Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Girl Against the Universe Gratitude Giveaway

Girl Against the Universe is out on the shelves and I can barely believe it :D It feels really good to have released a book that is fun and entertaining, but also has the possibility to be comforting, inspiring, and even helpful to some readers. I'm already blown away by the responses I've gotten from early readers who related to Maguire on a personal level.

Honestly, I'm proud of this story for a lot of reasons, another of which is the lovely author blurbs on the back cover.



I don't know how much you know about the process of authors blurbing books, but asking another author to read your book for blurb can be kind of an awkward experience for everyone. You have to put yourself out there to get rejected. You have to put another author--who most likely knows just how bad getting rejected feels--in a position to tell you no. Every book I say, "I'm not going to do it this time. It always ends with me feeling terrible." But then I do it anyway, because if *I* am not willing to advocate for my book, then how can I expect anyone else to do it? And there's hard data that author blurbs result in more sales.

But it's not just about the numbers. An author blurb helps a busy librarian, who might not have time to read your book, still be able to recommend it. An author blurb gives a bookseller information about your book months before it hits the shelves. When I see a book blurbed by an author I love, it definitely makes me more interested in reading it. And honestly, there is nothing more validating than having your peers read your work and like it enough that they're willing to put their names on it.

So this is a thank you post to my cover blurbers, Tamara Ireland Stone and Miranda Kenneally. (I received two other lovely blurbs that were too late for the cover, but I'll save them for another giveaway when the GATU paperback releases. Love you, Sarvenaz and Ann <333)

I approached Tamara and Miranda for blurbs because they both wrote books that I love, and I felt their readers would enjoy Girl Against the Universe.  They were both kind enough to take time out of their busy schedules to read GATU, and they both believed in the story enough to personally endorse it. Tam, Miranda--thank you for supporting my latest novel :)

I'm giving one lucky reader two books--their choice of one by each of these authors. This contest is INT and I will be ordering from The Book Depository or Wordery. Here's a little more about Tamara and Miranda's latest titles, but feel free to choose from their backlists as well:


If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Do you already own a copy of Every Last Word? Check out Tamara's other books here.


Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club,
contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start

Defending Taylor releases on July 5th, but if you don't want to wait, Miranda's got scads of other books to choose from!


Share your own thoughts about author blurbs to get the comment points for the giveaway. I'm really curious to know what you think!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


79 comments:

  1. I like author blurbs, especially if its from an author I read but I don't think they always sincere, almost like kids signing yearbooks, you sign mine and ill sign yours. I am not worried about a book being popular I decide for myself what to read and sometimes I don't want the most popular but to find a hidden treasure nobody is talking about or discover a new author that isn't the number 1 seller, sometimes I don't want to read the one that the masses love, weird I know

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    1. There's is definitely an element of "you sign mine and I'll sign yours" to SOME blurbs. Writing can be pretty brutal and I think authors who go through challenges together often want to do whatever they can to support each other. But it's also rare to have friends writing the same genre who are at the same level of success as you are, so unless an author is really hooked up in the author community, chances are they or their agent/editor had to ask someone to read for blurb.

      I always prefer the hidden treasure. I'll admit I used to be all about the Next Big Thing, but learning firsthand what its like not to be that thing, now I try to spend my limited time and money on great books that really need more support.

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  2. I can't wait for defending taylor. I love Miranda's Catching Jordan

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    1. I'm excited too. I love books with soccer :)

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  3. I'm a bit indifferent to author blurbs, to the point that I probably rarely notice whether there are or aren't any printed on a book. I mean, there obviously going to be great praise; otherwise they wouldn't be there. So I mostly don't pay attention one way or the other. BUT if I happen to skim across and catch a name of an author I really like and respect, I'd say it has some influence on my decision. In short, author blurbs are not that important to me. Thanks!

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    1. This is a fair point and I just giggled at the thought of what lukewarm blurbs might sound like.

      "It took me 11 weeks to read this, but I didn't totally hate it." -Bigtime Author, NYT bestseller

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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  4. I kind of thought you just paid an author for a blurb haha!

