Cover Quotes~Words from the Wise

One of the first things Alicia Condon, my editor at Kensington, asked me to do (other than finish the book, of course) was to round up some cover quotes for Touch of a Thief

Sure. No problem,” I said.

Actually, it was a big problem. It meant I had to ask authors and reviewers to do something for me out of the goodness of their hearts. And it’s no small thing. They have to carve out the time to read the Touch of a Thief manuscript and then put their reputations on the line for me with a quote.

When my debut novel (under the name Diana Groe) came out in 2006, I asked the Most Famous Historical Author I knew for a quote. M.F.H.A turned me down. Then she told me that even though we knew each other, it was really considered a breach of etiquette for me to have asked her directly. My agent should have contacted her agent with the request.

I felt like a puppy who’d piddled on the new rug.

I talked to Megan Records (Asst. editor at Kensington and all around “good people”) about my misgivings. She said she’d never heard of such a cover quote etiquette and I could ask anyone for a quote directly without fear of offending them. If they had time and interest in doing it, they would. If they couldn’t, they wouldn’t.

So, I grasped my courage with both hands and asked. Here are some of the cover quotes for Touch of a Thief (coming May 2011):

“Absolutely terrific! Adventure and heat and everything I want in a great story. I hated for it to end!” ~ #1 NYTimes Best Seller Victoria Alexander

I cannot adequately describe the ‘squeeeee’ factor for me on this quote. VA is one of the brightest stars in my romance heavens. The fact that such a brilliant, talented writer told me she “absolutely loved” my work was such a thrill!

“Indiana Jones meets To Catch a Thief in this sensual escapade.” ~ Barbara Vey, Beyond her Book, Publishers Weekly

Barb has been so supportive of my work as both Diana Groe and Emily Bryan. She’s an incredibly hardworking blogger/reviewer and if you haven’t bookmarked her site yet, I urge you to do it. If it’s happening in the world of romance, Barb knows about it.

“Mia Marlowe is a rising star! Hot and steamy, Touch of a Thief is a sensually satisfying read. . . a page turner. I loved it from start to finish.”/strong ~ NYTimes Bestseller Connie Mason

My heart is filled with gratitude to this romance legend. Connie gave me a cover quote for my debut novel–the first one she’d ever granted. And now she’s helping me again.

“Mia Marlowe is the mistress of saucy historical romances!” ~ BooksMonthly

When the fabulous review for Stroke of Genius appeared in BooksMonthly, Leah Hultenschmidt, my editor at Leisure Books, asked if Paul Norman was a relative of mine. He’s not, but he does love my work.

So those are the quotes I’ve collected for Touch of a Thief so far. It’s gratifying to get such positive early feedback on this story. But now I’m wondering how cover quotes affect readers.

Does a cover quote from someone you respect make you more willing to try a new author?

18 thoughts on “Cover Quotes~Words from the Wise

  1. MiaMarlowe says:

    Pat, that#39;s why authors stress and obsess so much over their covers, even though few have any say about them.

  2. librarypat says:

    I#39;ve never been sure just how objective they are. A quot;You write a quote for my book and I#39;ll write one for yoursquot; kind of thing. It is nice to know that is not the case. When I select a book, the most important thing initially is the cover blurb. I will have grabbed the book for the author first. If it is not an author I am familiar with, it is book blurb first and then I#39;ll look at quotes if they have any. Those two things plus whether or not I am familiar with the author are primary. The cover is important. If I like it, I#39;ll pick up the book. There are some books I haven#39;t read because I am uncomfortable with the cover.

  3. MiaMarlowe says:

    Caroline–I#39;m more than thrilled with them. Especially since I had to send my lovely quote providers the unedited manuscript. Let#39;s hope major revisions aren#39;t in my future.br /br /Congrats on your newest release, a href=”http://www.carolinefyffe.com/index.html” rel=”nofollow”Montana Dawn/a!

  4. Caroline says:

    Oh my gosh, Mia, AWESOME quotes!! Congratulations!!br /br /This post was great for me since I#39;m a relatively new author and I#39;ve gone through the asking jitters myself. It#39;s so wonderful when someone you respect and admire agrees. Authors are such wonderful people. So supportive and kind, and did I mention generous!br /br /Looking forward to reading, TOUCH OF A THIEF!

