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 almost exclusively online. For example, when blurbs are available, McFarland includes them in our online catalog listing and on internet bookseller sites. Blurbs can help make up for slow or low media interest, and some blurbists can lend a degree of prestige to your book. Since blurbs can contribute to the overall promotional effort, it is nice to have a couple. However, you are under no obligation to collect blurbs. If you are interested in securing some, it is best to undertake this process early. Before you begin, 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:
You will need to send the unedited manuscript. (If you wait for page proofs or advanced review copies, the blurbists wouldn’t have adequate time.) 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.
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 all blurbs for your book, and the permissions, together at one time, no later than the point when you return page proofs. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).