Few books now appear without enthusiastic recommendations from other authors, but does anyone really believe them?
Authors promoting authors on book jackets is so widespread now that few books appear without them, a phenomenon gleefully mocked by Private Eye's Backscratcher column, which is quick to point out where favours are being called in. There are three ways in which I find myself on other peoples' covers.
The first is perfectly legitimate. I write a positive review for a newspaper and the publishers quote from it. Frank Cottrell Boyce wrote kindly about me in this very newspaper about a month ago, and as it happened his piece coincided with a new edition of my paperbacks. His words are already plastered over the covers and I doubt my publishers asked if he minded. That said, I decided to read his last book, Cosmic, out of a sense of gratitude and I can say with hand on heart that Frank is one of the funniest and most engaging writers on the planet – and I'm willing to bet you'll read that again on a cover one day.