Gigi Gahtgaht: to stammer or stutter

In The History of the Han Dynasty, there is a story about a man named Jau Cheung who suffered from stammering. The first emperor of the Han dynasty (206-194 B.C.) had already made the son of Queen Leuih the crown prince, but he loved his concubine Lady Chik so much that he changed his mind. He wanted to make her son the new crown prince. Jau Cheung, an old official, challenged the emperor: "I can't talk very well, but as far I know, it would be ve...very wrong to elect a new crown prince." Jau Cheung wanted to say "gihk" (extremely), but instead it became "gi...gi" because of his stutter.

A castle fit for a king. Castle of Manzanares el Real, Madrid. 
It's time for me to secure an author blurb, an endorsement from another writer, for my forthcoming novel. With a big publisher, editors will sometimes accomplish this task. Since I'm going through a small press, I need to contact people myself.

I probably would stammer if I had to ask face-to-face for an endorsement. I'm so grateful for the advent of technology, so that I can use a written request. When making my list of authors to approach, I brainstormed a lot. I thought back to previous writers' conferences, book clubs, and other writing connections.

I ended up reaching out to my list via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail. I'll let you in on a secret: Writers are really nice folks. Even the NYT bestselling authors weren't too busy to respond back and explain their limited time.

Here's the framework for the letter I crafted:

1. Introduction
    I described when and where I met them, or my connection to them. I also mentioned their books (proving that I'm a loyal reader) and made comparisons to my own story.

2. The Pitch
    I provided an idea of what my book was about (see the rules for developing an elevator pitch).

3. Ending
    I gave them a deadline for a response and thanked them for their time.

You can also find a more detailed post on author blurbs here.

Have you ever approached a famous person, and how did they react?

Comments (4)

On May 20, 2013 at 4:45 PM , AlvaradoFrazier said...

I've never approached anyone for a blurb, but I sure hope I can sooner than later. Your post is useful and makes a scarier prospect, less intimidating. I hope you get several "yes, I can write a blurb," than not.

 
On May 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM , Jennifer Chow said...

Thanks for dropping by, Monica! I've gotten a couple of possibilities. Let's see if they give me a blurb after they read the manuscript...

 
On May 21, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Romelle Broas said...

Getting an author endorsement is such a great idea, Jennifer! BTW, congratulations on your novel. That is exciting!

 
On May 22, 2013 at 10:31 AM , Jennifer Chow said...

I can't take the credit for the idea, Romelle. My publisher asked for a blurb, so I'm off sending emails to my fellow writers.