Would you buy this book based on the back cover copy?

Home Forums Critique Central Literary Fiction Would you buy this book based on the back cover copy?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 10 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #346590

    Anonymous

    There are adventures novels based on castaways, but the novella ‘Indiana Jane’ calls for something you would not quite expect. Even though her IQ is off the charts, no one has any interest in Jane’s intelligence, only her looks. In high school, she is voted as most likely to succeed as a supermodel unanimously. A seemingly innocent trip to the prom turns out to be a disaster when Jane’s prom date, the boy on the farm next door, wants more than a dance from Jane – she flees the prom in the pouring rain. Even though Russell apologizes for his bad behavior, years later out of jealousy, he ties her up to a post like a witch being burned at the stake in her father’s barn then sets the barn on fire with birthday candles. But Jane is just too smart for Russell and escapes before it collapses. Jane desperately needs a break from boys, so when her father, a world renowned marine biologist, invites her to spend the summer on the sea with him on his boat, it all sounds so perfect. But at sea the boys don’t go away. After Jane turns an island boy down for a date, Jane and her father find themselves suddenly adrift at sea in the middle of a storm and Jane is thrown overboard. Jane finds herself on a tropical island. Even though she misses her family, knowing she is alone—there are no boys around—life as a castaway isn’t so bad. But life as a happy castaway isn’t what it seems. Jane discovers she isn’t alone. The island is the hangout of pirates who she learns just attacked her father at sea and blew up his boat. Now Jane must find a way off the island and find her father.

    Is this better?

    There are adventures novels about castaways, but the novella ‘The Castaway’ calls for something you would not quite expect. In high school, Jane is voted as most likely to succeed as a supermodel, but it’s her intellect she longs to be remembered for, and when a seemingly innocent trip to the prom turns out to be a fight for her dear life, she decides to spend the summer on the sea with her father, a world renowned marine biologist. At sea Jane and her father find themselves in a violent a storm and Jane is thrown overboard. But life as a castaway isn’t so bad until Jane discovers she is not alone–the island is the hideout of pirates who she learns has sabotaged her father at sea for his notes. Now Jane must find a way off the island to find her father at sea.

  • #654989

    Anonymous

    Not a lawyer, but I think you’re going to have major problems with that name, Indiana Jane. Like trademark problems. Even though the characters aren’t all that similar, that name is very close to “Indiana Jones.”

    Also, back cover copy is short. I’m not clear how short it needs to be, but I don’t see 300 words fitting on a back cover. I’m going to see what I can do for a suggestion, but needs (I think) to be tightened into a single thread that pulls the reader in. As it is, it seems too chaotic. I wouldn’t pick this up.

  • #654990

    Anonymous

    Thank you. I appreciate your comments.

  • #654991

    Anonymous

    Agree with Rob. Shorten, tighten, get rid of all the details that just confuse things. This shouldn’t be a description of the story – it should be the hook that makes a reader want to open the book and explore.

  • #654992

    Anonymous

    Thanks, Ostarella. I tightened it up a bit. Is it any better?

  • #654993

    Anonymous

    > There are adventures novels about castaways, but the novella ‘The Castaway’ calls for something you would not quite expect.
    I would put the book back right there. It just sounds like one of those promises you hear on infomercials that play late at night.

    > Jane thought that a summer of marine biology with her dad would be a welcome break from the awfulness of home.
    > When, instead, a storm tosses her overboard, she discovers that life has more challenges, and dangers, than she was prepared to face.
    > It will take all of Jane’s intellect and will to survive in order to escape pirates, find her dad, and get them both safely home.

    I’m not sure that’s the best it can be. I was primarily trying to get a “hook” into the description. Give people a reason to open the book. Sure, there’s a lot not there, but does it make someone want to open the book, to read about Jane and her adventures?

  • #654994

    Anonymous

    Thanks, Rob. I really appreciate the time you have taken to offer your suggestions. Are you a book reader? Are you a book editor? Do you write book copy?

  • #654995

    Anonymous

    Hey, Bob, I hope I’m not wearing out your generosity, but how effective is this book copy for my novella ‘Dose of Her Own Medicine’?

    Botanist Elizabeth Bell returns to NYC from the Amazon with what she believes is the cure for AIDS. When she asks her husband, a pharmaceutical executive, to help her develop and market the medicine, not only is she shocked when he tells her months later the FDA rejected the medicine for its side effects, he demands a quick, no-hassle divorce. Divorced, in Central Park, Elizabeth discovers an article in The Times. An image of the Virgin Mary is seen in the mist of Niagara Falls. Elizabeth travels to The Falls and meets photojournalist David Green. One night they make passionate love. The next morning Elizabeth awakes alone only to be confronted by the NYPD. She is being charged for the murder of David Green. David had a secret Elizabeth did not know. He had AIDS. They believe Elizabeth illegally administered the medicine to David which failed. Despite being on death row, there is good news for Elizabeth—she contracted AIDS from David. To prove her innocence all she has to do is administer the medicine to herself—which the court approves as a lethal injection. There is one problem. Where will she get a dose of the medicine? Her ex-husband is her only hope, and his new wife just reported him missing on their honeymoon in New Orleans.

    Is this more effective:

    Biologist Elizabeth Bell is awaken one morning by the police for the murder of photojournalist David Green with a drug that wasn’t FDA approved. Now, tracking down her ex-husband is literally the only shot she has of cheating death by lethal injection, and he has just been reported missing on his honeymoon in New Orleans.

    Should the copy be at least 150 words long?

    I would appreciate your thoughts.

  • #654996

    Anonymous

    Hi, Rob. I know I’m bombarding you with alot of questions, but I appreciate all your help.

    This is the best cover copy I can come up with for my novella ‘Dose of Her own Medicine:

    Biologist Elizabeth Bell is awakened one morning by the police at her front door by the shocking news that she is the main suspect for the murder of photojournalist David Gree with a drug that hasn’e been FDA approved. Now, tracking down her ex-husband who has just been reported missing on his honeymoon down in New Orleans is literarlly the only shot she has at cheating death by lethal injection.

    Should the last sentences be the first sentence in the copy? It just sounds so instinctively effective if it was used as the first sentence.

    Wow, writing effective book cover copy is tricky!

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