Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: How to Pitch a Book Review

You were all so incredibly kind about and interested in my previous “case study” post. So when my latest book review (of Damion Searls’s translation of Life Goes On, the first novel by Hans Keilson), appeared in The Forward last week, I thought that you might similarly welcome some potentially instructive background. That’s why I’m sharing the text below, which reproduces most of my initial e-mail message seeking the assignment.

I say “most” because when I sent this pitch last summer, The Forward‘s arts coverage was in transition. Ultimately, I sent this pitch to both the managing editor (the former arts & culture editor) and the newly assigned arts & culture editor. I’d corresponded with both of these individuals before, so there were some personalized greetings that I’m omitting in the text below. (more…)

Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: How to Get a Blurb for Your Book

I’m no Gary Shteyngart, but I’m not entirely without experience when it comes to “blurbing” other authors’ books. (“Blurbs,” as you likely know, are the brief endorsements that authors and publishers seek pre-publication to help garner interest in and enthusiasm for new books.)

Last week I had the great pleasure of attending a reading by Susan Kushner Resnick. Sue read from her latest book, You Saved Me, Too: What a Holocaust Survivor Taught Me About Living, Dying, Loving, Fighting and Swearing in Yiddish. I was eager to meet Sue and hear her read from the book, in part because we’d had some nice exchanges over email stemming from Sue’s request that I blurb it.

Sue has given me permission to share with you that initial request. So if you want to see how one author got someone (me) to blurb her book, please read on! (more…)