Hello, I am a new author and new to this forum. I have a book that will be published this summer and have asked a few distinguished experts in my field to write quotes for the book jacket. Several of them asked about reviewing the manuscript before doing so. Is this standard practice? If so, is there something I could get them to sign to legally ensure that they do not steal what is in my manuscript and go off and print on their own or something that would prevent any copyright infringement?
Yes, this is standard practice. This is "blurbing" a book. You usually ask someone you know, and there is the assumption that they will not violate copyright. I've never heard of a problem. If I blurb a book and endorse it, I feel I am giving my support to something I have read. Usually a good blurb will preview the book, so it is important to know the contents before I send in my quotation. Congratulations on the book!
Thank you so much Denise.
Welcome to She Writes!
Denise, great advice!
I just wanted to chime in really quickly. Last year I served as a business manager to an author. She had the same concerns you do regarding getting folks to blurb her book. She ask all "blurbing parties" to endorse a Confidentiality Agreement prior to releasing the manuscript.
It's just something to think about.
Thank you Clene
Only writers new to the world of publishing are scared someone will steal their work. Anyone who's been in the business a long time (I have been writing and publishing since 1985) understands that the hardest thing you will ever have to do is to get anyone anywhere anytime to read anything you have written. The likelihood of anyone else having a better chance than you do is even slimmer. Would you try to flog someone else's work? It's hard enough to get anyone interested in it yourself. Stay in the business longer than 5 years, and you will understand this even better! 8o))
Although one cannot copyright an "idea", it's not the ideas that matter in writing - we all write about the same old ideas anyway - the ones people are interested in writing and reading about. It's HOW they are expressed that can be copyrighted: the style and unique tone of any single writer's voice. That's what's valuable, not ideas. It's very hard to fake anyone else's style and tone, and why would you want to, if you have your own fascinating ones?
Remember that today, it takes much more than just one work to get an author noticed. Anyone crazy enough to steal your work would need to continue with more of the same... and they could not possibly do that.
So rest assured that anyone reading your manuscript to provide a blurb will do just that... comment. Anything else would be just too silly to contemplate. And anyone you ask for an endorsement would have to be an identity or a recognizable industry figure, who would know the business and would never even think of taking your work.
Thank you for all the comments. Very helpful to me.
"Only writers new to the world of publishing are scared someone will steal their work. Anyone who's been in the business a long time (I have been writing and publishing since 1985) understands that the hardest thing you will ever have to do is to get anyone anywhere anytime to read anything you have written"
Wow...wondering if you are new to writing if you need to ask a question on this forum....not all of us are experts and some have joined for feedback.
I tell it like it is, in the most realistic way I can, without impressing on anyone that the book world is an easy place to be, Sharon. It isn't - it's lonely, full of traps and tricks, and the competition is so plentiful and fierce, that there will be moments when you wonder why you bother.
Experienced authors do give differing advice, but none will tell you that putting your writing out there is an uncomplicated thing. It's incredibly easy to publish, for sure, but it is still as hard as it ever was to get people to read what you write. It's getting a bit more difficult, if anything.
It's a good thing that new writers look to experts for advice - but none of us can say they are an expert, because the industry (if you can still call it that) is changing so fast that everyone must stay on their toes, even if they have been doing this for over a quarter of a century, like I have.
I have witnessed some enormous changes, mostly since the middle of the last decade. Sometimes I keep up, at other times I struggle - and that's when I take advice. Other writers, I find, are the most generous people, who are willing to disclose their own findings to others.
How could someone endorse your book if they haven't read it?
That is true- now I am feeling a little beat up here. Had some past experiences where folks took advantage and yes I am new to this game so I don't know all the answers. You do so that is why I thought this was the forum to ask. Thanks!
It might help to think about it as a favor and courtesy, if someone agrees to blurb your book. It's surprisingly hard work. I'd almost rather write a full-length review than a blurb--you have to know the book at least as well, then compress your thoughts into just a few (relatively speaking) words.
Right- I understand and feel more comfortable now hearing from those who have been in this business for a while to share the manuscript. Believe me I am honored that I have several who are willing to write something to endorse the book. I also understand that you cannot write something unless you read it and understand where the book is coming from. It is stupid not to. I just did not understand that this can be done and that no one will take something you worked hard to do- write a book on a subject that may be of interest to a few or a many. Believe me I understand and will move forward. Ladies thank you for all your comments, criticisms and suggestions!