  5. MiaMarlowe says:

    Glynis–I think the whole thing usually boils down to the fact that we tend to buy books from authors whose work we#39;ve already read and loved. Or books a trusted friend has recommended. A cover quote is an attempt to provide that recommendation. br /br /The rest of marketing is probably just something to make us feel we#39;re doing what we can.

  6. Glynis says:

    Congratulations on such fabulous quotes, you must be so excited.br /br /I look at the cover first, then the back blurb. The quotes come last to me, but I read them. I would not buy a book because of them though.

  7. MiaMarlowe says:

    Anonymous (Mary)–I#39;m so looking forward to seeing the cover for Touch of a Thief. My editor tells me it will be ready in a couple weeks.

  8. MiaMarlowe says:

    Saranna–Like you, I really hate to ask for favors. And self-promotion is so contrary to my midwestern nature. The only way I can make the scales balance is to offer help to other authors whenever I have the chance.

  9. MiaMarlowe says:

    Jennifer–I can#39;t speak for everyone, but I know the ones who gave me my quotes all read the manuscript because of the conversations I#39;ve had with them about plot points they enjoyed that aren#39;t referenced in the quote. br /br /I#39;m more concerned about reviewers who haven#39;t read the whole book. I had one once where the reviewer made a big deal about something included in the back cover blurb (which I didn#39;t write and didn#39;t actually happen in the book, but the publisher thought would be a good selling point!) Obviously this particular reviewer didn#39;t read the whole thing.

  10. MiaMarlowe says:

    Mary–It#39;s good not to pay too much attention to the back cover blurbs (the publisher#39;s selling synopsis) because often the author has not written it and may not even have had input on it. Fortunately, I was heavily involved in the blurb for TOUCH OF A THIEF, so I#39;m happy with it.

  11. MiaMarlowe says:

    Nynke–Yes, it happened recently. The book is Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake. A very good read, but I thought I was getting a new Eloisa James. Still, the cover quote led me to a book I might otherwise have passed over.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Cover quotes don#39;t really influence my book buying decisions. I#39;m much more influenced by the cover art; if I like the cover I#39;ll pick up the book to read the blurb on the back to see if the story sounds interesting to me. Of course, I#39;m talking about books written by authors I#39;m unfamiliar with. If I already know I like an author, I#39;m going to buy the book no matter what#39;s on the cover.br /br /I wouldn#39;t have guessed that the author had to obtain the cover quotes for the book. I just would have thought that was something the publisher did.br /br /Those are great quotes, though. Hope they help generate some sales.br /br /Mary

  13. SarannaDeWylde says:

    Awesome! Great quotes. I#39;d be over the moon. br /br /I was lucky enough that when I asked Dakota Cassidy for a quote, she was gracious enough to do it. I felt very… naked when I asked and I did ask her to tell me if it was improper. br /br /But I feel that way about self-promotion. I always feel like I#39;m asking people to like me and anyone who knows me for any length of time knows I#39;m not that kind of girl. I#39;m learning slowly it doesn#39;t have to mean I#39;m pleading for approval. *laughs* I#39;m a rebel to the core. br /br /A friend of mine who has been in the industry for a long time told me that authors don#39;t always read the whole book they quote for, though I don#39;t know how you can offer a quote for something you haven#39;t read. I wouldn#39;t do that, but that#39;s me. br /br /As a reader, quotes don#39;t influence my buying habits. I buy authors I know I love, authors I just know and whatever else looks interesting.

  14. Jennifer says:

    I notice cover quotes, but they don#39;t persuade me to buy a book. I#39;ve always wondered if the author who provided the quote actually read the book.

  15. Mary says:

    I really don#39;t read cover blurbs until after I finish the book. When I was 7 or 8 Nancy Drew, etc. didn#39;t have covers so no blurbs. br /I like to judge a book by myself and not be influenced by someone else.

  16. Nynke says:

    A cover quote by someone whose books I really, really love will help, but otherwise I just gloss them over and concentrate on the plot.br /br /Mia, did that happen recently? If so, what a coincidence! Or is it an illustration of just how much a cover quote can catch one#39;s eye? ;)

  17. MiaMarlowe says:

    I feel sheepish. I actually bought a book thinking it was a new Eloisa James when she#39;d only given a quote for the cover.

  18. Gillian Layne says:

    Yes, cover quotes do catch my eye. It won#39;t make me buy a book, but it can be the difference between me picking up a book when I#39;m in a hurry or passing it by for quot;next timequot;.br /br /Congratulations on those fabulous (and well-deserved, I#39;m sure!) quotes!

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