Just an FYI -- I finished up going through the comment threads from the Virtual Workshops and posted answers to all the questions I left hanging. I've also added permanent links to them on the sidebar (scroll down.) If I missed any questions, do yell at me.
Someone (you know who you are) sent me an interesting e-mail asking for advice on how to approach authors you don't know to ask for a cover quote. I'd like to flip that around for a minute and talk to you published authors out there about it.
Having someone you don't know ask you to consider their work for a quote is a big compliment. It also takes a huge amount of courage to approach someone you don't know and ask. You know from your own experiences how lousy it feels when someone you admire from afar turns you down, too.
How we respond to these requests can do anything from delight to devastate the recipient. One industry professional I asked to consider looking at something for me responded with "Okay, but it had better be good." I almost didn't send it, I was so intimidated, and then received no response after I did. I drove myself crazy wondering what I'd done wrong until I almost wished I'd gotten a "This Sucks!" response versus none at all.
Yes, it's work to read someone else's manuscript, and it's truly terrible when for whatever reason the ms. doesn't merit a quote. That's where we have to be the courageous ones. But now and then a great new writer does come along and produces something that deserves a great rec from an established author. The new writer doesn't have to be your con buddy to deserve it. Great writing always deserves it.
Popular published authors are insanely busy people. If you're like me, you want your quotes to have some weight, so you may be very choosy about how often you give quotes, and the quality of work you will give a quote. It's perfectly fine to be selective. You can get burned out on quoting, too. I took a hiatus a few months ago and I'm glad I did. Some folks were beginning to treat me like The Oracle of Paranormal Fiction and quite frankly, I'm not.
But when you say no, keep in mind that it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to do so politely. Treat that writer the way you would wish to be treated by someone you admire, and you've probably made a friend for life. Treat them offhand, impolitely or with any amount of contempt and congratulations, you've just made yourself a jerk.
Now onto this week's questions: you all got any for me?