One of the things I’ve been neck deep in lately— and one of the really tough parts of being an independent author— is writing back cover copy for my books. It’s the paragraph or two on the back cover or the dust jacket flap or the ebook description that tells you what the book is about. It’s basically a sales pitch for the book, and can make or break a sale. So, you know. No pressure.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? I mean, I just wrote the book, I should know enough about it to sum it up, make it sound appealing, get people interested, right?
Ugh. You guys. Back cover copy is the worst. I mean, I just wrote a whole novel to explain what happens to my characters. How do I cram that all into about 200 (ish) words? I mean seriously. My first attempts always end up sounding like a preschooler reciting the plot of their favorite movie. (There’s this guy and he’s made out of Legos and he likes to build stuff cause he’s a builder lego man and then he falls in a hole, but wait first he tries to hang out with his friends but they leave him and this thing gets stuck to his back and it’s called the Kragle and then there’s a girl who saves him by building stuff out of other stuff…) Um… yeah. Not exactly something that would encourage someone to pick up a book, yeah? (Or The Lego Movie, either, frankly.)
There are a million web pages out there that offer helpful hints and tips and tricks. Heck, there’s whole books devoted to it. Think about that for a second. There are entire books devoted to helping people write two to three paragraphs. And I still can’t get my head around it.
Still, I do my best, and I have a few trusted folks look over what I’ve come up with and hopefully I’ve struck the right balance between giving a good overview of the story so that a reader knows what to expect and teasing them with a hint at the possible endings. Naturally, I hope not to give too much away. Because even when you know the characters in question are going to get a happily-ever-after ending, you still don’t want to know how they get there.
The good news is that this post means A Demon Saved is about to go up for pre-order. Watch this space!