I remember when Naomi Novik’s first three novels came out. I was working at Waldenbooks, and I was pulling the weekly shipment from the boxes in the back room. I recall pulling out HER MAJESTY’S DRAGON from the box, thinking, “Huh. Looks interesting. Who’s this Novik person?” And then right after it in the box came THRONE OF JADE, then BLACK POWER WAR. Three books. All at once. I flipped open to the copyright page and saw the release dates–three months, back-to-back-to-back. We just hadn’t received the first two novels on time. And still I thought, “Geez. Three books. She must be pretty good.”
Then I took a closer look at the covers. I saw quotes from Stephen King, Terry Brooks and Anne McCaffrey. Each one of them saying how awesome Novik was, and how amazing her series was. It made an impression, to say the least.
At the same bookstore, I was shelving a random set of books, and came across a guy named F. Paul Wilson. The book–maybe you’ve heard of it–was called THE TOMB – Book 1 of the Repairman Jack series. On the cover was a quote by Stephen King, where King calls THE TOMB super awesome (paraphrasing), and King himself is labeled as the President of the Repairman Jack Fan Club. Now you know how I began reading Wilson’s work.
Everyone has a story like this. Sometimes a good-looking cover gets you to pick up the novel. Oftentimes it’s a quote on that cover that gives readers the reassurance to make the purchase. Say your favorite author is Brent Weeks. Or Brian Lumley. Or Robert McCammon. Or Mary Robinette Kowal. When they recommend books and authors, it has impact. It’s why publishers and authors try to get those killer quotes–to help sell books.
I’ve been fortunate enough to receive two fantastic cover quotes. Check ’em out:
“RESIDUE will scare you–that’s it’s primary goal–but along the way it will touch you, shock you, make you laugh, make you cheer, and make you think. Horror has been waiting for Steve Diamond.” — Dan Wells, NYT Bestselling Author of I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER
“RESIDUE is a fast-paced, fun read with great characters and the best prom scene since CARRIE. Steve Diamond writes kick butt mutants, psychics, and guns. I loved it.” – Larry Correia, NYT Bestselling Author of the Monster Hunter Series
Super awesome. What I like about the quotes–besides them saying nice stuff!–is that they are very different. They each highlight different aspects of my novel.
They are also super humbling.
When you pick up my book, and you see those quotes, I hope that they get you interested in my book. After that, it’s all on me. But man, a good cover quote really gets the ball rolling.