exclusion of those I don’t know? You aren’t my friend, so I won’t read you or consider reviewing you? Well, not with me. I’ve been asked to take review copies of a number of books recently, and some of them I really want to read from the description. But they’re on hold – I don’t waste an author’s money if I know I don’t have time to read the book. That’s just not fair, to me. It’s just down to having enough time to read now, and I’ll be taking those review copies!

It’s no wonder new writers get frustrated. You’ve got to hope people will like you in order to get a break. And, I mean, people aren’t all going to like you. Some people aren’t even going to give you a chance.

I know some people who don’t like other people. Cool. Does it affect my opinion? Usually, not at all, unless I already have an issue with the person. Seriously. We won’t all get along. My opinions of people are based on how they deal with me. I might see a pattern of behaviour between said person and others that makes me cautious, but I give everyone a chance. Kevin always tells me I shut my eyes to the warning signs, but I can’t help it.

I think everyone deserves a chance. And I’ve spent enough of my life wasted around people who were judgmental and petty. I don’t want to be that person anymore. Oh, I’m opinionated, but I’m far more open-minded today than ever before. Three years ago I wouldn’t have watched The Shield or The Wire. It’s been less than two years since I saw my first Wire episode. And there was some content I had a hard time with, but the writing and the acting, and being a hopeless David Simon fan, kept me watching long enough to get hooked. I’ve loved Baltimore for years, thanks to David Simon.

This is a big difference between me and a lot of other people, right here. I’d rather you just tell me you don’t like me and don’t want to hear from me ever again than get the not-so-polite brush-off. I got an email over the weekend that read to me like a complete, “have a nice life” message. I hate that. Did my mood affect how I interpreted the email, or was that what they were really saying? And if I don’t write back, do I end up getting yelled at because I ‘ditched’ the person?

It also drives me nuts if people are all nice to me, praise me to the stars, then submit a story to Spinetingler and, as soon as it’s published or rejected, I never hear from them again. If I “know” you, I don’t read your story anyway. Do yourself a favour, don’t waste your time.

I’d rather someone tell me they don’t like me and never want to hear from me. At least be straight about it. And save yourself the aggravation of future emails or (God forbid) meeting me at some book signing or conference.

But back to blurbs, I understand the frustration with requests– believe me. I’m already having a hard time keeping up with the email sometimes, but to me, it’s important to try. I never dreamed of writing God and asking him to read my manuscript – that’s me. But I think some authors are afraid of talking to aspiring authors, because they think they’ll be asked for favours. And in some cases, legitimately.

Maybe if I’d had the guts to get off my ass and ask everyone I knew, I’d have a list of blurbs to choose from. Maybe if I kept at them and kept asking… But, as much as some people think I’m far too “in your face” for their liking, I can’t do it.

I just can’t.

I was just genuinely thrilled for the few people who said they were willing to consider reading it, depending on their schedules.

Hasn’t worked out for most of them, but that’s cool. Looking at my desk, I understand. Completely.

Didn’t even consider asking Mark, and I actually have met him. Would a blurb on my book from him have sold a few copies?

I bet it would have.

Is it fair for me to expect him to do that? Absolutely not. Which is why I didn’t ask.

And some have asked about galley copies for doing reviews from, and I don't even know if any are being distributed. Sorry. There are a couple people who'll get a free book anyway, for all the help they gave me on editing stuff, but I doubt anyone will see a bound version before November. I think I've asked about as many people as I could muster the courage to already, and the ones who aren't done reading should stop now and burn it, seriously. But ask people to give up more time? I just can't do it.

What about you guys? Do you pay any attention to author referrals or blurbs? Or do they make no difference to you?

Happy Birthday EvilKev!
Yes, he’s a year older today. So, if you missed it yesterday, check out his story, Predator and then tell me I shouldn’t fear for my life!

Lonnie Cruse interviews JT Ellison
The interview is scheduled to be up on Lonnie’s blog today. Be sure to drop by, and also to congratulate Lonnie on her recent book deal!

And my friend, Stephen Blackmoore, has a great flash fiction piece up. Check it out!

* Quote – Kinsley Amis


Steve Allan said...

