Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blubbering Over A Blurb

When I started blogging, it was more for my friends than for myself. I was always recommending books for them to read. I never had any intention of becoming a book blogger/reviewer. I had no Idea where to start, what it should say, how it should look, or more importantly, if anyone would even care. It got to a point that my friends started calling me “the book pimp” because my book recommendations would cause their wish lists to grow out of control. Several of them started bugging me about doing a book blog. That way I would have one central place for recommending books, which would be a lot easier than emailing people individually. I put it off because I honestly felt like I had nothing worthwhile to say. And again, would anyone really care? Obviously I didn’t listen, and 1420 posts and three years later (my blogaversary is February 12th), here we are. My blog has taken off in ways that I never dreamed possible.

My blog started off as a way for me to share my love of reading and my thoughts on books with others. I love seeing comments that say, “I bought this book on your recommendation, and I loved it. I’ll be back to see what else you’ve got for me.” It warms my heart to know that I’ve given someone else the same joy I got from reading a book, a book they might not otherwise have read if they hadn’t seen my review.

Along the way I’ve made some amazing friends (author Jessica Park, Melanie H., Michelle D., author Michele Scott and Jen at Crazy-For-Books). Friends I know I’ll have for a long time to come. I’ve also made some great contacts in the publishing industry – publishers, publicists and authors. In my wildest dreams I would never have thought I would know some (ok, well ANY) of these people, or that I would email with them and talk to THEM about THEIR books. They’ve turned into “real” people. Not just mysterious figures who help me to escape into the pages of their books.

One of the things I’ve always wondered about was how the publishers chose what quotes to put on the covers of their books. They are always either another author from the same genre, or Fresh Fiction, Midwest Reviews, or, as I like to think of her, the fraud – Harriet Klausner. What would it take to get one of those coveted spots? Could I bribe someone? Offer up my first born child? Beg, plead, throw myself on the mercy of the publishing G-ds? Once my blog started to take off, and I really got “into” it, I started dreaming of being one of those people who got their blurbs on a book. And I would be more than happy if it was on the inside. A book blurb is a book blurb, no matter where in/on the book it may be. I wasn’t striving too high in thinking that little ‘ole me could actually get on the COVER of a book. Come on Lori, be realistic here! To me, and I’m sure to many of my blogger friends out there, it would mean, “I’ve made it.” That there is value in what I have to say, and not just among my friends, family and followers. Value on a, dare I say, world-wide basis.

I’ll admit I’ve been having a rough time lately. I’m dealing with some minor health issues and my reading was way off in 2010. (I won’t share my embarrassing, for me, numbers). I was even feeling a bit discouraged with my reviews. Jessica Park is an amazing author, a great sounding board, and a good source for grammar help (I HATE the comma). I was lamenting to her the other day about one of my reviews and had even shared a link with her, wishing I could write a review as well as the one I sent her. She, once again, reminded me that my reviews are great, and that everyone has their own reviewing style, just like every author has their own writing style. Just because this one blogger wrote a seven paragraph review doesn’t mean it’s any better, or worse, than my three paragraph review. AND if publishers, authors, publicists, etc. didn’t like what I had to write in my reviews they wouldn’t still be sending me books. Ok, so she made a great point.

Then came Tuesday. Tuesday I got a package from Penguin/Berkley with their March 1st cozy releases. I put them in a bag to take home and went about my day. On my way home I was stopped at a red light and pulled out one of the book to read the back cover, to refresh my memory about what the next book in the series was about. I also like to flip to the back to see (fingers crossed) if there is going to be another book in the series and what that title might be. The light changed and I repeated the process at the next red light. Except something was different. There was a quote on the back that seemed very, very familiar. While still at the light I sent a quick email to Jessica asking her to log onto my blog and do a search for the author, look up the book and send me either the direct link or copy and paste the review itself. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have the patience to wait for her to get back to me, so I pulled over. And then I started to shake. The reason that the blurb from the review sounded so familiar was because I HAD WRITTEN IT. Yup, there it was. In black and white. The words I had written about a book, right there on the back cover of the author’s latest release. Holy cow. I had done it. I reached my goal of having a blurb on the cover of a book.

Now, what do I strive for next?

Motherhood is Murder (A Maternal Instincts Mystery)Motherhood is Murder (A Maternal Instincts Mystery)  by Diana Orgain is the book that I reviewed and where the blurb came from.  You can read my full review HERE

Formula for Murder (A Maternal Instincts Mystery)

Formula for Murder (A Maternal Instincts Mystery) by Diana Orgain is the book that features the blurb on the BACK COVER. It will be released on March 1st.

Bundle of Trouble (A Maternal Instincts Mystery)Bundle of Trouble (A Maternal Instincts Mystery) by Diana Orgain - don't miss this first book in the Maternal Instincts Mystery series.