    I never really cared for them if I'm being honest. Now that I know they're "real" my opinion might change though. :)

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    1. OMG I wish it were that easy ;) *sells off all earthly belongings for John Green blurb*

      I'm not going to say that never happens, but I have never heard of it happening and I hope blurbs aren't being bought with $$. Obviously if a publisher pays a half a million dollars for a book and the sales team says the cover needs a blurb, chances are that people will work harder to procure a blurb for that book. But I know of really expensive titles without blurbs so I like to think most of them are at least somewhat legit :)

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  5. First of all, thanks for this amazing giveaway!

    I don't really pay attention to blurbs on books, I think they're not always trustworthy so I've reached a point where I don't even notice if they're printed on a book.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. I'm hoping these comments will be comforting to authors who aren't able to get the blurbs we want. The LIARS hardcover has no blurbs and it's my most successful title so far, but at the time I felt really bad about it.

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  6. Happy Release Day! I always find author blurbs & recs interesting. I'm curious about what authors I enjoy like to read and have to say about books. But they don't really make me buy a book...a lot of other factors go into that.

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    1. Thank you, and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  7. I don't read them at all before reading a book to be honest. I'd like to form my own opinion first and then I take a look.

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    1. Hmm. I'm guessing you buy mostly online so you can avoid them if they're splashed on the cover?

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  8. happy new release
    i tend to read them, it's interesting especially when it's one of my favourite author but it won't change my opinion about buying teh book or not just confirm it usually

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    1. I would say I'm similar to this. If I really want a book, I'm getting it. If I really don't want it, I'm not. But if I'm on the fence, seeing someone whose books I loved blurbed it might push me over to reading it.

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  9. I get excited about the blurbs, especially when I see one author I love supporting another one, but I don't think it factors into the buying decision much. I pick up a book if I'm interested, and if I see the author blurbs, it might move it to the top of my list? But at that point, when I'm interested, it's already on the list. For me, it just warms my heart to see the author community come to life on a book cover.

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    1. This is such a great way to look at things :) It's true that blurbing is a great way for authors to support each other, and I hold dear every author who even considered reading my work, whether they found the time or wanted to blurb or not.

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  10. I think it's interesting to see who blurbed a book but it generally doesn't affect my reading choices. It's just fun if it's an author I know and have read :)

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    1. RIPPLE! Are you going to have to redo your pix with Pickles? That's such a perfect picture! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  11. I like seeing who blurbs books but I am meh about them. I like forming my own thoughts and opinions about things so I try to read the summary to see if I will like it and then go from there. I don't want to be influenced too much, but it does help if it is an author whose book I really LOVED blurbing. On the other side, if an author whose book I didn't like blurbs a book, I am a bit more cautious about reading the book. I worry that they will be similar (and sometimes I am correct).

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    1. Good point about maybe having the wrong blurber on your book. I, too, have seen blurbs where I've thought "Oh the blurber's writing is not for me, so I probably won't like this either."

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  12. blurbs are super important to me. Generally, I'll look at a book based on cover and blurb and then reviews. If the blurb turns me off, I'm not even going to look at the reviews to decide whether to buy it.

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    1. I'm wondering if you mean what publishers technically refer to as "cover copy" or if you mean what publishers generally refer to as a blurb, which is "This book was the best etc etc." -Other Author

      A lot of people use the word "blurb" to mean different things, but the places where I've been published, the summary on the jacket or back of book is cover copy and what's on Amazon, etc. is sales copy. Sometimes I call that a summary or book description because I know not everyone is familiar with the term "copy."

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  13. Honestly I usually don't know who the authors are, so I just assume they are super famous. I do think it's cool that you got Miranda Kenneally since your other books aren't about sports, so people who specifically read sporty contemps will know about it. Do an author's fans know when they write a blurb? Or is it more like they recognize the name when they pass the blurb in a bookstore?