I'll read the blurbs when I'm shopping for books, but if the book itself doesn't interest me, I won't buy it. To me, blurbs can be a tipping point in taking it home. However, if there's a blurb by a writer I don't like, that can be a dealbreaker; but not necessarily. But I think word-of-mouth actually does more for selling books than blurbs.

JT Ellison said...

This is a really interesting post. I started to say blurbs don't affect my buying, and that's mostly true. At this stage, I look more at who got blurbs from major A-list authors, whether the major reviewers are named, and the like. I won't NOT buy a book because it doesn't have big blurbs. But I do look at them.
And we've all heard stories about blurb whores, writers who will simply give a blurb thinking it will help their own book sales. I'm not far enough into the scene to know any, though I can see it happening.
John Connolly had a great blog entry on this a few weeks back. He said that he started off saying yes to all the people who wanted blurbs, and over time, they started building up, manuscripts collecting dust, making him feel bad that he's had to put them off to manage his own workload. I bet that happens to all the biggies.
I don't look forward to having to get them. Fact of life, yes. Fun? no!
For what it's worth, I'd blurb you anyday of the week and twice on Sundays.
Thanks for putting the link to Lonnie's Interview!

angie said...

I almost never go by reviews, and only occasionally look at blurbs when it comes time to buy a book. I'm a big, fat lurker on a lot of different blogs & discussion boards, so I usually pay attention to what books are being talked about. Once a book reaches a tipping point (i.e., I've heard about the book or author enough for it to stick in my head), then I MIGHT pay attention to blurbs when it comes down to which 2 or 3 books I can afford to fork over the cash for. On the other hand, blurbs are such a part of the front cover/back cover design that I do notice if there are very few blurbs, or the blurbs are vague & generic. Not necessarily a deal breaker. Makes me wonder more when it's on a book by an author who's got more than 1 or 2 novels published.

Have I missed something here, or doesn't the pub. usually send ARCs around for blurbs, too? I know you're with a small pub., but I would think that they'd be of some help re. getting blurbs. Not that you don't already know a ton of published writers. Just thinking...

Andrea at Lochthyme said...

Well I do a lot of my book shopping online so I usually can't read the blurbs. But when I go to the stores I'll look at the blurbs but that won't make me buy or not buy a book. I go by what the story is about and also a lot of my books I've purchased recently have been because of recommendations thru the different email lists I belong to and blogs I've read. Now I'm not a book writer but if i were I'd be more than willing to blurb other author's books. And if I were a book writer I would be more than willing to blurb new author's books since they are the ones who need the blurbs more than say James Patterson. My motto is never say never.

Sue said...

A blurb by a name I recognize can help me decide to buy the book, but it's certainly not the determining factor. And I wasn't even aware of how those blurbs were obtained until one of the members of our writers' group had her first book released last fall and she talked about having to get blurbs for her books. I got the impression that it can, at times, be a disheartenting and disillusioning process.

I know that it will be something I will have to do someday but I also know that it's going to be difficult for me because I know that established writers get these kinds of requests all the time and they can't possibly read and blurb even a small portion of the books they receive requests for.

I can even understand how some writers get to the point that they say "No blurbs." It's far easier to say... "I don't do blurbs," than to try to pick and choose who you will and who you won't do blurbs for, as there is always the risk of offending or alienating someone. You would think that wouldn't be a problem among professional writers but considering some of the blog entries (not yours) that I've read where writers complain publicly about specific editors, publishers, etc... I can see where a writer might decide... "no blurbs"... is the best policy.

Still we have to hope that there will always be those who will take the risk and find the time to write those blurbs.

Brett Battles said...

Me? I've gone through phases. There were some years when I'd look at blurbs and if there was one from a writer I liked, I'd pick up the book and pay more attention. Some years I'd not even notice the blurbs.

Don't know why the cycle...some sort of psychotic episode I guess. But I have never bought a book strickly on a blurb.

That said, I just got my second blurb today...from John Gilstrap no less!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Steve, I'm with you there - the book has to interest me as well.

JT, I saw John's post about blurbs. I sympathize with the man, so well-intentioned, such genuine regret over the books piling up. Poor guy. And your blurb offer means a lot! I appreciate it, esp. since you just spent the weekend reading SC!

