Karen Brichoux

Current and Upcoming Books

Available Now
"Draws the reader into the story and never lets go." --RT Bookclub
"Brichoux reminds the reader how powerfully the landscape of 'home' can define a person." -- High Country News
Previously Released
"An exceptional novel." --Melissa Senate, author of The Solomon Sisters Wise Up
"A coup. Warm, smart, and original." --Kirkus Reviews


Road to the Shelves: Endorsements

December 1, 2003

December 2003 Newsletter:
*Article: "The Road to the Shelves: Stop 1, Endorsements"
*What I'm Reading


*My second novel, SEPARATION ANXIETY, has started down the road to its June 2004 arrival on bookstore shelves. I'll be tracing the path--from an author's perspective--in my newsletters over the next few months.

*The author endorsements for SEPARATION ANXIETY are in! You can read them on the Books page of my website. http://www.karenbrichoux.com/works.htm

*Don't forget to stop by the NALauthors.com boards where you can talk about books, food, and possibly even lumbago with the NAL authors. http://nalauthors.com/forums/

*My website will soon be in upheaval as it undergoes a winter scrubbing and overhaul. Just as soon as I finish the current manuscript....

The Road to the Shelves: Stop 1, Endorsements

Author endorsements. You've seen them. They're those little blurbs on the covers of books. Those catchy little phrases like, "Best novel I've read all year," followed by impressive names you've hopefully heard of.

How do they happen?


Or not.

Let's say you've sold your novel HOPE AND DESPAIR to a publisher. After all the hoopla has died down and you've gone through a few revisions, your editor compiles a list of authors who have written and published books that are somewhat similar to HOPE AND DESPAIR. Then the editor contacts these authors and asks them if they'd be willing to read your novel for possible endorsement. That's Step One.

If the authors contacted agree to take a look, your editor will mail them a manuscript copy of your book. That's Step Two.

Step Three is when the authors read your novel and like it enough to endorse it. (If they don't like the book, the process stops here and the editor has to start all over again querying different authors.)

Step Four is where the poor authors who *did* like the book try to come up with a new way to say, "I like this book."

Not an easy task.

Write two catchy phrases while not using the following often-used words: (deep breath) fast, fresh, delightful, witty, emotional, heartstrings, roller-coaster, wild, daring, quirky, ride, charming, poignant, warm, sweet, or fuzzy.

I've only done two endorsements. It took me longer to write four sentences than it takes me to write four chapters.

I used the above words.

After wracking their brains for good adjectives, the authors then mail the endorsement (electronically or escargot) to the editor, who passes it along to you and production and whoever else is in charge of getting bits of the endorsement into the publisher catalogues and onto your cover.


As I said, simple. Ha, ha.

But when you, the author, see those endorsements....

It's like having hot chocolate on a cold day. Warm, sweet, and fuzzy.

The glow lasts a very long time.

What I'm Reading:

It's been a slow month for reading. I've been immersed in writing my own book. But I've still managed to read a few books, so here goes.

DEAD NED by John Masefield. First volume of a two-volume story by one of England's Poet Laureates. It's about a young man, unjustly accused of murdering his benefactor, who escapes the hangman's noose but ends up on a slave ship headed for the coast of Dead Ned.

RUNAWAY RALPH by Beverly Cleary.

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES by John Irving. I just started this book and I'm having a hard time dragging myself away from it.

TIME OUT FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR by Lani Diane Rich. This book isn't out yet, but when it hits the shelves, have a look. I read it without getting up for more Cheetos (if you know my passion for Cheetos....).

SEEING THINGS by Seamus Heaney. More poetry by the award-winning Irish poet.

And as always:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens. A yearly event.