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    1. "I just assume they are super famous." I love it. *runs off to ask friends if she can blurb all their books* J/K ;)

      You bring up another good point. Both Miranda and Tamara have tweeted and retweeted about GATU, but there's no "requirement" or anything, so what the publisher is usually hoping for is that readers will see the words on the cover or website and go "Oh, I like Miranda Kenneally's sporty books. I'm going to check this out!"

      And yeah, She and Tamara are the perfect blurb blend, M for the sporty romance aspects and T for the hopeful mental health storyline. I was so thrilled they both said yes :)

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  14. Personally, I do read author blurbs and will very often buy the book if the blurb is from someone that I read or like. I think blurbs are second best to personal recommendations in terms of choosing books. But as a writer, I sort of dread the idea of having to ask authors for them. I dream about having my book published, about doing a cover release, making swag, etc. but asking for blurbs is part of the experience for all the reasons mentioned above.

    But thanks for another great giveaway and best of luck to everyone. :)

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Kelly. Luckily you're at a super-fabulous agency where you might be able to score some reads from other authors there. Best of luck!

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  15. I love reading author blurbs. I like knowing a bit more about the author and maybe how they got to where they are. I love seeing what they took in school or what they love besides books. I like it even more when they change up the blurb each book so that it relates to what I'm reading. Happy release day Paula! I can't wait to pick up GATU!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jen. I'm thinking you might mean author bios? I do tend to tailor my bio to each specific book, so it has evolved throughout time. I hope you enjoy GATU :)

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  16. I read author blurbs after I have read the book. I like to form my own opinion. I often read the other authors names just so I know more author names because often those who comment on a book I have read also write similar books. This means a larger array of options!

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    1. True. Most authors try to blurb/solicit blurbs from authors who write similar books, in order to appeal to new readers in the same genre. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Blurbs definitely contribute to my reading/buying choices because a blurb defines the book and gives a taste of the book if i dont like what im tasting im not biting lolol

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    1. I'm wondering if maybe you're thinking of the cover copy, or short description of the story, rather than author blurbs. Some people call that a blurb too, but usually publishers call it "copy" to differentiate from a blurb, which is an actual endorsement from another author or a review journal. But yeah, I always read the summary on the back for sure.

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  18. I read the author blurbs when I pick up a new book. But they really don't influence whether or not I want to read the book. I rely on book blogs to get opinions of the book and read the first few pages--this is what makes up my mind.

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    1. Cool. I love that people are reading the first few pages as I work really hard to make them an accurate reflection of what's to come :)

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  19. Blurbs are important. They give me a glimpse.

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  20. Blurbs don't really mean that much to me. On occasion, I'll pick up a book because an author I love said something good about it, but that's an exception. HOWEVER. I do love both these authors, and I love your books, so I APPROVE OF THESE BLURBS :D

    - Eli @ The Silver Words

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    1. Are they not the most fabulous ever? :) And I love that each of them focused on different aspects of GATU. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

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  21. If the blurb is by one of my favorite authors then I do try to read the book but otherwise author blurbs are not a priority for me.

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    1. I'm definitely more tempted when someone whose books I love loves something. Thanks for the comment.

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  22. I definitely pay attention to author blurbs, and who they are if they wrote books in the genre I like, or I know what the author's preferences are. Then I see what they say about it, to gauge whether it is a unique plot, or really worth trying.

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    1. Interesting. I like how varied everyone's thoughts are on this matter. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

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  23. I love author blurbs a lot! Way more than non author blurbs. I don't even know why, I guess seeing authors support other authors makes me feel really happy. They don't make me buy or not buy a book but they do put a smile on my face :) Love the book community!

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    1. BookBub also found that an author blurb was more likely to result in sales than one from Kirkus or similar. I also love seeing authors supporting each other :)

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  24. I am usually indifferent about author blurbs

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  26. Thank you so much for the giveaway. I prefer reading synopsis of a book than reading blurbs from authors. Yeah its cool that other authors enjoyed the books but it doesn't tell me what exactly the book is about. Both books sound interesting

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    1. Good point. I like to read the back of the book/flap of book too. That's probably the #1 thing I go on, though I also go by personal recommendations from friends who know what I like.