Angie, I think it typically is on the publisher, but as far as I know, only a few review copies will go out after the edits are done. If they're going after blurbs, I'm not aware of it.

Andrea, never say never is a good motto to have. What if you tell ten people you don't do blurbs, then read a ms that you really want to blurb? Then people have hurt feelings because you're a liar? My line on the review thing is, "my schedule's full at this time". Why not try that instead?

Sue, you're right, it's tricky for writers to balance and easy to understand why some might just say, "No more!"

I can't imagine thinking just blurbing any book will help your career. What if you blurb a book that's garbage? Won't the reader's opinion of you go down a notch or two?

All I can say is, I hope to still take time for people. Right now, I have very little, but when my schedule clears I have a ms from an aspiring writer to offer some feedback on.

Brett, cycles? Hanging out with too many women? Cool for you on the blurb, though!

James Goodman said...

Happy Birthday to EvilKev. :D

As for blurbs, I don't pay them much attention when selecting a book. I usually read the back, a few paragraphs of the 1st chapter and flip to page 34 and read a couple of pages. I figure by page 34 they should be into their rhythm and I can get a fairly accurate idea of whether their writing style appeals to me (I hope that doesn't come off as snobby).

Trace said...

I do read blurbs, but I get pissed when I find out the blurb was for some previous book the author wrote!

Happy Birthday Evilkev!

anne frasier said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sandra Ruttan said...

James, not snobby! A system that works for you, and you're likely right.

Trace, I'm okay if it says, "praise for (insert author's name)'s work" and then has a list. Given how hard it's been to deal with blurbs this time around, I can see the temptation to use anything decent I do get in a review for a blurb on the next one.

Anne, yes, I imagine it can be awkward. And it's funny, because people say "you know so many people Sandra". Oddly enough, yeah, I guess I do. But it never occurred to me to ask you Anne, or John Rickards, or Laura Lippman or H. Mel Malton... some people I either know or have interviewed.

I'm going to suck at cold-call sales type of stuff. It's one thing for me to rave about, "have your read this great book by so-and-so" but my own book? Good thing I don't have to worry about bookstore tours. V. unlikely to happen, I suspect.

Tanginika-Simone said...

On the people who pass judgement without really knowing you and decide you are "this or that": Drives me nuts!! Why are people so quick about passing judgement, and usually they are quicker about passing the wrong or unfounded judgement? I read that it is just easier for people to create stereotypes and pass judgement based on whatever trivial elements instead of taking the time to get to know someone before forming an opinion on what and how that person is. Sad but true.

On publishing a book: I see now what's ahead of me. I am writing a book and will publish at the end of this year or beginning of next one, so I have to anticipate that it will probably be bumpy. Lets see if I can enjoy the ride. Thanks for sharing!

anne frasier said...

i just trashed my earlier post for fear of having said too much. argghhh! i don't think anybody would put it together, but you never know. i shouldn't have described that opening scene. :D

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

I don't read blurbs or reviews at all - I buy books only based on the story line and/or the author and maybe the first chapter. But my editor, in the most charming and laid-back way, put the fear of God in me that collecting blurbs was the single most important thing I had to do to launch my book.

What worked for me is this: I made a list of the writers I most admire - like, fall on my knees and grovel admire, in my genre - and ONLY those writers. I wrote sincere and honest letters saying exactly why they were my idols and inspiration, asking if they would consider endorsing my book.

In less time than I could have imagined possible, I had the most gracious letters back from legends who had no reason really to give me the time of day. Some have already read the book and given me the most lovely and unexpected blurbs (READ my book - that alone gives me chills. The endorsements still don't seem quite real). Others I haven't heard back from (and really, who has time to do ANYTHING anymore?) and one living legend wrote me a beautiful letter about why he doesn't give blurbs and wishing me great luck on the book.

I guess the point I'd like to make is that writing is risky, in every possible way. Asking your idols to read your book is terrifying. But the reward of just having someone who inspired you to write READ you - is beyond imagining.

Feel the fear, remember we're all scared, be true, and go for it.


The Rentable Writer said...

