How to get someone to blurb your book

I’m about to leave for Renovation, the 2011 World SF Convention, but I received a wonderful bon voyage gift from Patrick at Fairwood Press: the advance copies of  Unpossible and Other Stories, my collection that’s coming out this Fall, and now available for pre-order.

One thing I need to do at Worldcon is find people to blurb the book.  I hate asking for blurbs.  There’s nothing like shoving your prized possession into someone’s hands and saying, “Would you please take a moment to look this over?” to make you feel like a Mormon missionary, or that homeless guy who keeps finding dead squirrels.

But that book won’t blurb itself *, so I spent the last few days practicing at home, developing a sure-fire, 3-step process for getting that blurb! And I have named it…

Daryl’s Sure-Fire 3-Step Blurb-Getting Process

Step One: Make the product attractive.

Nothing beats a full-color ARC on real paper, with beautiful art. (This cover’s by Antonello Silverini, all-around cool guy.)  How can you say no to this book? You can’t, that’s how. It’s the slutty girl you had the hots for in high school, or the hot guy you had the sluts for, and they  just invited you over to their house while their parents are away on a couples retreat at Warren Dunes, but the important thing is, the house is empty–and they have Cinemax.

And look, it's already been pre-blurbed! This tells your target what kind of top-notch quoting you expect, and that if they don't like your book, there's something wrong with them.

Step Two: Include a bonus.

One thing I’ve learned from practicing at home — keep a bunch of dog treats in your pants. Reviewers GO CRAZY for ‘em. If you don’t have dog treats, substitute with a hot Panini, or beer.

Allow your target to smell the product. And, if necessary, your butt.

Step Three: Don’t take no for an answer!

If your target insists that they are too busy to read the book, simply smack them with a rolled up newspaper.

Try to find blurbers who have all their teeth.

Thank me now, fellow writers! You’re guaranteed to have as much success as me!

Stony Lives!

A reader of Stony wrote me and said that I ought to make “Stony Lives!” posters. So, courtesy of the amazing Scott Godlewski (the main artist behind the first comic I worked on, Dracula: The Company of Monsters), here’s a recruitment poster for The Living Dead Army.

Shall we make T-shirts?

In other zombie news…

Del Rey did a lovely thing at Comic Con: they did a massive giveaway of my first novel, Pandemonium, and I sat and signed them for an hour and a half, all as a way of fooling people into buying copies of Raising Stony Mayhall. This scheme kind of worked. Mysterious Galaxy bookstore, which had a booth next door, sold out all their copies, including the copies that Del Rey gave them. Thanks to everyone who came by. Hope you dig it.

io9 recently ran an interview with me, “Why Daryl Gregory created a zombie messiah for Raising Stony Mayhall“. Just for the record, I know how to spell “xenophobia.” But the interview was done over the phone, so that word became the phonetic equivalent “zenophobia”, which as one commenter pointed out, may be a reference to my fear of Greek philosophers. I think it’s a reference to my fear of half measures. (Ha! That’s a Zeno’s Paradox joke. I kill me.)

Faren Miller recently reviewed Stony in Locus, and it’s been posted online. It starts with this:

Raising Stony Mayhall should add to Daryl Gregory’s reputation as a dazzling innovator, despite being set in an alternate history whose starting point comes from the realm of pulpish horror: the zombie invasion in Night of the Living Dead

and ends with this:

…in the terms of literary scholars, Daryl Gregory has ‘‘deconstructed’’ the familiar zombie story, providing a self-reflective ‘‘meta’’ take on it. Fortunately for the rest of us, Raising Stony Mayhall is also a fast-paced, exciting narrative laced with both humor and moments of pathos.

So that was nice. And a while later the San Francisco Book Review  appeared:  “In short, this is a remarkable book about what it means to be alive. It’s destined to be a classic. Read it and find out why.”

I like reviews that end in commands.

Surrounded by Apes

…and we’re back.

First I disappeared to Comic-Con in San Diego, where a good time was had by me, if not all — I pity those poor folks who have to wait in line. But it was pretty cool to walk onto  the floor and see the Planet of the Apes banner hanging over the BOOM! booth. Here’s a photo taken by family friend Jean Yeatman:

And then we tacked on a family vacation that included the San Diego zoo and Disneyland, and then I came home to a lot of work that had piled up while I was gone, and then there was the whole announcement of the television thing. Boy, did that get weird, with the production company issuing denials and asking me to change my blog.

There are a bunch of things I’ve been meaning to pass on, so today I’ll do the apes stuff, and later I’ll do an update on Raising Stony Mayhall.

Continue reading

Pandemonium, the television show

UPDATE (8/4/2011): I’ve been contacted by NAME OF COMPANY of FAMOUS DIRECTOR to please not mention his name.  This, despite the fact that the news has been reported in Publisher’s Marketplace, which is read by the press, and the has been spread  all over teh internets.

So, please accept this redacted post:


Maybe. Perhaps. Probably not.

Publishers Marketplace just announced it, and Tim Pratt outed me on twitter, so I suppose I should acknowledge it here — FAMOUS DIRECTOR  (you know, that FAMOUS MOVIE TITLE guy? Who is brilliant?) and his company, NAME OF COMPANY, picked up the option for Pandemonium, with an eye toward making it into a TV show. This is just an option, the first step in a staircase of a million steps, and options that make it all the way to the small or large screen are the exception rather than the rule. The rare exception, I’ve been told.  So don’t get too excited, Mom.

And I know what you’re thinking — why can’t you just enjoy it when something positive happens? It’s in my nature to immediately pop any balloon of good news, but today I will merely deflate it a little, by inhaling its rich, helium like gasses, and then talk in a funny voice for the rest of the day.

–d