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  27. I don't pay much attention to the author blurbs to be honest. I always rely on the honest reviews from book bloggers or simply in goodreads. But if it comes from my favorite author's blurb, I acknowledge it but then it still doesn't influence me on picking what I'll be reading. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinions :) I prefer Amazon/B&N reviews to GR, just because so many GR reviews are of ARCs and I know how much my ARCs get revised for the finished book. It still blows my mind the way people like to read ARCs ;)

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  28. Love and read author blurbs. Even if I don't know the author. To me, they feel more authentic than blurbs from big time reviewers. Maybe because they are authors themselves and come from a similar viewpoint. Does that make sense?

    Still haven't read Every Last Word. :( Though I did buy it. Can't wait for Defending Taylor. Love her books, but will especially love this one because of the "older brother's best friend" trope. Love your books as well. I'm "next in line for this title" for GATU on OverDrive for my library.

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    1. Awesome. Both Tamara and Miranda write such readable books--they tend to be one-sitting reads for me. I hope you enjoy GATU. Thanks for checking it out :)

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  29. I enjoy reading blurbs, especially if I know little or nothing about said book. I do believe that having a big-named author like James Patterson or Stephen King praising your book on the cover will definitely help it to sell to fans of said author(s) that might not have bought it otherwise.

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    1. Ha, for realz ;-) *sends all future books to James Patterson just in case*

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  30. I'll glance at the blurbs, but they don't sway me either way. I read what I want to, doesn't really matter what others say about it.
    I do like the way other authors support each other!!! It's really nice to be a part of such a supportive community!

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    1. Aww, thanks for sharing your thoughts and for your support as well <3

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  31. I like blurbs and they help to weed out the books that have story lines that aren't for me. They also give me an idea of the characters' personalities which sometimes is a turn-off for me. On the other hand, I hate excerpts. If I am that invested in reading a book I will read the whole thing.

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    1. I'm not one for excerpts either because I hate the thought of having to stop and wait for the rest of a book if I'm really into it. Thanks for sharing!

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  32. I rarely read author blurbs. If I see the blurb written by one of my favorite authors, I read it, but I never buy my books based on that. I rather read reviews before I buy a book. Also, I've never really thought that those blurbs are 100% honest.

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    1. Good points. I'm not sure reviews are 100% honest either, meaning that most people can't completely separate out their emotional responses to a book from their logical or technical qualms, but I definitely read both. (And then believe what I want :D)

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  33. Blurbs are a big part in my decision to buy books , especially if it's from an author that I particularly love

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    1. Awesome. That's good to know. I do think most authors try to blurb books they feel would be a good fit for their readers.

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  34. Yes,I read blurbs,and based on them I decide if I will read the book :)
    Thank you for the amazing opportunity!
    Congratulations on new release :)

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by!

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  35. I like blurbs, but I normally only really take them into account for my decision-making process when I am totally undecided of whether or not I should read a certain book.
    Thank you for the giveaway and congrats on the release of Girl against the Universe! :)

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    1. You're welcome and thank you. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

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  36. I love reading author blurbs! I definitely think they can be helpful in persuading readers to pick up a certain book; congrats on GATU!! <3

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  37. I love reading blurbs, they are a teeny tiny window to know what magic the book contains. I don't really care who wrote the blurb and most of the time I don't even know who the person is, if it is really interesting then I might search more about blurb author otherwise I just assume they must be some important person as they got to write the blurb :P and mostly I just like to dive into the book it the blurb is really interesting :D

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I love teeny, tiny windows into things. I also love it when multiple people look at the same thing but see it differently.

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  38. I usually don't pay attention to blurbs on books, I read them if I'm interested on the story, but if one of my favorite authors is who writes the blurb, I'll probably read the book :D

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I love your comments like I love cupcakes! Thanks so much for stopping by :-)