The Book Description
One of the great marketing tools for a book, aside from a kick-butt cover, is its description. As an author, this task usually falls to me, and I rather dislike it. For other authors? I can write a powerful description that sells to the masses.
Why is that?
I pride myself on my objectivity, which doesn’t play into the “you’re too emotionally invested” theory. I don’t know, but it’s food for thought. Does this happen to all authors? And bio writing is the same.
In my first attempts at writing the description for “Girl on the Right: Memoir of a Life Upside Down,” I did that thing most authors do: I shared it with 20 people I know and trust. I often refer to writers as “feedback whores,” which may or may not be pleasing, but true nonetheless. We are often a lot of insecure word painters who need that initial inflation to indicate whether we are on the right track. For me, I not only need the inflation, but the deflation. The person who raised the “hate it” flag is like gold. This is where I ask myself the hard questions and delve deeper into the process, what my goals are, and what I truly wish to communicate to readers/book buyers.
With multiple positive comments under my wing regarding my first and second drafts, I felt like I was good to go. Then I wasn’t. A good friend, and avid reader, was the catalyst for my recent bout of skepticism on the material I’d written. She lives in France, and made the point to tell me that this meme thing I refer to, “Be the girl on the right,” is not as well know as I believe it to be. But in the US, it is. Whenever I bring it up to those in my network, they immediately know the visual. So where does that leave my book’s global appeal?
My book’s inspiration is based on this meme. This meme is what drove my fingers to fly across the keyboard. My book cover is heavily influenced by this meme (stay tuned for that!). After a small existential crisis, and a few honest words from an objective third-party, I am sticking with my vision. It is a risk, obviously, but I believe that Googling things we want to learn more about is so commonplace that most readers will hardly bat an eyelash to do so. Whew, cleared that hurdle!
But what about the tone of the description?
One reader believed it to be too “Sex & the City/I’m a crazy bitch” kind of thing. I didn’t get that at first, but after re-reading a few times (and checking my ego at the door), I got it. While there are some lighthearted chapters and topics, there are also a few really deep and painful experiences interwoven throughout the book. I don’t want to mislead my readers into believing this is a mindless beach read. That is a real concern. I want to market the book for what it is, which is a memoir of all the ways in which I tried desperately to feel a sense of belonging, the things life threw at me to compound my insecurity, and how I fought back. Simple, right?
After much deliberation, I chose the description that is published on my “Books” tab of this site. It gets the job done, and I have to make peace with the fact that not everyone is going to be interested in my book (gasp!!). But like I said, feel free to leave some feedback! 🙂
Bella Vida, loves.