I like this post because I can definitely relate. While I've been trudging through my novel for almost a year now (I dread having deadlines ...), I'm not ready to get blurbs or reviews, but I can understand how hard it must be. I've already asked myself questions about this. Who will I ask? Who will provide? Blurbs (usually) only affect me after I read what the book's about. My local B&N had a stand called "Author Recommended" and there was a book called Cirque du Freak. On the front cover was a blurb by J.K. Rowling and I was about to buy the book ... when I realized I hadn't even read what it was about. After reading it's plot, I was uninterested and said, "Maybe another time," and put it back.

DesLily said...

as a READER ONLY (not an author here)'s rare that the blubs mean much. I'd have to already think this is something i'd like to read, more then likely it's by an author i like and i've read a few paragraphs. With all that and still unsure, then MAYBE the blub might influence me.. but if I don't know the author who wrote it.. then of course, it means nadda.

When I try an new author it's generally word of mouth. Someone who knows me well and knows what I enjoy (and they probably like that too), then when they say.. "if you liked that.. then you'll like this".. means more then any blurb by any author.

But I'm just a reader, what do I know? lol... so many other things come into play also.. even the cover of the book could be the thing to make me pick it up and check it out.

JamesO said...

I rarely pay much attention to blurbs. I mean, when did you pick up a book that said; 'This guy's writing sucks. You'd be better giving your money to a tramp.'?

Even the good blurbs are often the faint praise taken out of damning context - doubly so for review quotes. I tend to go with James G on this one - page thirty-four, sometimes maybe a bit further in if it's a massive fantasy doorstop. Read a few pages, see if I like the style and characterisation.

The thought of asking another author for a blurb fills me with a kind of mixed fear and thrill. Fear because I can get hyperhydrotic just phoning up to arrange a haircut, thrilled because when I have to do it, that will mean I've finally found a publisher.

As for slagging off people before you've had the chance to really get to know them, my grandmother always used to say: 'If you can't say anything good, say nothing at all.' To me, silence when a person is being discussed is more damning than any bitchy tales.

DesLily said...

Dang it! I forgot .. i wanted to tell you that I read Predator!

As long as hubby doesn't walk around with an old sock filled with rolled coins, and doesn't look like Charles Bronson.. maybe your safe! heh.

Eileen said...

Geez- someday I dream of having stalkers. Seems so much better than no one reading the book.

I've been lucky so far I've approached a couple of people who have agreed to blurb my book. One who is a fairly well known writer. I so appreciate their time and effort. Others have taken a pass saying time constraints etc keep them from doing that. Should I ever reach literary diva status I hope to play it forward.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Tanginika, I hope things go smoothly for you. In fact, read Alexandra Sokoloff's comment below - that's a great strategy for approaching people for blurbs. Great advice Alex, thanks for sharing.

Anne, I completely understand, no worries.

Wow, an 'author recommended' stand. Yet another reason to fret over a lack of blurbs. $*!@

DesLily, I think it helps if you know people who know your tastes well. I don't have many friends who read in my vein and so I found their referrals were the ones that didn't always satisfy. Different tastes and all that.

James, LOL! You'll have help getting your blurbs.

DesLily, I think I'm okay then. Fingers crossed.

Eileen, LOL on the stalkers! I'll remember that next time, if there is a next time.

It's nice to see that you want to pay it forward - I agree. Blurbs or no, I've had so many people help me out and I really appreciate what they've done for me. And I never want to be so stingy that I forget that. I still wonder sometimes, "why me?" I've been very very fortunate as a new writer to have support and advice. If it came down to that or blurbs, I'd take the support and advice any day of the week.

E. Ann Bardawill said...

I'm hoping my new icon will raise interest in people blurbing me.
or something.


Sorry... I'm going to be insufferable for at least a week over this.

Stuart MacBride said...

It gets easier to ask for blurbs when you get to book 2, in the same way that it's easier to break your own thumb with a hammer than your shin. Still not a fun way to spend your Sunday afternoon.

I didn't ask anyone the first time, but by the time the second was due to come out, I'd met people. And though 90% the people I asked didn't have time to blurb I did get a couple of very cool ones from people whose writing I admire a lot. So I know where Alexandra's coming from.

