Pre-Publication Endorsements (Blurbs)

Blurbs are pre-publication endorsements usually made by authors or experts in your field (different from book reviews published by media after a book is released). Blurbs were originally printed on the back covers of books, but now are used exclusively for online marketing. For example, when blurbs are available, McFarland includes them in our online catalog listing and on internet bookseller sites. There is the possibility for noteworthy blurbists to lend a degree of prestige to your book. Additionally, if interest from traditional review media  is slow or low, blurbs can help offset this. Because of these potential boosts to the overall promotional effort, it is nice for authors to collect a few blurbs, though you are under no obligation to do so. If you are interested, consult our blurb instructions below.

Who to Approach:

If you decide to approach people for blurbs, we advise that you limit your circle of potential blurbists to authorities in your area of study whose opinions carry weight with your likely readers. The blurbist could be a friend or a stranger, but either way it can be uncomfortable to ask for favors. Ask politely and be understanding if they don’t have time.

How to Handle the Manuscript:

While blurbs possess enduring usefulness, the conventional wisdom is that blurbs have more value in the early life of the book, both before and after its release. If you wish to undertake your efforts early, consider sending the unedited manuscript to your prospective blurbists. Be sure to say that it is early in the publication process, and that the version you are sending is the unedited manuscript. Both email and regular mail are ok. When you email, go with PDF rather than a Word document, and make sure that the file size is not overly large. If the recipient knows you, we recommend attaching the manuscript to your initial email. Since most people do not open attachments from unknown senders, in this situation, we recommend that you first introduce yourself and follow up with a file later.  It is also possible for you to forgo the early approach, and instead provide a finished copy of your book after it is released (approaching blurbs somewhat like a traditional book review).

How to Submit to McFarland:

If a person you contact for a blurb responds with a positive endorsement that you’d like to use, request their permission in writing to use their words in support of your work.

We very much want to receive the blurb and its corresponding permission together at one time. If you collect more than one blurb, it is also helpful but not required to send all blurbs at one time. We will run an identification with the blurbist’s name, but these should be brief (concentrate on the most notable fact about the blurbist). Send your blurb materials to the attention of Kristal Hamby at

Please understand that depending on appropriateness, space availability, time of arrival and other factors, a blurb may ultimately not appear in our various forms of book promotion. We may need to shorten a blurb to fit available space, and may need to lightly edit a blurb (usually to correct a typo or grammar).