The All-True Story of How a Novel Gets Published #12: The Importance of Kind Words … and Book Giveaway Thanks for Same!

Yes, you’re in the right place for the 1st Books Book Giveaway! Read on! [But Please Note: The Contest is Now Closed and the winner have been drawn and notified. Thanks for Participating!]

When you pick up a book and look at the back, what you usually see are some nice things other authors have said about the book in your hand. In the business, those are known as “blurbs” (a term I don’t think I’d ever heard before my first novel sold, but now know all too well). Where do they come from? From the kindness of strangers, mostly, and sometimes from the kindness of friends. So this post is a little ode to kindness – which will end in a giveaway of books from four writers who have helped me with kind words, and whose work I love.

As you can imagine, it’s an awkward thing for an author to go literary hat in hand to ask another author to spend days reading your book in hopes they will have kind words to say when they reach the end. At least it was for me. I try to remember that every time someone asks me to read a book for a blurb, and try to say yes as often as I can. I don’t get to everything, but I do try.

Anyway, I was pretty relieved when most of the names on my editor’s list for blurbs were folks I had no connection with, that she would approach herself. There were two authors I mentioned I knew that my editor loved, though. Long story short, not only did they read for me, but they read at lightning speed, and came back with wonderful enthusiasm for The Four Ms. Bradwells. Which I would be grateful for under any circumstances, but given that they are both very busy with their own new novels, I am doubly so.

Katie Crouch, author of two wonderful novels, the New York Times bestseller Girls in Trucks, and the just-released Men and Dogs, says of The Four Ms. Bradwells:

“It’s rare that I come across a book that I immediately want to give to my best friends. This was one of them. A heartwarming page-turner about smart women and the complicated nature of female friendships. By the end you’ll wish that you could join the Ms. Bradwells for lunch.”

and Elizabeth Brundage, whose latest amazing novel, A Stranger Like You, was published Thursday, calls it

“A fine, smart, compelling novel about the deep friendships that guide and nurture our most difficult choices.”

I’m squeeing with joy, obviously, to have such wonderful praise so early in the publication process – from writers whose work I so admire.

So to say thanks, I’m going to give away free copies of Katie’s and Elizabeth’s novels, as well as copies of novels by the first two authors who blurbed my first novel, The Language of Light.

The books:

Katie Crouch’s Men and Dogs (hardcover)

Elizabeth Brundage’s A Stranger Like You (hardcover, signed and personalized, thanks to the fact that she’s reading at M is for Mystery on Aug 19)

Katharine Weber’s latest novel True Confections – which is out in hardcover, and coming in paperback this December. This one is a signed first edition!

and Manette Ansay’s Good Things I Wish for You – just out in paperback .

I loved them all (or in the case of Elizabeth’s, am reading and loving, and have loved her first two). They are all wonderful novels, and great book club choices.

To enter to win, just:

retweet one of my tweets with the link to this post and the hashtag #1stBookGiveaway (I’m @megwaiteclayton on twitter),


if you’re not on twitter, email the link to this post to at least (in the Wednesday Sisters tradition) five friends, with a copy to wednesdaysisters at gmail dot com

and in doing so help me spread the word about these four amazingly and generous writers. Please, only one entry each! I’ll close the contest next Sunday, August 15, at 5 p.m. Pacific time, and pull random names of winners. – Meg

About Meg Waite Clayton

Meg Waite Clayton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of four novels, including THE WEDNESDAY SISTERS (a writing group novel) and THE WEDNESDAY DAUGHTERS
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7 Responses to The All-True Story of How a Novel Gets Published #12: The Importance of Kind Words … and Book Giveaway Thanks for Same!

  1. I really would love to read any of these books but the one I’m most interested in is Men and Dogs.

  2. jen7waters says:


    I hope I can enter *hopes it’s an international contest*

  3. Holli says:

    Just re-tweeted!!

    Latest: megwaiteclayton Who wants 2 win free books? RT with #1stBookGiveaway 2 enter-or c #amreading Retweeted by you less than 20 seconds ago

    Hope I win… i would love any of them!

  4. me says:

    You all are great – thank you!

  5. JHS says:

    Retweeted (@jhsiess)

  6. Amy says:


    (Twitter id: Amestir)

    I want to be honest with you – I’m not sure i did the retweeting correctly! I hope I did!.

    All of the books in your giveaway are on my tbr list, your books too. Your book, “The Wednesday Sisters” is at the top of my tbr list! I’m happy to know you havbe a new one coming out. Congratulations!

    ~ Amy

  7. me says:

    You did, Amy – no worries!

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