The importance of covers and blurbs

I recently ran across at article in The Awl that was absolutely fascinating. They asked several authors (one of them has replied to one of my Tweets, one of them I admire, and several I don’t know but I’m sure are really marvelous) a series of interesting questions:

- How important are covers in terms of selling a book?

- Have your publishers asked you for your opinion or “input” on your covers, and to what extent do you think they listened? Did you ever meet with the designer? How important was “marketing” in making decisions about the cover of your book(s)?

- Did you ever receive a cover that made you unhappy and if so, what did you do about it? Did you ultimately end up with a cover that made you happier?

- How important are blurbs, particularly for a first-time author?

- How did you go about getting your blurbs? Did your agent or editor help, or did you rely more on personal connections?

- Have you ever offered someone else a blurb?

There answers are all interesting - and in some cases, very, very frank!.

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It was very hard...okay, get a blurb for my first 2 books. I asked 2 fellow 2k7-ers, one of whom told me NO right off the bat; the other asked to read the ms, but I never got the blurb. With the latest book, however, I received two AWESOME blurbs from two best-selling authors. It was like Christmas, I swear. :)

Now I've just been asked to give a blurb of my own. It's kind of surreal, this amazing turnaround...
I think it's better to hit up someone who is one or two books up from you. Or you could swing for the fences and try the big names, and if you succeed, it IS like Christmas.

To mix metaphors.