But what few people realize is writing the book is only half the battle.
Once the book is written, once it’s edited and prepped for publication, then the truly difficult writing begins. For then, a writer has to write the most difficult three paragraphs of any project.
You have to write the dreaded back cover copy!
We’re told that this small insight into our current masterpiece should be about three paragraphs in length and should be between 150 and 200 words. Less than 200 words to tell the world how amazing your novel truly is.
Let’s be perfectly honest, most writers hate writing the back cover copy. I know I do. I put it off until the bitter end and then procrastinate a few hours more hoping against hope that I’ll come up with something clever at the last moment.
Inspiration never happens. I always flounder around in the dark forgetting how to form an actual sentence. It’s a horrible but necessary exercise that I go through with each new writing project.
And yet here’s what the back cover copy would actually say if we were truly free to write exactly what we want readers to know about our book.
Buy my book. It’s the greatest thing you’ve ever read. I know because I wrote it. I spent (insert number) weeks/months/years/decades of my life toiling over every single word to make it perfect. And it’s AWESOME! Even my mom said so.
I can’t tell you about the plot because I don’t want to give away the super secret ending that’s guaranteed to make you laugh/cry/scream in terror. But trust me, you’ll never guess what happens. Be prepared to be amazed.
So anyway, but my book because like I said, it’s awesome. And you’ll love it. I promise. And if you don’t, we’ll just keep that little tidbit between ourselves. Thanks.”
Now that’s the most honest back cover copy that you’ll never read it anywhere but here. The reason is simple, readers would never buy that book. As a reader, I wouldn’t buy that book but as a writer, I wish it was that simple.
Alas, nothing is ever as simple as you’d like it to be. So now I need to spend the next few hours struggling to write three paragraphs for my current project. Hopefully, it’ll be brilliant!
Good luck with your own writing projects. May inspiration shine down upon us all!