Monday, September 06, 2010

Passing the Test

What I'm reading: Hangman, by Faye Kellerman

It's Labor Day, a holiday for those of us in the US, and I'm taking the day off from 'serious' blogging. Our plans include a drive into the Springs for an outdoor Arlo Guthrie concert with our kids. Back in the day when our daughters were dating, any serious prospects were subjected to listening to his version of The Garden Song. We have the "Precious Friends" CD, a joint concert with Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and the version of the Garden Song on this CD has Arlo teaching the audience the words, and having them sing along. If the boyfriends didn't join in and sing along when prompted to do so on the CD, they flunked.

(I tried to find a clip of this version, but it was recorded in 1981--too early to record and share on YouTube.)

However, this is a fun version as well, albeit far more recent.

As for writing - copyedits are done, but I'm obsessing over the back cover copy. The publisher insists that authors deal with it. A lot of you helped me choose an excerpt (thanks!) but now I'm stuck with balancing the value of an excerpt vs the value of author cover quotes--and I have a maximum of 175 words in which to do it. Readers prefer excerpts, but the book buyers (and Five Star targets the library market) want to see reviews and endorsements.

Come back tomorrow for my guest, Margaret Tanner. Her topic: The Magic Boomerang. You won't want to miss it.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

My book has a blurb on the front of the book...could 5 Star do that, at the bottom of the front cover? Then you could have the back for the copy and a small excerpt. Or else have an excerpt on one of the pages at the front of the book?

Enjoy your concert!

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Elizabeth - I think their formatting is fixed; their ancillary materials forms make it clear what goes where, and how much space you're allotted.

I'm looking forward to the concert.

Mason Canyon said...

The concert sounds like fun. Have a great day with your family. Good luck with the back cover copy issue.

Thoughts in Progress

Terry Odell said...

Mason, thanks. I think I have a viable option -- and I THINK Five Star uses a lot more quote space for its catalog, which is their major marketing tool.

Helen Ginger said...

I'd stick to maybe two short ones on the back. You can cut so you eliminate unnecessary words, as long as you don't make it sound like something the reviewer did not say. But you're right, keep the blurb. Readers look for that.


Terry Odell said...

Helen - the 'rules' state that the excerpt has to be intact (they prefer not leaving things out with distracting ellipses), so that creates a 'starting point' for the word count. Then I can use the balance for quotes.

I've been blessed with a number of fellow authors who took the time to read and comment, and I'm trying hard to make sure I can get a snippet from each of them as well. It might be less than a sentence, but it's definitely straight from what they said.

Carol Kilgore said...

Good luck with getting the back cover how you want it. Patience :)

Hope the concert was great!

Jess said...

inch by inch, row by row..