One bit of advice I've been given is never say you'll blurb a book - only that you'll blurb it if you can find the time. That way if you don't like it, you've got a way out without hurting the other writer's feelings. Plus, sometimes, there really isn't enough time to get around to everything, and if you've said you'll do it, and you can't, chances are you'll feel guilty about it. Free stress for everyone.

I’ve been on both ends of the blurbing stick, and they’re both the shitty end, you just can’t see one from the other.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Liz, love the new you, you shameless hussy.

Stuart, that's good advice on the giving end as well. Guilt isn't going to help anyone. Authors are human, they can only do so much.

I recently went through something entirely different on the other side of the equation, and I hate it when people feel guilty and obligated to do something for me. I guess that's why I had a hard time with the blurb thing. I know there's a tendency for people to think if they're nice to me I might review them for Spinetingler or something, but the truth is, everyone I've reviewed I either don't know or barely knew when I did the review and my interest in them was as an author with a book I enjoyed. Not a book I reviewed because I was buddies with them. I wouldn't call myself buddies with Mark or Simon... I mean, I like them, they've been very nice to me, I'd say "friend" but buddies? They could completely brush me off and I'd still read their books because I like their writing. I didn't read their books to get to be chums with them. Not objecting about getting to meet and befriend authors, but you get my point.

And now I can look forward to it sucking a bit more when I get asked for blurbs. Thanks Stuart. I feel so much better.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Happy birthday, evilkev!

I know you're dead-on right about the new author problem, Sandra. I have thoughts about blurbs. They aren't nice thoughts. It is such a humiliating process sometimes -- to feel like you have to beg someone you admire to do you a favor, knowing they'll probably say "I don't do blurbs" or "I only blurb my friends" or "Not even if you drove a truckful of money to my front door..."

Some jobs really should have stayed with the publisher. Obtaining blurbs is one of them.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Awwwhh! I think you're totally cool and an awesome, tell-it-like-it-is person....and I don't need you for a blurb...LOL!

Amra Pajalic said...

Man, something else to think about. Being unpublished I think that when "the call" occurs it's all set in the stars, blah, blah. It seems that's actually when the work begins.

I don't pay attention to blurbs. I read a book because I'm interested in it, or curious about the author. I have no problems in leaving a book unread after a few pages and I use the library to check out new authors so I know who to buy and who not to.

The reason I don't pay attention to blurbs is because I've seen too many cheap tricks. The same house blurbing each other, insencere blurbs, blurb whores. There's not too many people whose opinion respect and that I'd buy a book just because of their blurb.

Also onto your other rant about people etc-I'm a all or nothing gal too. Must be the gemini thing. Fuck it's tiring. I used to be more open to people but I get too excited, don't see the forest for the trees and get screwed. Now I have a whole system of eliminiation in place.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Aw, Bonnie, thanks! Your books are ones I look forward to reading - did you know I was always a big BJ Hoff fan? Surprise, surprise...

SW, I know what you mean about all those gut-wrenching potential responses. That's why I could only ask a few people - I needed to feel like they wouldn't kick me to the curb as some kind of user-opportunist just for asking.

Asking sucks.

Amra, maybe it is a bit of a gemini thing. I've always had a lot of respect for Val McDermid, another fantastic author, and a gemini. Val's always struck me as a tell-it-like-it-is don't sugarcoat the truth kind of person. Not cruel, but honest. I mean, it's just my impression - I barely know her. But I really admire her. And she actually does blurb new authors.

Unfortunately, no library for me, so your method wouldn't work. The joys of living in the sticks.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

It's funny, my memory for names isn't all that hot. Yes, this is a problem. I'll remember books and movies, people I know, or ones who really grabbed my attention. But a lot of authors' names just run through that sieve I laughingly call a brain.

So blurbs don't do much for me. Oh, look. A blurb. By that guy. Who wrote that thing? That I read? I wonder if there's anything else I've read by this Stephen King?

When it comes to reviews, I generally pay more attention to the opinions of the people I know. They generally have similar taste.

And on the day late and a dollar short front, happy birthday Evilkev! Predator was great.

And thank you Sandra for the link. Awww. I have a friend. I've never had a friend before. At least not one that didn't end up stuffed in a trunk at the bottom of a quarry. Oh, wait. I actually said that out loud, didn't I?